Sunday, May 24, 2015

"...Curiously, the climate champions, the same who promote carbon credits generating billions of profits for speculating Wall Street, hardly ever mention the enormous CO2 boot-print of the wars and conflicts around the globe – and their potential for drastic reduction through peace. – Why is that?"


The Suffering Is Too Great to Endure
Hope – versus Neoliberalism – an Ode to Solidarity

By Peter Koenig

...According to a recent ‘shocking’ IMF revelation, worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels are estimated at US$5.3 trillion for 2015. The institution says that the subsidies are largely accounting for the money governments have to spend to treat victims of air pollution from CO2 emission and from the loss of income due to illnesses. 

In other words, the study has for once accounted for the so-called externalities caused by the use of hydrocarbons. The subsidy counts for about 6.5% of global GDP. Based on figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) cutting the subsidies could reduce premature deaths from outdoor air pollution by 50% - saving 1.6 million lives, because it is assumed to reduce the use of hydrocarbons worldwide.

So – why is no serious effort made to abolish these subsidies, by having the polluter pay the full cost of the damage he causes? The subject of hydrocarbon subsides is not new. It has been whispered about – no loud words, of course – for at least the last five years. Nothing changed. 

Because the US / NATO military war machine is the world’s largest single fossil fuel consumer. 

What fossil fuel subsidies mean is actually subsidizing Washington led invasions, wars, as well as proxy wars instigated by the hegemon’s objectives. – The entire world helps subsidizing, willy-nilly the US-driven killing machine, despite their suffering from it. – So – why should anything change?

... Mining for minerals and natural resources has skyrocketed during the past 20 years. Pristine forests and entire ecosystems are being slaughtered and plundered without scruples by international mining corporations. They are helped by the infamous threesome, WTO, IMF, World Bank, through trade agreements and draconian conditions imposed by structural adjustment type lending operations.

Resources owning developing countries are enslaved by debt. Letting their resources being exploited for a pittance, most often without any consideration for environmental protection, despite assertions to the contrary, is their only hope to loosen the noose of debt around their neck – just enough to breathe. 

And why has mining become a booming industry, mind you not for the countries that let themselves be mined, but for the mining transnationals – because the western war machine needs lots of minerals and rare earths for their ever more sophisticated electronically and technology-driven weapons and killing gadgets. 

Although there are no certain figures available, estimates have it that at least 50% of today’s mining output is used by the industrial war complex. 

Mining is one of the globe’s dirtiest, most socially destabilizing and environmentally destructive industries. But it serves the neoliberal advancement towards world domination. 

The empires chief vassals, the EU, are tormented during the last few years by an ever growing invasion of refugees from African and Middle Eastern conflict zones. Thousands are dying by attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach the EU’s southern shores to safety –to promised heaven. 

More than 4,000 have perished at sea already this year – estimated figures for future victims are increasing rapidly as wars and conflicts – for neoliberal greed – intensify. Those who make it will be held for years in refugee camps, some returned, but few will make it up to the northern European partners.

There is no solidarity in the European Union. To the contrary, the EU Commission has just decided to fight these refugees from misery, disease and death – by military force; completely ignoring that the EU itself with its subservient complicity with Washington is responsible for the conflicts that cause the flood of refugees in the first place

Shame on you, Brussels – shame on you, every single member of the wretched band of egocentric, neoliberal EU members, devoid of any sense of solidarity, of humanity – greed is the epitome of your worthlessness!

The greed economy is everywhere. It is intricately woven into our western system of life. Reforms will hardly make a difference. They are just typical band aid remedies. The octopus loses one tentacle, but two more grow in its stead to give the monster even more ferocity. 

We are so thirsty for hope, hope for another, more just, more equitable world, we see hope in the first ‘blinking of an eye’. Hope is good. Hope is the basis for action. And action must be the consequence of hope – hope that not all is lost. 

Action to break that impasse of neoliberal all-engulfing greed must be simple. We have become strangers to ourselves. We must return to our roots, recognizing where and why we failed to diagnose the beast. Our awakened, re-kindled sense of consciousness may lead us to what we have lost – our inherent sense of solidarity.

Let’s hope together for that to happen – to happen soon, for the suffering is too great to endure much longer. We, the 99.99 % have it in our power to stop this misery and save our planet.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

No comments: