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Climategate: banal

Putting 'gate' on the end of a word such as 'climategate' doesn't stop a non-issue being banal, writes John Duckham.

As reported by Pepe Escobar and Robert M Cutler here and here in Asia Times online, Iraq auctioned off a load of oil field development concessions.

These concessions are investment opportunities with a $2 return per barrel paid on production increases above an agreed level. The big winners have been Russia and China, two of the founding members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Not I think what Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney et al had in mind in the great plan for Iraq and influence in the Middle East. This is however what can happen when you proudly install and pronounce the existence of democracy in a subject nation: You are liable to be hoist with your own petard, which would be funny if it didn’t indicate some things that are extremely dangerous.

I don’t approve of appeasing bullies but rubbing the nose of a giant in reality is not a good idea when that giant has a proven record of violence in pursuit of its goals. We are seeing, I believe, the first clear signs of the fight for economically extractable oil bringing major nuclear powers, and power blocks, into direct confrontation.

And what are world leaders doing as this deadly game is set out more clearly on the board? They are keeping us all diverted by Climate Change and the perils of an Islamic takeover of the West; and newspapers and their blogging correspondents are gleefully following the lead of the governments and illustrating these peripheral threats, hyping them to levels they should not attain in reality. Islam is a religion not a country.

It is varied, and can be encouraged to vary. Education and the integration of immigrants will isolate radical elements and they can be dealt with by the law in a secular and democratic manner. Climate change may or may not be happening but the real threat is not from it but from the confrontations the reduction in readily extractable oil is setting up.

Action needs to be taken to cope with a reduction in oil supplies and to find alternative energy sources that will work for all for the future. Concentrate on these realities and the Global Warming argument becomes merely a spat between the obsessive, and a useful way of showing that scientists are human and will bend the evidence to promote the agendas of the people, usually governments, who are dishing out the research grants; not exactly a stunning finding when you think about it, so e-mails showing this bending as likely to have happened are pretty banal. Calling this banality a ‘scandal’ and giving it a name with ‘gate’ on the end does not make it any less banal.

The urgent need as the real power plays are made is to push governments from a narrow short term view of energy to one that goes beyond the present and accepts that there is the ghastly possibility of a nuclear confrontation over energy somewhere down the line, and maybe not that far down the line in generational terms; certainly no more unimaginable than losing East Anglia and the Seychelles to sea level increases.

Wars escalate and already the Bush administration has primed the world with pronouncements of almost eternal war to combat a word: Terror. The military complexes of America, Britain and several other countries are dependent on the continuation of wars. Without these complexes the economies of the countries become shaky.

The Reagan administration finished the job of forcing Soviet Communism to keep on with an arms race it could not sustain economically and the Soviet Union collapsed, but by then the Military Industrial Complex of America was so big and powerful that it is an apparently uncontrollable monster.

The eternal need for growth of Western Capitalism is now allied with the need for war and that Faustian pact is allied with the desperate need of energy to keep the population happy and to feed the beast that needs the war to exist. Somehow this circle of destructive behaviour has to be broken before we are all led into a position from which it is impossible to retreat. Is a nuclear war unimaginable? In my opinion no it is not.

Technology is such that limited nuclear strikes can be made that would knock out the enemy’s ability to respond. Massive loss of life and radiation pollution would occur but you can be sure there is research that shows just how severe this would be and how far it would go in effecting the first strike combatant. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is no longer assured. But none of this is necessary.

If countries with massive military complexes look now at the possibility of climate warming due to CO2 in the atmosphere and the insidious way in which competitor countries are positioning themselves it becomes clear that the way out of further confrontation, a way that has a built in industrial advantage uniquely suitable to the technologically advanced West, is to reduce the aggressive side of their ‘defence’ budgets and put this money into research and development of long term alternative energy sources other than oil.

Military, and associated military, personnel can be redirected towards the industrial effort. Firms making military systems can concentrate on making the hardware for the alternative energy industry. The whole aggressive structure of militarism is ideally suited to the task of creating the industrial effort required; including installation, and construction.

Instead of concentrating on arguments about what might be happening with the climate and on threats to western security from an ideology based on a perverted form of a religion followed by a minority within that religion and acted upon violently by a minority of that minority; surely we should be concentrating on something that is clearly happening, the outcome of which could be the blowing to bits of millions and the creating of nuclear wastelands.

Interesting and indicative footnote to this is a Telegraph report on Greece, the reduction in the credit rating of the nation and concerns over the size of its military budget: See Here.

John Duckham is a retired construction superintendent who is now a writer and researcher into Islam and Javanese Mysticism. He blogs at Democratic Duckham.


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