maanantaina, heinäkuuta 07, 2008


EU-maat ymmällään öljyn kallistumisen syistä
Korkeita energian ja ruoan hintoja harmittelevien EU-kansalaisten on turha odottaa pika-apua unionin poliittiselta johdolta. Jos taas hinnannousun taustalla on keinottelu, pitäisi spekulointiin osata puuttua tehokkaasti.
- HS

Italia ehdotti maanantaina tiukennuksia futuurimarkkinoille, jotta ehkäistäisiin öljyllä keinottelu. Italian pääministeri Silvio Berlusconi esitti ehdotustaan teollisuusmaiden huippukokouksen G8:n yhteydessä Japanissa tilanteessa, jossa hän ennusti öljyn barrelihinnan nousevan jopa 200 dollariin.

Several of the architects of the Iraq War no longer even bother to deny that oil was a major motivator. On National Public Radio's To the Point, Fadhil Chalabi, one of the primary Iraqi advisers to the Bush Administration in the lead-up to the invasion, recently described the war as "a strategic move on the part of the United States of America and the UK to have a military presence in the Gulf in order to secure [oil] supplies in the future." Chalabi, who served as Iraq's oil under secretary and met with the oil majors before the invasion, described this as "a primary objective."

Invading countries to seize their natural resources is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. That means that the huge task of rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure--including its oil infrastructure--is the financial responsibility of Iraq's invaders. They should be forced to pay reparations. (Recall that Saddam Hussein's regime paid $9 billion to Kuwait in reparations for its 1990 invasion.) Instead, Iraq is being forced to sell 75 percent of its national patrimony to pay the bills for its own illegal invasion and occupation.

Food Price Shock: Genetic Modification or Starvation

Intimately connected to the price of oil is the global food crisis. Not only do high gas prices drive up food costs but the boom in agrofuels has blurred the line between food and fuel, pushing food growers off their land and encouraging rampant speculation. Several Latin American countries have been pushing to re-examine the push for agrofuels and to have food recognized as a human right, not a mere commodity. United States Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte has other ideas. In the same speech touting the US commitment to emergency food aid, he called on countries to lower their "export restrictions and high tariffs" and eliminate "barriers to use of innovative plant and animal production technologies, including biotechnology." This was an admittedly more subtle stickup, but the message was clear: impoverished countries had better crack open their agricultural markets to American products and genetically modified seeds, or they could risk having their aid cut off.

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