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Oil, Terrorism and Technology

By       Message Michael Dibiaezue       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Fareed Zakaria, while working at Newsweek as a columnist, once wrote,
bringing his impressions to bold relief, by simulating a broadcast by
President George W. Bush, which said "It is now possible to build cars that
are powered by a combination of electricity and alcohol-based fuel with
petroleum as only one element among many. My administration is going to
put in place a series of policies that will ensure that in four years,
the average new American car will get 300 miles per gallon of petroleum.
This revolution in energy will reduce dramatically our dependence on
foreign oil."

The West is doing every thing in its power to
achieve this and their intentions are not for altruistic reasons. The
euphoria for hybrid technology hides a joyful wickedness to open up the
oil wells of weaker nations for uses, industrial and technological, that
put all of us at great risk. There are no sustainable alternatives
to oil and they know this, except cheap oil. There are no alternatives
to the businesses, income and employment it generates and whereas
substitutes can be found for oil, this will impose extreme economic
dislocations that far outstrip the benefits to be gained by it.

From exploration, lifting, transportation,
refining, distribution, manufacture and marketing, the profits and
income from oil, and its accessories which include fraud, sabotage,
theft, security, espionage, maintenance, are phenomenal and perhaps
unknown. Oil sustains global economy, from shoe polish to paints,
plastics to pipes, pesticides to fertilizers, carbon to optics fibers,
automotive sustenance, computers, medicine, agriculture, chemicals, and
even into space, it is all about hydrocarbon and technology. It is
endless and its presence is like air. It is this fusion that feeds a new
desperation to conserve oil.

Most transports, marine ventures, heating and even long winters are considered a drain on industrial
economies and their technological potential. They believe these
consumptions burn up global reserves and are wasteful, making costs
unbearable, in the face of applicable substitutes and incredible profits
from technology. There is no doubt that modern technology has displaced
petroleum products as the West's best seller. The concern for
industrialized nations therefore, is that hydrocarbon, which now powers
modern technology and their well-being, is still being burnt as
petroleum products at alarming rates that would leave their new-found
economic power in the lurch.

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Societies are pampered into
addiction by the luxuries and comfort oil maintain, severely reducing
the quantum that should be globally available for generating income and
profits through technology for the West, and at a hundred times the rate
and distance at which petroleum products do. Reduction of global oil
consumption in comfort zones; home, leisure, transport and luxury,
converts into a huge availability that knocks the bottom off oil prices.
The West's feeling is that unwanted consumption makes oil a seller's
market and that its curtailment would reduce dependency and the
desperation for it. These considerations now compel policies by leading
industrialized nations, covertly, which support the high price of
petroleum products and pump price, to discourage such tendencies and
create interest in alternative sources.

High prices, for the
West, are one way to recoup income from unwanted consumption and another
way of making the cost of such use felt. It is the price we pay to burn
fuel or for depriving them of its industrial and technological uses.
Reduction in global oil consumption will bring these uses to frantic
levels and above-surface reserves supplemented in continuance of supply.
Oil blocks in producer-nations will be bought and left idle due to
technology's slow intake, unemployment will rise and these governments
will be cash-strapped and desperate as more oil, securing loans at
cut-throat interest, are obtained.

The search for alternatives to
fuel-driven cars, and lately the pursuit for ethanol fuel, is from this desperation to make oil more available
for technology. The advent of modern technology, with its exceptional
profit and applications, has renewed Western dependence on hydrocarbon, and its
profitability is next to none in all history. Technology's calibrated,
slow and precise use of hydrocarbon to do this makes its industrial
longevity irresistible. The real factor that excites the West about
hybrid and electric cars, and this endeavor continues in several other
areas, is the hope that it will cut global oil consumption unusually, to
obtain cheap oil. Green effects of hybrid technology do not impress
the West but are strong arguments that facilitate this intent. If they did,
the West would apply the same resources and more, devoted to hybrid
technology, into containing industrial and technological pollutions. A
comparative analysis of the impact of automotive traffic and emissions
with modern technology on our environment mirrors an inverted priority.

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This
diversionary focus on fuel-dependent cars as global guzzlers and
pollutants masks the frightful extent of Western industrial and
technological pollutions. Technology can be many times more calamitous
and unexpected than warfare. Nuclear tests, accidents and exposures,
petrochemical combustion, emissions and flares, chlorofluorocarbon,
halons, toxic and radio-active wastes and materials are the world's most
potent pollutants that poison our planet and cause green house effects.
There are other consequences, like technological errors that produce
poison as multivitamins or cyanide for oxygen and today, it has
reinvented terror as we live under nuclear, biological and chemical
threats. Nuclear bombs transverse the globe as briefcases and a single
drop of some chemical or lab-grown virus can poison or kill thousands of
people.

These situations are made possible by technology, which
enables the easy access of materials and formulas that evolve
destructive passions, through the internet and others. Technology is now a
terrorist tool that ensures concealment, weaponry deployment and
finance. Terrorism can only be a technological pollutant because what
pollutants do is to kill with rampant abandon. What use are
technological goodies in the face of today's nuclear, biological and
chemical tendencies? The argument that technology's good points overrun
the bad ones is unnatural against these propensities.

Nothing
compares to industrial and technological pollutions that have left a
ceiling of smog and uncertainty from Europe to the Americas and all over
Asia. A good example at hand is the recent Gulf of Mexico disaster which full impact on ecology, marine life, ocean current and cycles, and our environment and planetary system is yet to be ascertained. As the epidemic spreads, industries are moved to less developed
nations, under various economic guises, reducing pollutants and risks in
these developed countries and transferring them to such nations.
Industrial and toxic wastes, such as the West produce, are most times
irreversible and irreducible. Nuclear reactor accidents, detonations,
toxic and radio-active exposure where they occur, are known to leave
citizens stranded and cities uninhabitable for as long as fifty years!

More
oil for industrialized nations mean increased pollutions, global
degradation, industrial accidents, terrorism and blue-print theft by
rogue states. Once technological information and pollutants are
acquired, they cannot be switched off but remain intellectual property
that can exert excusable extremes. Technology bears huge cost that kill
profit to enslave us. We will pay for its use, proliferation, demands, accidents, abuses
and excesses as even its speed and lack of borders impede or prolong
detection. Its universality will fuse international
jurisprudence and governments into a new order and we will pay to
police virtual reality. Privacy and liberty will wither as we slave for
technology, but the force majeure may yet be sudden death with a big
bang!

But there is more to the price that has to be paid for cheap oil. My country, Nigeria, is an example of a nation that has gone cap-in-hand to the IMF begging for debt cancellation. Consider, that for fifty years since my country attained independence, thirty of those years had been occupied by military regimes that never had the mandate of my people to govern over them. Also consider, that agreements entered into by these juntas have been held to be binding on democratic dispensations elected and brought to power by Nigerians. The very premise of begging for debt cancellation, given these anomalies, is wrong,
especially for Nigeria. It is atrocious for any government or
institution sustained by democratic fiat to provide funds that
strengthen tyranny and dictatorship.

The question these governments and
institutions ought to answer is to whom did they give their money? What
business did they have giving money and aid to military dictatorships
and accepting their patronage? Surely, whatever business they had was
with some military junta and not the Nigerian people. They paid out
their coffers to what was clearly, and to the democratic world, an
illegitimate regime that held us hostage with guns. They ought to have
known better not to give such loans to pariah regimes, and the most
ridiculous thing that can be added to this, is to pass such debt to a incoming democratic government, as if there was nothing to be
ashamed of.

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To front multinational financial institutions as debt
collectors is coercive fraud and to pay them is democratic political
betrayal. The Nigerian people did not have a say in it and know nothing
about such transactions, and the West should not expect that our
cherished resources will pay for their indiscretions. It is perplexing
that some Western governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars
removing illegitimate governments all over the world and still, loan
money to some, dubiously, because technology pressures them for a
continual supply of these nations' vital resources. This conduct is the
violent rape of a producer-nation and its people that directly assaults
our being as this glue of financial entrapment sets and strengthens,
holding down the progress of these producer-nations.

Loans are
taken and secured by recipient nations with their vital resources, as
more loans are pursued to discharge interest due on them. It is a
vicious cycle designed to make any nation prostrate, as precious
resources are made easy picking for industrial nations. To argue that
such loans were given to relieve pressures of sanction or keep us
breathing while they figured out what to do with illegitimate regimes, if not patronizing, is at
best humanitarian. It crucifies to bait such profit from anyone's
misfortune. The US National Intelligence Council report was found
wanting on the impact of such entrapment for sub-Saharan Africa's
future.

If freedom is truly on the march around the world, and
that indeed African countries deserve peace and prosperity, then illegal
governments along with the commitments they make must be forbidden and
disowned. It is not about debt forgiveness or relief but its denial, and
bad deals that exhibit poor judgment and the callous disregard for an
oppressed people. The West cannot eat their cake and have it; it cannot
claim to be the flagship of democracy and yet, disrupt its realization.
Debt denial is about the essence and decency of community; progress, prosperity, fairness,
peace and the sense of justice that permit us to live as free citizens
of one global democratic society.

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A Nigerian petrochemical Engineer devoted to the Humanities and the politics of the downtrodden. Have over the years published several articles about the petrochemical industry and I am currently awaiting the publication of my first book; The Hybrid (more...)
 

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