Tuesday, November 01, 2016

USA: Protester imod forvaltning af naturreservater behandles forskelligt

De amerikanske myndigheders reaktion på demonstrationer og aktivisme kan være vidt forskellige. To nylige eksempler ridser forskellene op i skarp kontrast.

Eksempel 1: Bundy-brødrenes besættelse af et naturreservat

I januar 2016 besatte en gruppe svært bevæbnede, hvide mænd iklædt skudsikre veste, camouflagetøj og cowboyhatte Malheur National Wildlife Refuge i Oregon, USA. De ville protestere imod blandt andet fredningen og gebyrer for at avle kvæg i området. Imens besættelsen stod på kunne de ansatte i naturreservatet ikke passe deres jobs, men Bundy-brødrene kunne modtage post, mad og forsyninger. Samt bolldoze den lokale indianerstammes helligdom. Besættelsen varede i 40 dage, og kostede en militsmand livet. Under retssagen ødelagde medlemmer af gruppen endnu en indiansk helligdom. Oktober 2016 blev de to ledere af besættelsesaktionen frikendt.

Eksempel 2: Sioux-stammens protest imod et olierør

Ingen vil have Bakken-olierørledningen igennem sit eget nabolag, så den bliver lagt gennem et reservat. Igennem gravpladser og økologisk sårbare områder. Aktivister fra Sioux-stammen arrangerer ubevæbnede protester ved at slå lejr i rørledningens planlagte forløb og tweete #NoDAPL. De er blevet skubbet af vejen ved hjælp af pansrede mandskabsvogne, tåregas og knippelsuppe. De bliver i skrivende stund anholdt for optøjer og holdt fanget i tremmebure.




Pensioneret dommer Steve Russell har skrevet en klumme om netop denne forskel i håndteringen af Bundy-brødrene og Sioux-aktivisterne. Han og Kieran Suckling fra Center for Biological Diversity har udtalt sig til Democracy Now!





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Chilcot-rapport: Irak-krigen handlede om olie

Chilcot-rapporten, der evaluerer Storbritanniens deltagelse i invasionen og besættelsen af Irak, afslører, at olie spillede en vigtig rolle for briterne. Og at briterne og amerikanerne udkæmpede en diplomatisk kamp om olien.

"Det ville være upassende for den britiske regering at indgå i diskussioner om fremtidig fordeling af Iraks olieindustri," sagde Sir David Manning, Tony Blairs udenrigspolitiske rådgiver, til Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bushs nationale sikkerhedsrådgiver, december 2002, "ikke desto mindre er det essentielt at britiske virksomheder får adgang til denne og andre sektorer på lige vilkår med amerikanske."

Allerede to måneder før invasionen mødtes den britiske regering med olieselskaberne BP og Shell, for at forberede deres kommende forretninger. Og til et møde mellem USA og Storbritanniens forsvarsministre, Donald Rumsfeld og Geoff Hoon, i 2003 havde sidstnævnte ligelig adgang til Iraks olie i på dagsordenen. I et notat fra september 2004 skriver embedsmænd om britiske virksomheders potentiale for "substantielle olieforretninger i de næste fem til ti år".

BP og Shell vandt nogle irakiske oliekontrakter ved auktioner mod blandt andet russiske og kinesiske firmaer, men briterne følte sig alligevel forfordelt. Således mødtes Edward Chaplin, Storbritanniens ambassadør i det besatte Irak, i december 2004 med Iraks premierminister Ayad Allawi for at tale BP og Shells sag. Irakiske embedsmænd gav udtryk for, de britiske virksomheder ikke udviste samme dedikation som andre landes olievirksomheder. BP og Shell har tilsyneladende afventet vedtagelse af en ny irakisk grundlov.

"Vi fik ikke noget som helst i oliesektoren," beskrev tidligere FN-ambassadør Sir Jeremy Q. Greenstock de britiske frustrationer til Chilcot-kommissionen, "besættelsesadministrationen holdt det på amerikanske hænder, for de ville selv styre oliesektoren."

Kilder: The Guardian / US and Britain wrangled over Iraq's oil in aftermath of war, Chilcot shows, Bloomberg / Iraq Inquiry Shows Oil Was a Consideration for U.K. Before War.



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Surprise: Few wars are primarily about oil

The Washington Post recently published Oil wars: Why nations aren’t battling over resources by Emily Meierding. Does this article remove the entire foundation of this blog and the book I made of it?

Pointing at "invasion costs, occupation costs, international costs and investment costs", Emily Meierding says oil wars are just not worth fighting. With reference to The Falklands War (1982), The Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the Kuwait war (1990) and other wars, she argues these historical examples were about national pride, territory and Saddam Hussein's survival respectively. Similar alternative explanations for other wars.

So, why am I bookmarking this article? And why didn't I immediately delete my blog and forget about this whole thing?

Firstly, I have always bookmarked the opposing point of view. Go through my history of hundreds of ecowar bookmarks, and you will find plenty. Also see the beginning of chapter 4 (pages 74-) and the Objections part of chapter 6 (pages 123-) of my book, Ecowar - Natural Resources and Conflict.

Secondly, although Emily Meierding's headline says "nations aren't battling over resources", I don't think she really proves this statement in her text. What she does convincingly argue, is that in the cases she mentions, oil wasn't the primary causes of the conflict. To get academic about it, for each war one should list its causes and rate them in primary, secondary and even tertiary. I am guilty of having more or less skipped this discipline. But that doesn't mean conflicts with natural resources as their secondary causes aren't resource conflicts at all. For a very brief discussion of this, see the first chapter of my book or look up the works of some of the leading scholars.

What is also interesting about Emily Meierding's article, is how the discussion has gone full circle. When I first set out researching, claiming most wars were resource wars was taboo. While I wrote up the book, that changed (pages 126-128). Apparently, now it is quite main stream to associate natural resources with conflict. And what have we: An up and coming scholar seeking to prove things to be the other way around. Isn't that what we all want to achieve?



Saturday, May 07, 2016

Food Security and Conflict - speech and debate

Food Security and Conflict debate by Food Tank. Keynote speaker: David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.
"The main concentration of world hunger now is in countries that are struggling with conflict."




Saturday, January 16, 2016

Read "THE OUTLAW OCEAN" series on New York Times

Check out New York Times' six part series about the medevial conditions on the high seas.
In this series on lawlessness on the high seas, Ian Urbina reveals that crime and violence in international waters often goes unpunished.
In particular, ‘SEA SLAVES’: THE HUMAN MISERY THAT FEEDS PETS AND LIVESTOCK reports of slavery-like working conditions onboard.
“Life at sea is cheap,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division. “And conditions out there keep getting worse.”
And A RENEGADE TRAWLER, HUNTED FOR 10,000 MILES BY VIGILANTES of poaching and vigilantism!
Industrial-scale violators of fishing bans and protected areas are a main reason more than half of the world’s major fishing grounds have been depleted and by some estimates over 90 percent of the ocean’s large fish like marlin, tuna and swordfish have vanished. [...] Illegal fishing is a global business estimated at $10 billion in annual sales, and one that is thriving as improved technology has enabled fishing vessels to plunder the oceans with greater efficiency.



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