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Author Topic: East Timor - Should it build a future on oil?
Boinker
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Babbler # 664

posted 25 August 2003 11:05 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What I don't like about the plea that East Timor should get a big chunk of the offshore oil is not that they are likely getting ripped off by Australia. What I don't like is the odd duplicity of the left wing anti-imperialist argument. An economy based on the inflated and destructive oil industries breeds vicious despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other countries in similar situations that exploit resources for an elite ruling class.

The question that needs to be answered is how can we help sustainable development in poor countries like East Timor and protect their right to self determination?

Rabble Article

[ 27 August 2003: Message edited by: Boinker ]


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 25 August 2003 02:09 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, Norway has oil and it's hardly an oppressive dictatorship. The deal for East Timor is that it needs to be protected from the continuing ambitions of Indonesian generals and admirals, and assisted in setting up a proper, democratic government.

Even if oil is phased out as the source fuel for automobiles we still need it for all kinds of other chemical industries.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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Babbler # 2659

posted 25 August 2003 06:53 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An interesting book backing up Boinker's point is Petrotyranny by John Bacher, reviewed here.

On the other hand, i think it's a bit rich to suggest East Timor forego a possible source of revenue that could fund a decent welfare system and so forth, when it has that opportunity. It is not Saudi Arabia after all, there is no similar entrenched "elite ruling class" and East Timor's civil society is far larger and more empowered as the result of years of experience resisting unjust rule. NGOs are widespread and quite impressive. One with English-language information on the struggle for development with justice is
La'o Hamutuk (Tetum for Walking Together).


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 25 August 2003 09:54 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am trying to remember the fallacy that is going on here. Something about congruency and causation. Kind of like mini-skirts causing stock markets to take off.

Not a clear cut case here as there is a bit of the gold rush windfall profits that come with oil that by their nature get spread disproportionately throughout the community. Still, with the levelling effect of Australian credit spreading the money over a longer period, I think that there is quite the opportunity for this resource to be used for good.


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 26 August 2003 01:07 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Boinker:

quote:
An economy based on the inflated and destructive oil industries breeds vicious desotic regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other countries in similar situations that exploit resources for an elite ruling class.

Hey, why'd you leave Alberta off the list? Kind of sounds like Ralphberta to me.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 26 August 2003 01:22 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In a just world, of course, East Timor wouldn't need to be dependant on oil revenue alone. They would be awash in billions of dollars in reparations, to compensate for the appalling depredations they suffered under 24 years of genocidal occupation -- not just reparations from Indonesia (obviously) but also from the US, Canada, Britain, France, Australia and all the other countries that provided political, diplomatic and military support to the killers.

However, since this is not a just world, that ain't gonna happen. Reparations are restricted to defeated enemies of the West, like Iraq after Gulf War I.


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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Babbler # 664

posted 27 August 2003 03:33 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Hey, why'd you leave Alberta off the list? Kind of sounds like Ralphberta to me

Sorry, big oversight on my part.

What gets me about Alberta is the mentality of the electorate there. The oil reserves and the heritage fund (which were based on the reserves) were used to reduce the effect of the privatization of electricity in Alberta. This seems to me completely the opposite of good sense. Take public dollars to pay for the costs of developing an industry that costs the Albertan consumer more money!

Can the woman-in-the-street really be thinking clearly about all this?

Of course the men are abviously not that lucid either.

Perhaps they should give the vote to the cattle. They might have a little more interest in thinking independently than the average, Klein voting cowpoke out there...

Or maybe the elections in this oil rich province are actually "fixed" by the oil lobby...

I really don't know any other good explanation for the behavior...


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 28 August 2003 03:11 AM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I really don't know any other good explanation for the behavior...

Why not ask Canada's leading right-wing economist?


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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Babbler # 664

posted 28 August 2003 12:03 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
These economists - bourgoise economiosts - rationalize everything. There is no mathematical law that says a system that results in improved profits (i.e. more surplus labour value taken from Albertans) is incorrect or illogical. There is an entire class of professionals who think that only a small minority of the population have the capacity to govern in Alberta. Everyone else must listen to the experts and listen to their sermons the conventional wiisdom goes.

If I were an Albertan I wouldn't be listening to them. I don't listen to the garbage they publish in Ontario and in scholarly journals and think if people would just stop and think about it for a few minutes they would be able to see how badly we are being ripped off.

More:

Woody Harrelson, Now Magazine reports, lives in Hawaii in an ecologically friendly community powered by solar energy and living a Vegan lifestyle from local produce.

quote:
Harrelson is an all-organic vegan presently 28 days into a 30-day fast. He chuckles in Toronto, days after the blackout that paralyzed the northeast. Harrelson and his family live well off the grid in the Hawaiian forest with 40 other families in a community that has no power lines sticking into it and no sewers or water mains under its earth.


Lighter Footprints

Shouldn't we be developing an alternative engineering for "modernization" in East Timor?

I am very skeptical of the critics who say that we would be chauvanistic if we opposed a conventional development model in East Timor.

According to Wayne Roberts (in another article in Now) the Bush Regime is going to militate for massive increases in energy supply to offset the problems with blackouts and increased prices.

Here

Conservation works but where the major gains are to be made is in the areas of energy efficiency. Building "modern" communities from scratch in East Timor along these principles would be challenging but a tremendous boon to the succeeding generations of East Timorese when the oil runs out in 25 years or so...

How many windmills do we see atop of the big apartment buildings in Toronto or other metropolises where the winds blow strongly in summmer and winter?

East Timor Economy

[ 30 August 2003: Message edited by: Boinker ]


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 664

posted 23 November 2003 04:56 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always realize that if you think of something, for example a building linked to the grid but usuing fuel cell technology to stabilize its energy needs, it has already been thought of...

Well here us a quote from a recent Globe article illustrating this point...

quote:
I met him in New York last summer -- just after the August blackout -- and asked why the Condé Nast building in Times Square, which generates a majority of its power from on-site fuel cells, was not a glowing beacon during our spell of darkness. Alas, as the building's owners told The New York Times, their agreement with Con Ed required them to turn off the cells in the event of a power failure, ostensibly to protect utility workers.

Can you believe the crazy world we live in?

Ken Wiwa


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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