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Blair hypocrisy over nukiller power

world power play | 14.01.2006 15:10 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Technology | London

On his whistle stop visit to Nottingham today, Blair is moving forward in paving the way for new nuclear power station in the UK. He is acutely aware that the UK is in a dire position with it's coal industry dismantled and it's north sea oil and gas reserves in decline having been exported for a quick buck around the world. Now, the choice is to either invest big time in tried and tested renewables such as wind and solar, along with developing tidal and energy conservation technologies... or just bung up another few dozen nuclear power stations and leave the problems to future generations.

Meanwhile, Iran is seeking to establish it's own nuclear power plants and Blair is joining Bush in nashing their teeth and threatening some kind of action to stop them obtaining the technology.

Blair would like us to think it's about stopping Iran getting the technology that could led them to obtain nuclear weapons. Perhaps that is Irans goal, although today the Irans president yesterday stated that they don't need nuclear weapons, he said only countries that see force as an answer to any problem require such weapons, I wonder who he might be talking about...

Of course both the UK and the US have plenty of nuclear weapons and are infact still involved in developing new battlefield nukes - despite their alleged commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. These new 'mini' nukes will enable them to actually be used in real modern resource wars - unlike the big city killers of the cold war era. And which country do you think they have in their sights?

Is all this noise over Iran really about their desire for nuclear power and if so, do we have a leg to stand on when the UK government is also hoping to build more nuclear power stations? Is the noise over Iran because of their desire to see Israel removed from it's illegal squat on Arab lands? Maybe so. Or maybe it's got more in common with the reasons that Iraq was invaded... no not WMD... oil.

Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer and holds 10% of the world's proven oil reserves. It also has the world's second largest natural gas reserves (after Russia). In March this year Iran plans to launch in a new International Oil exchange (which they call a Bourse). Worldwide, oil is priced and traded in dollars but the new middle eastern oil exchange will operate in euros. This attempt to rebalance trading relationships in the world economy may trigger a series of far reaching consequences for the US economy with it's record trade deficit.

Even without the petrodollar issue, Iran is a theat to the US. Most of it's oil and gas exports go to europe, russia, india and china - all economic rivals to the US. China is the worlds fastest growing economy and the US would dearly love to have a stronger foothold in the middle east in order to have greater control of the reserves going to it's competitors. The US and UK have both said they wouldn't rule out military action to bring Iran into line and are currently seeking UN sanctions on the 'rouge nation'. However, any actions against Iran would see disruption to oil supplies with the predicated effect of pushing world prices up to around $100 dollars a barrel - not good for the US economy or it's already massive debts!

Europe itself is panicking this month after the artificial gas crisis last month when russia turned off pipelines to the Ukraine. Gas prices are at their highest ever and while peak global production isn't set to peak until perhaps five or ten years after oil, the demand for gas is increasing and will increase faster as oil prices destabalise further.

Today Austria put the EU’s energy security at the top of the agenda with Vienna taking presidency of the bloc. Josef Pröll, Austrian Agriculture Minister and president of the EU’s Agriculture Council, told the press that the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine had made one thing very clear: the EU must act to reduce its dependence on fossil energy sources. We all know where this is leading don't we.. yes, more fuel for Blairs push for additional nuclear power stations.

Perhaps nuclear is the answer (and if Blair is right, does that make his attempts to stop Iran having nuclear power even more hypocritical?). One thing is for sure, with oil fields around the world reaching their peak outputs and demand increasing rapidly from developing economies such as china and india, there is increasing need to diversify energy source rapidly or face a massive economic depression when oil prices become punitive. The age of cheap energy is over and with our civilisation having grown totally dependent on it over the last 100 years we must act quickly to ween ourselves off petroleum or face dire consequences.

[Want to find out more about peak oil and it's implications? A grassroot gathering to look at the issues and action we can take is being organised for next month in London. Email rampart AT mutualaid DOT org if you would like to attend or have ideas and suggestions and would like to help to make the event happen.]

world power play


Display the following 6 comments

  1. Obviously — sceptic
  2. Reply to troll — (oops, don't feed the trolls)
  3. Well, there are two (no, three) answers to that — sceptic
  4. Fair Is fair — ...
  5. The west has been reducing its nuclear arsenal for years! — Concerned
  6. Coverage of nuclear PR and lobbying — nuclear? no thanks