Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Geo-Green Alternative

I gotta say I stand with Tom Friedman and his idea of "geo-greens":

Yes, there is an alternative to the Euro-wimps and the neocons, and it is the "geo-greens." I am a geo-green. The geo-greens believe that, going forward, if we put all our focus on reducing the price of oil - by conservation, by developing renewable and alternative energies and by expanding nuclear power - we will force more reform than by any other strategy. You give me $18-a-barrel oil and I will give you political and economic reform from Algeria to Iran. All these regimes have huge population bubbles and too few jobs. They make up the gap with oil revenues. Shrink the oil revenue and they will have to open up their economies and their schools and liberate their women so that their people can compete. It is that simple.
But I am not sure how you get to $18/barrel oil. And can you be a geo-green if you are a frequent flyer who use oil to travel around the globe, Mr Friedman? (See my previous post on Frequent Flyer Environmentalists)

Also I don't understand how Friedman can so clearly see how oil money leads to backwards countries and yet believe that Iraq, with the second largest oil reserves in the world, can become a pluralistic democracy.

As Jack Handy so eloquently put it: "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."

After the elections in Iraq this weekend this weekend everyone was talking about how this was the first free election in 40(?) years. Which made me think, hmm these guys have had free elections before? How did they get from there to Saddam Husein? And why won't we see it again?

The way I see it is that the people of Iraq will elect a bunch of leaders. Sooner or later the leaders will figure out it is a lot easier to get your power from the oil money than it is from the people. So you slowly become less democratic, you remove the independence of the press, you take the oil industries back from the private owners, well basically you do everything Putin is doing in Russia. And then bam you are back to a dictatorship.

Everyone talks about the insurgents being Jihadists and ex-Baathists. What about the thugs that just want control of the oil money? I don't understand how many Americans believe that the US went into Iraq for the oil, but will not attribute oil lust as the motivation of any of the insurgents.

My prediction: Afghanistan will have a more democratic country 20 years from now than Iraq.

Mr Bush a little free advice, the next time we go about spreading freedom can we do it somewhere without oil? Afghanistan fine. North Korea fine. But lets not go for Iran.

via New York Times

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