23 feb Oil & Food
The price of a barrel of crude oil is going up every day. The wells are, odly enough, exactly in those places where social unrest and protest against authoritarian regimes is strongest. Coincidence? What becomes clear is that the so called civilized world has been shamelessly dealing with cronies from Bahrein to Tripoli and from Algiers to Caracas. (Is the Venezuelan street the next stage of violent protest? I wouldn’t be surprized.) We, the rich countries, have closed our eyes and are now forced to open them for a new reality. Bit slow, bit false, bit embarassing.
Isn’t it dreadful to see how Italy, Turkey and other nations that have invested trillions in Libya are more worried about the end of their priviliged relation with the Qaddafi-clan than about the fate of the Libyan people? Oil, the curse for civilized behaviour! How convenient to hide behind barrels instead of denouncing political incorrectness long before the locals in the oil producing countries stand up. From oil to dictatorship to protest to chaos to transparency at last?
In the meantime the price of food is going up in about the same pace as the price of black gold (and inflation). Civil unrest in oil producing countries thus creates huge economical problems all over the world, which can lead to more social unrest in countries like China, India, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil. Yes, the upcoming economies, in which we seem to trust. But make children hungry and the parents’ instinct will beat the ratio. The West is worried about the influx of refugees from North Africa? About the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood? We should be worried about the global street power and its huge impact. Keep the price of bread low, make sure the crops are good, feed the people everywhere if you want a bit pof peace left…That is the priority of the EU, the UN, the US. Wake up in your air conditioned offices! Sponsor farmers wherever you can instead of loosing precious time at conferences on the health of pigs and the bonusses of bankers. Priority! Priority!