Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The fight over resources

For every day the neo-liberal myth, that there is simply no shortages of resources is exposed as a scam. They say that human creativity is the limit for economic growth, or rather that human creativity means that there will be no limits. And because there are no limits, and an abundance, there is no connection between some peoples' enormous use of resources and others poverty. There is nothing such as "over-consumption". on the contrary, by consuming more we help the poor.

The Three Gorges Dam in Xiling, Hubei province, China. Photographer: Olli Geibel/AFP/Getty Images

Today we can read that China has to make the tough choice between using water in the Three Gorges Dam for irrigation of food crops or for energy.
The Three Gorges Dam will discharge enough water to fill 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools by June 10, according to a government statement. Lower water levels on the 6,264-kilometer (3,915-mile) river may increase China’s oil demand by 300,000 barrels a day to make up for lost hydropower generation, Barclays Capital said last week.
This is a very vivid illustration of that shortages of resources will be a permanent feature in the future. 
And it also shows that when a resource is used for one purpose it is withdrawn from some other place, something that is self-evident for everybody except a special breed of humans that have total faith in the market and technology to solve all problems.  In a "free" market economy a choice like this is simple. Has the potential energy in the water a higher market price than the food that is produced; well use it for energy production and let people starve. This is just another version of the debate around bio-energy....

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