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Posts Tagged ‘Copenhagen’

The G20 lacks legitimacy

Obama's media management 

The spirit of the Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world, has no place in the contemporary international community. The G20 is sorely lacking in legitimacy and must change. 

A number of countries that have been central to international cooperation in the past, including Norway and the Nordic countries, are excluded from direct membership. Low-income countries and the continent of Africa are almost entirely without the needed representation. 

As the response to the financial crisis showed, there is value in having an effective, smaller forum of nations, equipped to act quickly when necessary. But, within that framework, there are simple ways to make the G20 more representative of the world it influences. (via The G20 lacks legitimacy). 

It is every man for himself

Caught in a vicious downward spiral, Europe is at a loss. Britain is moaning about the demise of its special relationship with the USA. Sarkozy is off to the US, to mend fences with the Americans. At Copenhagen, while the BASIC countries were negotiating a ‘deal’ with the USA, European countries were sitting out. Waiting for the Big Boys to finish their talks. Japan, China, Korea – along with the USA and India are meeting at Seoul in June to create a strategic oil reserve, against possible supply shocks. To be shuttered out like this, is an unfamiliar experience to Europe. 

The Norwegian appeal for inclusion in G20 is to be seen in light of the above reality. 

That man with a tan – Obama

Obama has been stressing that EU needs to get its act together and speak in a common voice. The days when 6-12 European countries walked onto centre-stage, are over, seemingly. And Norway is one such victim of the changed circumstances. 

The Greek crisis is stressing the weak links between European States. A ‘suspected’ withdrawal by Germany from the EMU would devastate Europe – and EU. Should the EU collapse, the Nordic countries would be shut out from many global forum. 

And it is this fear that fuels Norway’s plea for G20 membership!. 

In the doghouse

After a Nobel .. a grateful Obama was the least that Europe expected ...

After a Nobel .. a grateful Obama was the least that Europe expected ...

 

But it was not Obama who put European principalities (Norway, ruled by a king, is too small to be called country) in the doghouse. It started when George Bush railroaded Europe into Iraq and Afghanistan. And excluded the habitual European attendees from G20 – like Norway. 

On Dec 10th, 2009, President Barack Obama landed in Oslo, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize – an annual ‘price’ that is 

“decided by a secretive five-strong committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament. All current members are former politicians drawn from Norway’s four biggest parties. It is chaired by Thorbjørn Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister.” 

It was noted that

“Worldwide astonishment greeted the decision yesterday to give Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. The U.S. President has been in office for less than nine months, has yet to score a major foreign policy success. He had not even known he was among the record 205 nominations. The deadline for submitting candidates had come just 12 days after he entered the White House.” 

At the airport, he was welcomed by the “Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Kaci Kullmann Five, deputy chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.” In his acceptance speech, Obama admitted that maybe there were “more deserving” candidates. Was the Nobel price in anticipation of a Nordic inclusion in G20? For turning a more benign American eye towards Europe? 

Norway raised its claim for G20 membership, the Financial Times wrote 

a month before Barack Obama, the US president, visits Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  Jonas Gahr Store proposed that members of the Nordic Council – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – could share a rotating seat together with the Baltic states and possibly Poland. 

Spain and the Netherlands have managed to secure invitations to all three summits since the financial crisis without being official members. But others such as Poland, Belgium and the Nordic countries have been excluded. 

So much for Norway’s Nobel price. 

The legitimacy of G20

Jonas Gahr Støre is stressing about the ‘legitimacy’ of the G20 group. If the G20 is indeed illegitimate, then in that case, Shri Støre, you should ask for disbanding the G20! Not make a desperate plea for inclusion into the G20. Will an illegitimate forum become legitimate by Nordic Norway’s inclusion? 

That reminds me. Norway was one of the ‘moving’ spirits’ behind the Copenhagen Circus on climate change. This Copenhagen Circus sought to impose a rule of Western NGOs on poor countries of the world.  Faceless NGOs, without accountability to anyone, were able to bring global political leadership, to the very brink of an agreement. How legitimate was that Shri Støre? 

Støre’s logic somehow escapes me. 

Norway- One Great Power

Media is falling over themselves - courting Obama

Media is falling over themselves - courting Obama

 

Shri Støre invokes the hoary spirit of the “Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world” . Now, by what logic do ‘Great Powers’ derive legitimacy to govern the world? By Norway’s inclusion? 

Shri Jonas Gahr Støre has sent out copies of the same PR material, to Malaysia (published in the New Straits Times), in Canada (published in the Ottawa Citizen), and in the (as per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway) in The Straits Times (Manila, the Philippines), 6 April 2010 – Al Hayat, 7 April 2010. 

Norway’s economy

God has been kind to Norway! Instead of thanking God for His kindness, for underground  wealth – and for natural beauty above the ground. Instead, Norway wants to be ‘recognized’ as a ‘Great Power’! 

Norway’s claim to fame is oil. Some 12%-15% of Norway’s  GDP is oil. A significant part of Norway’s wealth is “raw products mined and processed in Norway include iron ore, lead concentrates, titanium, iron pyrites, coal, zinc, and copper.” Is Norway’s claim to be a ‘Great Power” based on something buried underground! 

15% of Norway’s GDP is Tourism! With more than 1,1oo hotels and nearly 1,000 registered campsites, with picturesque coastline and fjords plus a number of well-known ski resorts. By the way, Norway’s population is about 45 lakhs – 4.5 million. 

Manufacturing accounts for an awesome, jaw-dropping 1 percent of Norway’s annual GDP. 

The world must listen to

Norway’s population is lesser than Haiti! If there is one country that the world needs to hear clearly and audibly, it is Haiti. Compared to Norway, Haiti has a far superior claim to be a Great Power. Single-handedly responsible for forcing the West to abandon slavery, Haiti has been a victim of Western vindictiveness. It is time that the world listened to Haiti. And for Norway to keep quiet! 

And be grateful to God!

India, US and China consider joint strategic crude oil response – Money Matters – livemint.com

Big Oil is way to big to be managed by a few meetings in Seoul ... But

Big Oil is way too big to be managed by a few meetings in Seoul ... But

To protect themselves against disruptions in crude oil supplies, India, Japan, China, South Korea and the US will meet in June in Seoul to work on a joint response mechanism based on their combined strategic crude oil reserves. The five nations together account for 44% of global demand.Strategic crude oil reserves are a country’s answer to counter short-term supply disruptions. They are state-funded and meant to tackle emergency situations. (via India, US and China consider joint strategic crude oil response – Money Matters – livemint.com).

So quietly

A rather sudden development – and not widely reported, at that. Much trawling over the internet could not find any other reports on this meeting – except this one report in Livemint, linked above. It appears that this meeting in Seoul, is a follow-on meeting to the one that China proposed and hosted in 2006.

Energy security has long been an issue with China – which seems to have influenced its foreign policy strongly. Korea has long  been working on energy security with Middle East producers. India has worked on some oil storage plans with foreign investments.

Considering the low-output since the China confab, nearly four years ago, in the short run, there is little scope for any tangible outcome from the Seoul conclave. Developments if any, will only be long-term in nature – and will need significant co-ordination in oil exploration, shipping, storage, and transportation. But what it does, is establish an Asian forum for Asia’s big economies to coördinate policy.

Not a bad idea at all.

Korea-India

Oil prices and uncertainty could derail economies

Oil prices and uncertainty could derail economies

This meeting has quite some background. With the changing power equations in Asia, Korea finds itself in a difficult situation. For historical reasons, they cannot see themselves being very close to Japan (bad memories of Japanese occupation) or China (China’s support for North Korea, hegemonic designs of China, etc.).

On the other hand, the Korean experience in India has been positive. Korean brands like Hyundai, Samsung and LG have done exceedingly well in India, Unlike Chinese brands, Korean products have been received warmly by Indians. Indian prowess in design, R&D, software, also complement Korean manufacturing, global scales and plans. Korea and India have signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in August, 2009.

In India, Korea is seen as a rare, non-threatening, non-exploitative industrial-economy player.

USA-Europe-Asia

It was at Copenhagen, that for the first time, Europe realized that they no longer have the inside track with the USA. At least Obama’s administration. The ‘special relationship’ that swells the British chest has been under some strain – for some time now. The US engagement with Asia makes some sense – as it is Asia which has extended nearly US$3-4 trillion in credit, growth opportunities to the US. Europe increasingly seems more like a liability – and a truculent competitor.

The US presumably knows which side of their bread is buttered.

China-India

Post-Copenhagen, a grateful China has been effusive towards India – at least temporarily. The Chinese press did a roundel for 60 years of India-China diplomatic relationship. With this we have a round-up of the entire scenario. The sentiment and motivation are thick enough to cut with even a blunt knife.

This time around.

Straw in the wind and reading tea leaves

The current Great Recession is forcing Europe to rethink many of its assumptions and move out of its comfort zone.

After a Nobel .. a grateful Obama was the least that Europe expected ...

After a Nobel .. a grateful Obama was the least that Europe expected …

Coming to terms

After much hand-wringing, chest thumping, indignation, there is the ‘the truth dawns’ moment.

Long used to effortless Anglo-Saxon collaboration with the US, Britain is lost in trying to define and prepare itself for this change.

stepping into a Blockbuster video shop, I found myself walking past aisle after aisle of Hollywood movies. Then I came across a tiny section labelled “foreign”, which contained about a dozen European films. Either Hollywood’s hegemony was such that the US was no longer perceived as another country, or Blockbuster had adopted the US definition of foreign and imported it 4,000 miles into the UK. The same confusion governs this country’s defence policy. The other side of the Channel is forrin. The other side of the Atlantic isn’t. (via Only America can end Britain’s Trident folly).

The change in calculus

Instinctively, and habitually, Britain rejected the French offer to share costs, control, benefits of its nuclear patrol – turning down benefits of a US$ ‘x’ billions.

Last week the government slapped down a French offer to reduce the costs of our submarine patrols by taking turns to prowl the same seas rather than duplicating the effort and occasionally crashing into each other. This proposal, it said, would cause “outrage”, on the grounds that it’s an unacceptable erosion of sovereignty. Using a system leased from the United States, on the other hand, presents no such difficulty. When the government says our sovereignty is threatened, it means that another nation might disrupt the orders it receives from Washington.

At Copenhagen, the British and the Euro-zone were in for a rude shock. The US ploy of Obama+BASIC meeting, ensured that the “only breakthrough was the political coup for China and India in concluding the anodyne communiqué with the United States behind closed doors, with Brazil and South Africa allowed in the room and Europe left to languish in the cold outside.”

At Pittsburgh G-20 Summit, it was reported that Barack Obama refused a meeting with Gordon Brown, five times. The worst for the US-Britain ‘special relationship’ was the day when Paris Hilton made Gordon Ramsay the British Prime Minister. Long smarting under the label of US poodles, British MPs reacted. With so much happening, a report from a group of British MPs followed. It called for a review of ‘special relationship’ with the USA.

There is an excruciating ritual that dates back at least to Thatcher: lobby journalists accompanying her on a trip to Washington would ask the president of the day or his officials about the “special relationship”. Briefed in advance by the British embassy or US state department about this peculiar cultural tic, the Americans would happily confirm it was still in place. It did not cost them anything. To this day, any deviation is treated by the British media as a snub.

Fluid world, unprepared Europe

Fluid world, unprepared Europe

Europeans in general themselves seem to have a high regard for Barack Obama.

U.S. President Barack Obama is so beloved in Europe that he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (which he later won) just 12 days after taking office for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.” A Pew survey this summer found that 93 percent of Germans, 91 percent of French people, and 86 percent of Brits believed Obama “will do the right thing in world affairs,” a stunning turnaround from their views on the last administration. Yet, this perception belies the reality that Obama has done much less for Europe than his predecessor.

The Wall Street Journal had some interesting anecdotes about Obama’s approach to Europe and Britain.

It is alleged that his paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s, when it was controlled by Britain.

Soon after his inauguration, he sent back to the U.K. a bust of Sir Winston Churchill that had been loaned to President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. The sculpture had enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office.

There is also an important ideological reason that Britain’s leading policy makers find themselves increasingly shunned by the U.S. Key foreign-policy advisers to Mr. Obama are keen advocates of a federal Europe, one in which the European Commission based in Brussels is the main center of power and influence, rather than the individual capitals, such as London, Paris and Berlin. In this context, Britain’s dogged attachment to a “special relationship” with America is regarded as an embarrassing relic of a previous era.

Before taking office Mr. Gordon wrote that America should “support the European project” and warned that Britain’s historic resistance to closer European integration could seriously damage London’s standing in Washington. “Fully in Europe, Britain has every chance to remain America’s preferred and privileged partner,” he said. “Marginalized from the EU [European Union], Britain could find itself less influential in Washington as well.”

Wobbling orbit

Across the world, there is yet another ripple. Was the Euro a bad idea? Paul Krugman, a weather-vane of US status-quo thinking says,

Long before the euro came into being, economists warned that Europe wasn’t ready for a single currency. But these warnings were ignored, and the crisis came.

Now what? A breakup of the euro is very nearly unthinkable, as a sheer matter of practicality. As Berkeley’s Barry Eichengreen puts it, an attempt to reintroduce a national currency would trigger “the mother of all financial crises.” So the only way out is forward: to make the euro work, Europe needs to move much further toward political union, so that European nations start to function more like American states.

But that’s not going to happen anytime soon. What we’ll probably see over the next few years is a painful process of muddling through: bailouts accompanied by demands for savage austerity, all against a background of very high unemployment, perpetuated by the grinding deflation I already mentioned.

It’s an ugly picture. But it’s important to understand the nature of Europe’s fatal flaw. Yes, some governments were irresponsible; but the fundamental problem was hubris, the arrogant belief that Europe could make a single currency work despite strong reasons to believe that it wasn’t ready.

Real politik

Reluctant Euro-media starts on anti-Obama campaign  |  2009 Cartoon by William Warren

Reluctant Euro-media starts on anti-Obama campaign | 2009 Cartoon by William Warren

For the next 2-3 decades, international equations are likely to be fluid. There is no room for congratulations, surrender or gloating. Symbiotic relationships will be the new model – and exploitative-confrontationist models may no longer be possible or feasible.

The US change in attitude towards Europe, can be said to be permanent, if the next US President were to continue the cold-shoulder.

Till then, play it by the year. Keeping your ears to the ground may also help.


The road from Copenhagen | Ed Miliband | Comment is free | The Guardian

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment
Stop this scaremongering! We got enough problems of our own to worry about yours!

Stop this scaremongering! We got enough problems of our own to worry about yours!

We did not get an agreement on 50% reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80% reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries. Indeed, this is one of the straws in the wind for the future: the old order of developed versus developing has been replaced by more interesting alliances. (via The road from Copenhagen | Ed Miliband | Comment is free | The Guardian).

Old bulldog … old tricks

President Bharrat Jagdeo. *Photo credit: thereddsite.files.wordpress.com

President Bharrat Jagdeo. *Photo credit: thereddsite.files.wordpress.com

Gordon Brown, The British Prime Minister declared, “today, together with Norway and Australia, the UK is taking a further step to a Copenhagen agreement: publishing a framework for the long-term transfer of resources to meet the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries.” (Paris Hilton note, who the PM of Britain is!)

More interesting was when Europe went ahead and committed funds and disbursed carbon credits. Small amounts – but nevertheless a significant step! So, what gives! How come Europe was disbursing – not serious money, but more than pocket money, without using IMF, World Bank, et al. No UN! How come?

Anglo-Euro efforts

The joint trojan operation (Norway, Australia and UK + EU) against China (or was it India?) was immaculately pursued. Bernarditas de Castro Muller, former lead coordinator and negotiator for the G77 and China in Copenhagen, writing in the Guardian of UK, reported,

The UK financed workshops in selected vulnerable countries and deployed climate envoys. One of its envoys told intransigent negotiators that the UK would mobilise a group of vulnerable countries to pressure the major developing countries – such as China, Brazil and India – into committing to emissions reductions, contrary to their obligations under the climate treaty.

The EU for example made sustained attempts to influence and pressure developing nations – something that only served to increase their cohesion. They bribed where they could, promising the same recycled financing and maybe more to come if countries bent to their demands. And they bullied when they could not bribe.

India’s neighbours, like Maldives, Bangladesh were co-opted – as were countries, led people of Indian extract like Caribbean island of Guyana, Mauritius. The strategy was to isolate China and pair India with the ‘vulnerble 14’ – like Maldives, Guyana, Bangldesh, etc. For instance, alongwith Mohammed Nasheed, Bharrat Jagdeo in Guyana, was faultlessly pursued. Long ignored and isolated, countries like Guyana suddenly found themselves in the spotlight.

Agreeably surprised, they wondered how Guyana “received a disproportionate amount of coverage and access given its size for its progressive and leading stance on climate change.” Time magazine nominated Guyanese president Bharrat Jagdeo, as one of Heroes of the Environment 2008. This year Time magazine included Mohammed Nasheed in its Heroes of the Environment 2009. It was also announced,

Stabroek News in Guyana has confirmed that President Bharrat Jagdeo has been nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to combat climate  change. He was nominated by Professor David Dabydeen, Director of the Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick.

US actor Harrison Ford and Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo at a news conference about forest protection on September 21, 2009 in New York. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

US actor Harrison Ford and Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo at a news conference about forest protection on September 21, 2009 in New York. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

The Commonhealth Heads meeting a few weeks before Copenhagen was supposed to seal this ‘alliance.’ Intriguingly, the French President Sarkozy joined the Commonwealth Summit, with Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon – and proposed a US$10 billion fund for climate change. Just imagine the French joining in a Commonwealth meet (a first, I would think).

Possibly it was the US efforts which made China and India stand together at Copenhagen.

Why the US did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol?

The political undertones of climate control talks are unravelling. The first major smoke signal was when the USA refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol – while talking about global warming and climate change at the same time. Sometimes puzzling and wholly beyond understanding! The lip service paid by the US to climate change can be best summarized by a Hindi idom हाथी के दांत, खाने के एक, दिखाने के एक. Meaning, elephants have two sets of teeth – one for actual use and another for show.

Cynical subversion of media, honours and public opinion

Cynical subversion of media, honours and public opinion

The third element in the multilateral equations set was the efforts made by Bush /Obama to get India and China to ‘get on the climate change band wagon’ with the US. The Chinese ‘unilateral’ announcement of ‘voluntary’ carbon intensity cut after Obama’s trip to China a few days before Copenhagen was a signpost of this unusual ‘alliance’. India followed soon thereafter with its own ‘voluntary’ carbon intensity cuts. One of the justifications of Bush’s nuclear deal with India was climate change.

This US master-stroke of Obama+BASIC meeting, ensured that the “only breakthrough was the political coup for China and India in concluding the anodyne communiqué with the United States behind closed doors, with Brazil and South Africa allowed in the room and Europe left to languish in the cold outside.”

In hindsight, US covert resistance to climate change was actually resistance to the monopolisation by the EU on the climate change agenda and campaign. Under the garb of climate change, EU was trying to do what US did to the world, under the garb of poverty elimination, population control, Bretton Woods in the aftermath of WW2.

What were the BASIC countries resisting

Writing from a Western standpoint, John Lee, in the Guardian, of the UK, faults China for not allowing,

“Teams of international economists, scientists, inspectors and statisticians roaming China to gather information on carbon emissions and reduction initiatives … reporting to political masters in America and Europe … (on) the further problem of cheating in current and future carbon reduction schemes.” (ellipsis and linking text in brackets mine).

The Climate Change Agreement would have delivered us - hog tied and helpless!

The Climate Change Agreement would have delivered us - hog tied and helpless!

Ed Milliband, Britain’s Energy Minister, younger brother of British foreign secretary, David Miliband, writing for the Guardian,

“We cannot again allow negotiations … to be hijacked in this way. We will need to have major reform of the UN body overseeing the negotiations and of the way the negotiations are conducted (for this) global campaign, co-ordinated by green NGOs, backed by business … we must keep this campaign going and build on it. It needs to be more of a genuinely global mobilisation, taking in all countries …this year has proved what can be done, as well as the scale of the challenge we face. (ellipsis and emphasis mine).

Indeed much has been done.

Face behind the mask

Faceless NGOs, without accountability to anyone, were able to bring global political leadership, to the very brink of an agreement. Like Milliband’s boss, Gordon Brown remarked, “the political will to secure the ambitious agreement … comprehensive and global agreement that is then converted to an internationally legally binding treaty in no more than six months.was very much there. The same 25,000 people (25 countries x 1000 powerful people) who rule over the G8-/OECD wanted the poor to invite these 25,000 to have undue and illegitimate oversight over our ‘poor’ lives – in the name of climate change.

The message I got ... loud and clear

The message I got ... loud and clear

To deliver more than 600 crore (6 billion) of humanity to an agreement that would have allowed the likes of the Milliband Brothers (and their NGO ‘partners-in-crime’) to pry into our lives, our affairs and dictate our very existence – with our own consent. Without recourse, with no checks and balances. With large amounts of unaccounted money at their disposal. To decide how we live our lives. Under a system, that would have re-invented colonialism, in a way wholly unknown to us earlier.

Any deal was a bad deal

Last time around, India was called the deal breaker at Doha. This time around, it is China. Who gets called, what by whom, may seems unimportant! But as my grandfather reminded me many times, बद हो जाओ, लेकिन बदनाम नहीं (Beware of getting a bad reputation).

The Guardian, goes onto say, “Only China is mentioned specifically in Miliband’s article but aides tonight made it clear that he included Sudan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, which also tried to resist a deal being signed.” Sadly India is not included in this list of ‘deniers’ who are, as Gordon Brown puts it, “anti-science and anti-change environmental Luddites who seek to stand in the way of progress.”

Climate control noise is just drowning out all debate

Climate control noise is just drowning out all debate

How I wish India was blamed for the failure of Copenhagen!

De-construction of climate change by 2ndlook

Copenhagen Talks End With Agreement, But No Binding Deal – AlterNet

December 20, 2009 Leave a comment
Too much money ... creating too much of maya

Too much money ... creating too much of maya

Environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben of 350.org voiced his disapproval. (and) summarized what Obama accomplished:

He formed a league of super-polluters, and would-be super-polluters. China, the U.S., and India don’t want anyone controlling their use of coal in any meaningful way.

(via Copenhagen Talks End With Agreement, But No Binding Deal: So, How Screwed Are We? | Environment | AlterNet).

QED

On Aug 14, 2009, a Quicktake post wondered if this entire climate change and global warming had something to do with coal-fired power plants.

This is too close to my dis-comfort zone

This is too close to my dis-comfort zone

Bill McKibben’s peeve does prove that this is indeed the case.

Now, coal is the cheapest way to generate electricity. Looking at the shortfall in electricity, and Indian consumers’ ability to pay, coal is the answer.

To low costs, add the fact that India has coal reserves that will last for the next 100 years – at least. But, coal-generated electricity, will also makes India industrially competitive.

And we don’t want that, do we? Right, Billy Boy!

Inside Indian bedrooms

60years ago, an assault was made by foreign ‘observers’ into Indian bedrooms. Foreign ‘observers’

  1. Tied ‘development aid’ to India’s population control.
  2. Trained Indian ‘health workers’ to control India’s human reproductive behaviour.
  3. Paid for by Western Governments, soon after that, we had ‘health workers’ fanning out across the Indian country-side, conducting  vasectomies /tubectomies on India’s (especially poor) population.
Is this the science we are talking about?

Is this the science we are talking about?

It did not matter then, who the ‘observers’ were – foreign or Indian. Neither does it matter now. What matters is someone’s monitoring. And I don’t like that at all.

Even if the monitors have brown skins (my liking for brown skin notwithstanding). Even if it comes with a recommendation from Nobel prize winner, Amartya Sen. How Indian power producers generate electricity is our business.

Getting a handle on the Indian  economy is the second and related part of the agenda.

An agenda, I don’t like.

All that nice, fresh, white newsprint …

Wasted!

Just the amount of newsprint that has been devoted to climate change and global warming must have raised temperatures (going by the ‘warmers’ calculations and estimates) enough to make this debate of questionable value. To that add, the amount of gimmickry and media overdrive (through slick PR) that raises many doubts and questions.

Hush, boy! Do not even mention ‘scientific manipulation’.

Just look at the record.

The most prominent and vocal votary of Climate Change was Al Gore – who was promptly awarded the Nobel Prize. The recruitment of Maldives and the positioning of President Mohammed Nasheed was again a very slick operation. The underwater Maldives cabinet meeting had a interesting story.

Maldivian officials said the idea to hold the attention-grabbing underwater cabinet meeting came from President Mohamed Nasheed when he was asked by an activist group to support its “environmental day” action on October 24.

“The 350.org group asked if the Maldives can hold an underwater banner supporting environmental day,” an official from the president’s office said.

“The president thought for a while and then came up with the idea to have an underwater cabinet meeting.” (via Maldives cabinet rehearses underwater meeting).

Is this the problem?

Is this the problem?

Propping up Maldives as ‘fifth’ column was done over the last more than 20 years. Based on excellent PR and media management skills, the Maldives was the trojan horse loosed on the G77+Basic grouping.

350.org is rather well armed on the PR front – with a specific agency for South Asia itself. The PR agency for the Maldives Travel and Tourism Authority McCluskey International does  seem to either bask in reflected glory – or is hinting at the authorship of this stunt. The Maldives climate change campaign seems to be headquarted in Britain also.

Been there and done that

The hallmark of the Maldives’ climate  change campaign has been it slick PR. Dramatic statements, intriguing sound bites, the Maldives’ campaign was beyond the common bureaucratic ‘creature’ – much less a Maldives’ bureaucrat. This is consistent and in line with Al Gore’s media and public relations management – which won the PR agency, the campaign of the year award. And Al Gore the Nobel Prize.

All this is much like, how from the early 1950’s to the late eighties, the Western world created hysteria regarding ‘population explosion’  in India and China. Enormous pressures were brought onto the Chinese and Indian Governments to ‘control’ their populations.

Same game, different name! Doesn’t wash. Just like last time.

Related Posts

India, China, Brazil walk out – Copenhagen dead

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

I dont see the carrotsIn a development that took almost all observers by surprise, India, China, and Brazil walked out the plenary session of the climate summit at Copenhagen, making it certain that the summit will end in abject failure. (via domain-b.com : Copenhagen dead as India, China, Brazil walk out).

Pollutor cleans – not pay

One of the fundamental flaws of the Kyoto Protocol was the principal of ‘polluter pays’. Based the retributive justice logic, it was something that was bound to fail. Instead it should have been based on the Indic justice principle – ameliorative and make good. The operating principle should have been ‘polluter cleans and does not pollute again.’

If the ‘Developed World’ (I have no idea what that term means), made its wealth by pollution, waste and environmental degradation, do the world’s poor want that tainted money? Instead, the ‘Developed World’ should have been asked to clean up and mechanisms put in place to ensure that these ‘offenders’ do not repeat.

For, by, to the rich

Instead, Copenhagen has become a carnival where 20,000 delegates are fighting over the spoils of environmental degradation, pollution and climate hazard. The Indian Government has, of course, lost touch with Indian ideals – and are trying out their hand at Hammurabic justice.

The poor or the ‘common’ man, in whose name Copenhagen Climate Change meet is underway will not see any benefits. Copenhagen is for the rich (from poor countries), by the rich (from rich countries) to the rich (from poor and rich countries) – and may the poor and common be damned.

NGO to sue Lindsay over false claims

December 15, 2009 1 comment
Imported dysfunctional celebs? No Thanks. We have our own!

Imported dysfunctional celebs? No Thanks. We have our own! (© Copyright 2009 Taylor Jones - All Rights Reserved.)

“Over 40 children saved so far… Within one day’s work. This is what life is about… Doing this is a life worth living! Oh, and I’m talking about being in India,” the Mean Girls star (Lindsay Lohan) had said on her Twitter page.

However, Bhuvan Ribhu, national secretary of the NGO says that the actress was not even present in the country when the rescue operation took place.

“The rescue operation took place on 8 December when she had not even arrived in India. Since she was not even in the country how can she claim she rescued the children,” Ribhu told PTI.

“We were not involved with her as she was called by BBC although she visited one of our rehabilitation centres,” Ribhu added. (via NGO to sue Lindsay over false claims).

Just how deep can this get?

There a been some 4 very curious ‘incidents’, originating in Britain and targetting India(ns).

The latest first. Lindsay Lohan comes to India – to fight child trafficking, in India. Why did BBC think that Lindsay Lohan was appropriate! Fighting her own demons of alcoholism, drugs, family conditions, was she even in position to make any contribution? On what basis did the BBC select this topic.

Importantly, did anyone in India ask for BBC or Lindsay Lohan’s help in fighting child trafficking?

What about your own backyard

After all closer home to the BBC there are some really interesting topics.

For instance, the national industry of Spain is prostitution? Just where are all these women coming from? Just why does the Spanish society need so many prostitutes?  BBC would do well to put Lindsay Lohan on this job.

Slice and dice …

  1. Now Spain has a population of 40 million people.
  2. There are a 13 million of these between the age of 15-64 years.
  3. Assume that half of these 13 million are the right gender – that is 6.5 million women.
  4. Assume further that a quarter of these 6.5 million women cannot ‘qualify’ to become prostitutes due to age, health, infirmity, deformity, appearance, etc.
  5. That leaves us with roughly 4 million ‘eligible’ candidates – of which 400,000, i.e. 10% of ‘eligible’ women are prostitutes.

Western propaganda

Spain is a part of the EU, the Developed World, the OECD, etc., etc. Makes one think …

Coming to the UK, Amnesty International says,

Home Office research found that up to 1,420 women were trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation in 1998. The figure was based solely on reported cases

Maybe BBC can help Amnesty and the UK Home Office to estimate the ‘unreported’ cases.

Nail 'em and jail 'em

Nail 'em and jail 'em

Nail ’em and jail ’em …

Even closer home, right in the UK is the rather disturbing statistic. Britain has imprisoned 10,000 Muslims as prisoners. Out of 670,000 British Muslim male population aged between 20-60 years of age

A survey estimates British-Muslim population at 2.4 million. Chop and slice the data and the picture gets scarier. This survey by The Times says “high number of Muslims (are) under the age of 4 — 301,000 as of September last year”. The same study estimates that 942,000 of British Muslims are 19 years or below. Of the remaining another 124,000 are above 60 years of age. Half of the remaining 1.34 million (i.e. 2.4 million less 1.06 million) are women – an unlikely target for imprisonment. Of the remaining 670,000, a 10,000 are in prison – which means about 1.5% of the ‘eligible’ British Muslim population is in prison.

Climate change - The Maldives Trojan

Climate change - The Maldives Trojan

Aviation safety, for instance  gives standard advice – ‘save yourself first’. Then save others. And by this time, you folks should have known better. So, BBC and Lindsay Lohan have their hands full.

Oh!

And by the way! We pagan sinners cannot be saved.

The Maldives trojan

Britain executed a well planned maneuver, by putting up President Nasheed of Maldives against India, at the Copenhaen Climate Change talks. Propping up Maldives as ‘fifth’ column was done over the last more than 20 years. Based on excellent PR and media management skills, the Maldives was the British Trojan horse that India was blind-sided on.

Intelligent British media

In the last 10 years, as some jobs moved ‘offshore’ to India, there was fear about India(ns). Then came the hatchet jobs.

So much so, The Sun and the Channel 4 mounted elaborate sting operations on Indian call centres, carrots were dangled, Indian call centre employees were tempted – and when the penny dropped, there was gleeful celebrations about the lack of security in India. ‘We told you so’ was the popular, smug, self-satisfied refrain, with smirks in British media.

Not to overlook responsible British media, which clearly spelt out that

“fraud is a bigger problem in UK institutions, a fact largely overlooked by the media. It is also more likely to occur in any other developed market we choose to do business with.” The same article went ahead and pointed out how “Accountants Ernst & Young found in a survey of Western corporate managers that almost two thirds expected to encounter more fraud in emerging markets than at home. Yet 75 per cent of fraud occurred in developed markets, the firm said. Forrester Research found in 2005 that the UK and US suffered more computer security breaches than India.”

The ‘prequel’

Nearly 15 months ago, a Scottish newspaper, The Sunday Herald ‘revealed’ that an Indian hacker had broken into the credit card database and stolen some 8 million records. The supposed ‘victim’, Best Western Hotel immediately rejected this claim, and revealed that 10 (ten only) records had been stolen. If you check this story today, The Sunday Herald has (of course), removed the Best Western rebuttal of this story. How did the newspaper identify the nationality of the hacker? A journalist’s ‘secret’ sources!

What tripe are Indians being fed?

Propaganda - otherwise known as maya in Sanskrit

So, it was evidently planted and created for the Indian media. The story was dated August 23rd, 2008, Saturday, and carried the next day, on a Sunday for maximum impact – and for the business press to pick up and run the story on Monday morning. The story was planted through IANS, a supposed ‘pro-Indian’ news agency. Did anyone come back and retract this story? Of course, not!

The Great Indian hacker hoax

In modern times, India is not a big player in spamming or in software virus – though a power in computing industry. In August 2008, a hoax story alleged that an Indian hacker, had broken into a credit card database, and sold it to the European underworld. Some ‘experts’ feared that this would spark of a crime wave across Europe.

The Incident

“A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that late on Thursday night, a previously unknown Indian hacker successfully breached the IT defences of the Best Western Hotel group’s online booking system and sold details of how to access it through an underground network operated by the Russian mafia.” reported The Sunday Herald from Scotland.

The ‘venerable’ Scottish newspaper, went on to quote a security expert, Jacques Erasmus, an ex-hacker who now works for the computer security firm Prevx. Erasmus declared,

“The Russian gangs who specialise in this kind of work will have been exploiting the information from the moment it became available late on Thursday night. In the wrong hands, there’s enough data there to spark a major European crime wave.”

The Sunday Herald had no hesitation in saying that the

“nature of internet crime makes it extremely difficult to track the precise details of the raid, the Sunday Herald understands that a hacker from India – new to the world of cyber-crime – succeeded in bypassing the system’s security software.”

What got me wondering was the motivation of this story? How did this story land up in IANS agency? Where did the ‘original’ writer, Mons. Iain S Bruce, get to know that an Indian was behind this ‘heist.’ Who was behind this ‘leak’ to Bro.Iain S Bruce? What are the ‘sources’ of Shri Iain S Bruce?

Chickens … home … roost

A team of researchers including professors of University of Brighton published a report in July 2009 titled “Crime online — Cybercrime and illegal innovation”. It was picked up by online news channels and quoted in news items to propagate lies about so-called cybercrimes in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry of India. The report tries to present data from the annual reports of the Indian Computer Emergency Team, and Symantec in a way that suits its story, of India being a centre of cybercrimes and in general being a weak state. (via Phishing study: Bunch of lies).

Plodders – all of you!

NASSCOM investigated this scam report -and wrote a few articles in India media.

I got bad news for you, Mr. Kamlesh Bajaj!

Nasscom, your team and maybe you should include yourself. Plodders! All! The report you quote came out in July – and you are responding to it it after 3 months. What more, if you had dug deeper, you would have come out with more – dirt, that is.

I am waiting.

In the meantime, I believe that this was a dry run.

Funding India NGOs

Statistics released by the home ministry regarding ‘foreign funds to NGOs’ show that India, which has a total of 33,937 registered associations, received Rs 12,289.63 crore in foreign contributions during 2006-07 as against Rs 7,877.57 crore in 2005-06, a substantial increase of nearly Rs 4,400 crore (56%) in just one year.

The US, Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Italy were the top five foreign contributors during 2006-07. These five countries have consistently been the big donors since 2004-05. Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and France are the other countries which figure prominently in the list of foreign donors. (via Foreign funds to Indian NGOs soar, Pak among donors-India-The Times of India).

Foreign aid kitty - Table courtesy - Times of India

What does this mean …

Rs 12,289.63 crore is roughly US$3 billion – based on average dollar value for 2008.

And it is a lot of money.

That is more money than what the US Govt. gave as aid to more than the 100 poorest countries. Till a few years ago, India annual FDI was US$ 4 billion – just a little more than the US$3 billion that India received as charity through various NGOs in 2008.

The total US Official Development Assistance to the whole of sub-Saharan Africa (more than 40 countries), in 2007, was “US$4.5 billion was contributed bilaterally and an estimated $1.2 billion was contributed through multilateral organizations”.

What is the source of these funds …

The rich, the poor and the middle class in these ‘charitable countries’ are themselves deep in debt. Where are they getting the money from? Why are they being so liberal towards India? What is the source of these funds?

Where this money going …

Is it going as thinly disguised aid to Naxal affected areas – where some ‘Christian’ missionaries are working to ’save’ the tribals? Is it going towards publicity for causes which are thinly disguised trade issues. For instance, child labour – which is, in many cases, a system of apprenticeship for traditional skills.

Or are these NGOs promoting policy frameworks which are distorting India’s social systems? The Population Myth /Problem /Explosion for instance was promoted for the first decade by Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation and USAID. Are they behind the NGOs which are promoting Section 498 laws as a legal solution – a solution that ‘benefits’ about 5000 women and creates about 150,000 women as victims.

These are laws and policies which are undermining the Indian family system. Which country in the world has a stable family structure with such low divorce rates as India?

The Clintons, The Gates, The Turners, et al

The ‘progressive liberal’ establishment in the West is viewed rather benignly in India – and seen as ‘well wishers’ of India. Many such ideas are welcomed in India without analysis. These ideas are viewed positively, as the source of such initiatives is seen as well-intentioned.

A ‘tolerant’ and ‘open’ society like India can be a complacent victim to trojan horses.

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