G’DAY WORLD #268 – on the WTO, IMF and Human Rights in Australia

Today Paul Montgomery from Fan Footy joins me to talk about the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, IMF and UN Security Council. I’ve just finished reading George Monbiot’s 2003 book “The Age Of Consent” and it’s made me want to learn more about how these international bodies operate.

Monty and I also chat about the appalling situation in Australia with the arrest of Mohammed Haneef (show your support with my “Free Haneef” t-shirt), recent Second Life financial scandal and I pimp the awesome Super Fi 5 Pro earbuds that the nice folks at Ultimate Ears sent me today.

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3 thoughts on “G’DAY WORLD #268 – on the WTO, IMF and Human Rights in Australia

  1. Cam:

    Very interesting show. You have mentioned the UN Security Council several times on recent shows.

    Have you ever noticed the correlation between the list of the permanent members and the list of the nuclear weapons states (NWS) in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

    From Wikipedia “Five states are recognized by the NPT as nuclear weapon states (NWS): France (signed 1992), the People’s Republic of China (1992), the Soviet Union (1968; obligations and rights now assumed by Russia), the United Kingdom (1968), and the United States (1968). The U.S., UK, and Soviet Union were the only states openly possessing such weapons among the original ratifiers of the treaty, which entered into force in 1970. These five nations are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. ”

    The World Bank has a policy that prevents it from providing any loans for nuclear power plants, even though it is a development bank that supports almost all other types of power projects. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a slightly different policy that does not absolutely prohibit loans for nuclear power projects, but it does have criteria on specific technologies that effectively prevents nations like India, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa from receiving loans for their nuclear power development.

    Where am I going with this? It seems to me that energy is a fundamental means of power, wealth and political control. When a customer has a fossil fuel consuming economy, they are at least somewhat beholden and can be influenced by their supplier. When a customer has nuclear power, they have the potential for telling their supplier to pack sand. (Old submarine expression. I can provide the graphic etymology if interested.)

    You see, atomic power plants can readily be designed to last for decades without new fuel. I personally believe that characteristic scares the piss out of certain segments of the world’s power elite. It is almost as scary as the idea that even tiny nations with moderate nuclear knowledge are physically able to build and own nuclear weapons. If they actually do so, they have the ability threaten massive retaliation in response to “preemptive” attacks. The permanent five hate that physical reality and work their asses off to prevent it politically.

    IMHO, it is time to proliferate atomic technology in order to eliminate the power of the fossil fuel pushers. Like you, I have no problem with rich people, but I have a real, fundamental problem with people who become rich by way of their control of other people’s lives. Feudal lords, drug lords, fossil fuel lords all fall into that category as far as I am concerned.

  2. Uranium may not be a fossil fuel, but it’s still a non-renewable polluting resource. It’s just replacing one problem (carbon emissions/finite supply) with another (radioactive waste/finite supply).

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