Archive for August 24th, 2009

A one-two punch of stories in today’s news would not have seemed to follow taken individually, but when set side-by-side an obvious tango appears.

The first, this out of China, is about a four-fold increase in profits seen by the state oil company, Sinopec.

Fuel price reforms have allowed price hikes that have been repeating bundles.

Sinopec reported a net income of 33.2bn yuan ($4.8bn; £2.9bn) for the six months to the end of June, compared with 7.7bn yuan a year earlier.

… “It is anticipated that the result of [the] first three quarters of 2009 will be over 50% higher compared with the same period of last year … ”

Oil companies making money in today’s global economy may sound like a positive ramping up that could fuel growth … for those who consider growth always positive … but that brings me to the next report.

In Africa, leaders are gathering to talk about climate change.

Captioned, “Africa is set to suffer the worst impacts of climate change”, the implications should not be underplayed.

Under the auspices of the African Union, the meeting will underline the chief African demand for compensation for damages caused by global warming.

The move to agree a common negotiating platform for Africa is a recognition of the failure of the continent to make its voice heard to date.

One of the documents prepared for the meeting talks about the “dismal co-ordination” of the African negotiation process.

Fine and dandy, yes?

Considering the aggressive courting China is now doing in Africa, maybe not.

The reality of the UN climate negotiations is that the US, China, India and the European Union have the greatest sway.

Failing to recognize a link between increasing oil consumption and profits for that consumption in China and climate change in Africa would be missing a major point, and if Africa is set to “demand compensation for damages caused by global warming” at the same time China is buying the continent wholesale, we have a conflict, folks.

Not only is Africa more than willing to take just about whatever China is wiling to give, and they give a LOT in the way of construction, development, cash … whatever … African countries also vote in the UN General Assembly — line on the left, one vote each — and those votes go a long way toward keeping the Chinese government away from accountability and closer to doing whatever the heck they want in ways that can’t help but get that climate change thing going through the roof, or the ozone layer, as the case actually will be.

We’ve all seen images of drought in Ethiopia, the venue for the African talks … starving children, dead cattle, millions of people in camps begging for a grain of anything to keep them alive one more day … but reading about four-fold profits on oil in China may not trigger a response that connects to those images nor seem the potentially devastating blow it truly is.

It’s not a vacuum we live in … if it was, the world would be cleaner … and what happens in one corner of the globe impacts us all, some much more drastically than others.

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