Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Conquer, conquer, conquer

This article explores the act of a multinational conglomerate of mostly european countries and companies using solar energy generated and stored in Africa and sending that energy to various plasces in europe. It was mentioned that the local African areas where the solar plants would be would be direct beneficiaries of the project. Riiiiight. Of course they would for a while at least, in the beginning. I'm all for believing that people, and by extension governments, can change for the better. However, a qoute from the article, by Agatha Koprowski, kind of sums up what I've come to believe based on what I've learned about our world's history:

“Europeans covet Africa’s wealth of natural resources,” she continued, “so they make economic investments for the benefit of Europeans and the detriment of Africans.”

Can anyone look at the history of europe and Africa and deny this is true? Honestly? I truly think not. Believe me, I'd LOVE to believe this project was truly what the people backing it say it is, but history, and not distant history either, doesn't support that belief. But one can hope. This next quote, by Gerhard Knies, does not fill me with a lot of hope though:

“I think they overlook the positive side of this interdependence, which creates win-win situations for the participating sides,” he said. “And that is how neighbors become friends.”

Europeans have been using that neighbors and friends bullshit for centuries and look how well it turned out for the natives of the america's, especially north america, and the many African countries all fucked up by colonialism. Oh, and don't forget almost every small island full of brown skinned people they ever landed on.

I don't mean to sound bitter or angry, but really, what do these people behind this Desertec project expect. Underhanded business has been the european stock in trade and modus operandi for it's entire existence.

And yet, I truly do hope they pull this off and it's beneficial to everyone involved and affected by the project. History is history and it's done but we learn it to be wary of what not to do or fall for. Hopefully the African countries entering in this know their history.

1 comment:

  1. These African countries are just as corrupt as the European companies trying to exploit them. To me, they're only getting what they deserve. I, too, don't think Africa will win out of this deal. But, you know, it's no worse than what corrupt African officials are already doing to their people.

    Undoubtedly, in the long run, this will probably end up having benefits for BOTH sides (not just Europe). But lets not pretend some of these nations in Africa are innocent and unsuspecting of Europe's treachery. If it seems like they might have forgotten history, it's only due to the greed and baseness of the corrupt officials in charge of these countries who are looking to make a fast buck.

    And in that light, who's truly the bad guy here?

    That being said, I'm an optimist. For the time being I'll pretend that this is a great scientific and economical partnership budding. Anything that will reduce carbon emissions and perhaps wean the world off of fossil fuels is a step in the right direction to me.