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What belongs to a country?
Posted: 24 May 2007

This MB raises the question of whether natural resources under the ground can actually be 'owned' by a country. It is common cause that countries have laid claim to their in-border assets (oil being the most obvious).

But in a world where there is globalisation of energy mixed in with climate change imperatives and growing populations, it seems rational to argue that these assets (particularly energy), have no moral imperative of national ownership - they should be managed and distributed as a global resource (perhaps by the UN?), to avoid the scenario painted above.

Sarkozy rejoins NATO to sideline Russia
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Nicolas Sarkozy, new president of the French Republic, has wasted no time in building bridges with the world's most powerful nation. When the most recent ultimatum with Uzbekistan passed with no signs of their acquiescing to the EU’s demand that they unblock gas supplies to Europe, France’s response was swift. "The time has passed when rogue nations can rely on the disagreements of ...
Doug Vining Does China's air pollution belong to China? Maybe they should be told to keep it to themselves... (See the earlier MindBullet EU SUES CHINA OVER POLLUTION).
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 17:10
Gavin Chait It's an interesting question. Of course, who's going to tell Russia that they no longer have a right to their oil? How will this not be vetoed at the UN?
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 13:56
Anton Musgrave Tensions in Europe are certainly mounting - and as politicians scramble for political answers , business seeks different ways to secure access and to reduce supply risks. International Herald Tribune today headlines business' race to secure future deals. see
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 10:05
Rudiger Holzapfel ... but what would the non-western world think of such control (BP, etc.) ? I doubt they would take it lying down.

And who is going to tell Norway they can't claim ownership to their North Sea oil any longer, and with it its income?

So then we are back to some regulatory body. But why should this new organ be able to achieve consensus when others can't? If it's anything like the latest DOHA round about world trade, chances are slim to non that solutions are going to be found easily.

The Western world is going to be at the receiving end for the first time in its "career." Maybe we will have to learn to change our attitude to our global trading partners and also our lifestyles in order to move forward and avoid armed conflict. Is this not a taste of what the rest of the world has been experiencing for centuries?
Posted: 26 June 2007 at 18:30
Neil Jacobsohn I think the UN would be the LEAST effective body to manage something like this. Is it time for a radically new golbal body?
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 09:55
Wolfgang Grulke Now, here's a new challenge for the UN. They can't even seem to cope with the visible world - now we want them to manage the politics of underground resources. Wait for it - here comes the global UN version of Enron!
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 09:33
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