Brett Dawson It's just a jump to the right...

I agree that there is a looming issue around energy security and political complications. I like this MB because it highlights that the issue is deeper and more widespread than just the US and Iran/Iraq. You could easily write similar scenarios for Japan/Korea/China and the energy power balance that Venezuela holds in South America.
Posted: 23 May 2007 at 00:00

Steve Sidley What belongs to a country?

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.
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 09:21

Wolfgang Grulke RE: What belongs to a country?

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

Steve Sidley RE: RE: What belongs to a country?

Ah, you cynic. You are right in one respect, the UN is incapable of executing on complex global political agendas, but rather good at humanitarian and health stuff. The energy suggestion falls into the former category, so I suspect that Enron is a fair prediction.
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 09:39

Neil Jacobsohn RE: RE: RE: What belongs to a country?

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

Steve Sidley RE: RE: RE: RE: What belongs to a country?

Right, it will never happen under UN auspices. Which leaves invasion. When the chattering classes bellowed about the US invading Iraq under false pretences in order to cover their real agenda - to control their oil, I quietly thought, now there's a reason I could support.
I would be quite happy for BP, Shell, Amoco, Mobil etc, (public companies with a semblance of transparency and westen corporate governance) to control the world's oil supply.
Posted: 24 May 2007 at 10:03

Rudiger Holzapfel RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: What belongs to a coun...

... 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

Anton Musgrave RE: What belongs to a country?

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

Gavin Chait RE: What belongs to a country?

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

Doug Vining RE: RE: What belongs to a country?

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

Doug Vining Putin threatens Russian return to Cold War era

Putin warns Washington it's to blame if Moscow aims missiles at Europe in defence-shield spat...
Posted: 4 June 2007 at 20:16
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