Published Jun 8 2009 by Energy Bulletin
Archived Jun 8 2009

Geopolitics - June 8

by Staff

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Towards a Great German Oil Empire

Alison Frank, MRzine
Krieg um Öl: Ein Erdölimperium als deutsches Kriegsziel 1938-1943.
Dietrich Eichholtz.
Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2006. ...

Dietrich Eichholtz does not mince words. From the first page of this powerfully argued book, his underlying argument is clear: "The imperialist interest in oil played a role in the occurrence, course, and outcome" of the Second World War (p. 7). More specifically, "[f]rom September 1939, petroleum was a short- and long-term war aim, as well as one of the most important means of waging the war itself" (p. 15).

... At the heart of this book lies a forceful demonstration of the great gap between so-called German elites' grandiose plans and their inability to overcome the mundane, but exigent, obstacles to realizing them.

Although his expertise in the field of energy history is indisputable, Eichholtz is not interested in oil for oil's sake.1 Rather, he singles out the Third Reich's fuel problem to serve as pars pro toto for its military and strategic planning. It was, after all, a problem that every European power preparing for war in the 1930s had to solve. The lessons of the Great War were clear: the relative inferiority of the fuel supply available to the German army, navy, and air force relative to that of the Allies had been decisive. In Lord Curzon's oft-cited opinion, "the Allied cause had floated to victory on a wave of oil."2 If, in the words of a contemporary geologist, winning the First World War had been impossible "without gasoline for automobiles and airplanes, without oil for lighting in dugouts and on the homeland's flat soil, without diesel oil for submarines, and without lubricating oil for the innumerable machines in industry and transportation," the increasing demands of an enlarged navy, a powerful air force, and an increasingly motorized army made a petroleum-strapped victory even more unthinkable thirty years later.3

Nevertheless, in the 1930s, Germany seemed impossibly far from oil independence. Two-thirds of its oil consumption was covered by imports, most of them from North and South America.
(7 June 2009)

The Geopolitics of Global Energy

Birkbeck College, University of London
The Geopolitics of Global Energy: International Competition, Rivalry and Conflict
An International Workshop on 28-29 May 2009, Birkbeck College, University of London

Workshop Papers

Cyrus Bina, 'OIL: The Geopolitics of Energy in the Epoch of Globalization'. word format

Dominik Jenkins, 'Churchill, Fisher, Oil, and the Royal Navy'. word format

Rafael Kandiyoti, 'The Regional Geopolitics of Energy Transmission in South Asia'. word format

Sam Raphael and Doug Stokes, 'Transnationalising African Oil: The political economy of US ‘energy security'. word format

Javier Vadell, 'South America Welcomes the Asian Dragon - Chinese economic penetration in South America and its implications geopolitical implications'.word format

Paris Yeros, 'The New Scramble for Africa: Imperialism and Sub-imperialism at the Millennium'. word format
(1 June 2009)
Papers can be downlaoded at original.

Developed countries responsible for climate change: Chinese expert

Xinhua (China)
Developed countries bear the historical responsibility for climate change and should provide compensation for that, an expert from Tsinhua University said on Thursday.

At a technical briefing at the second round of climate talks which is being held here from June 1-12, Chinese delegate Teng Fei, associate professor from Tsinhua University, said developed countries have excessively occupied the atmospheric space from the perspective of cumulative per capita emissions.

"Atmospheric resources are the common wealth of humankind, they should be shared equally by all citizens on the planet," Teng said.

"Developed countries have exceeded their fair share, the cumulative per capita emissions by developing countries is only 24percent of that by developed countries, this gap shows the unequal distribution of atmospheric space," he said.

In order to correct this inequity, Teng said, developed countries should firstly make deeper cuts in their emissions, and secondly, they should also compensate for their historical responsibilities by providing the developing countries technological and financial support.
(6 June 2009)
Looks like this will be the Chinese line. -BA

Peru: Police, Indigenous Indians Clash in Protests Over Resources

Al Jazeera English
Up to 20 people are thought to have died in the Peruvian Amazon during clashes between police and indigenous Indians protesting against oil and gas exploration on ancestral lands.

Indigenous leaders told AP news agency that 15 protesters had been killed in the unrest, while officials told local radio that five police officers died.

The confrontation apparently began before dawn on Friday in Bagua in the rainforest where companies want to develop oil and natural gas projects, media reports said.

Jose Sanchez Farfan, Peru's national police director, told Reuters news agency that officials were attacked by people with guns when they tried to clear a highway blocked by protesters.

However, protesters told Reuters that police had opened fire on them from helicopters.

Rights group Amazon Watch on Monday condemned what it described as a "violent raid" by police, saying witness reports indicated the unarmed demonstrators were attacked by police while sleeping alongside a road
(5 June 2009)
Resource conflict; expect more. -BA