Molecules of Anything but Freedom

30/05/2019

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it is that any topic can be made comedic with little to no exception. The problem today is, instead of hearing these kinds of jokes from actual comedians, they come from our governments. And actually, they aren’t even joking, they’re serious. It’s just better to laugh ourselves to extinction than dwell on the future. It’s a free world, after all.

With headlines that have people across the globe looking for “The Onion” or “The Betoota Advocate” associated with it, the Department of Energy in the US has really out-America’d and out-Trump’d themselves with the latest branding of fossil fuel sources. A project to “spread freedom gas” across the world to allies has been deemed critical – one can only hope our “burning” Parliament here in Australia doesn’t blow us all up.

But the part that is really humorous is this: “… efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of US freedom to be exported to the rest of the world.” It’s funny because every part of that sentence is utterly wrong. What it should say is: “… conveniently deregulated systems already exporting tonnes of US freedom to the rest of the world.” No, I lied, sorry, it’s not all that funny really.

Make no mistake, that the rise of the US as an unbridled and vicious global superpower after World War 2 and the first studies detecting the effects of manmade climate change both occurred within a decade of each other is no coincidence. The US singlehandedly developed the two deadliest threats to human survival – the potential for nuclear decimation and the increasingly dangerous effects of climate change.

In a wild cycle, oil, gas, and coal fuel American imperialism, and American imperialism (generally) expands in the interests of obtaining those resources. Considering the extreme financial, humanitarian, and (little discussed) environmental costs of war, it really is a war against the world itself. And as with all wars, freedom is hardly the first word that springs to mind, unless of course you buy into the grand US tale of exceptionalism. Try telling an American their country has no right to be in Syria or Korea – you won’t get far.

In their war against Iran about 40 years ago, the US backed Saddam Hussein through the most brutal parts of his regime, right up until he began to disobey orders and invaded Kuwait. Suddenly, when their once keen ally messed with their oil rich ally on the Gulf, the US declared they had to free Iraq from their unfathomable dictator, culminating in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that continues to this day.

In 2014, Israel (backed by the US, obviously) initiated the devastating 2014 invasion of Gaza, called Operation Protective Edge. Alongside the publicly acknowledged goal of making the Gaza Strip uninhabitable, imperialism and resources played a key role too. Lucrative gas fields lay off the coast of Gaza, which Israel have thus far denied the Palestinians access to, claiming that profits would be used to fund terrorists, not the vital services and resources the civilians have been begging for. Here, it is quite evident that “freedom gas” is an oxymoron, at least for the Palestinians.

In Venezuela, we are currently witnessing the so far failed attempts of a US-backed uprising against Maduro’s government. Hate Maduro all you want – I do – but the US does not care about the Venezuelan population. They care about one of the largest known supplies of oil in the world not being in either their possession, or that of an amiable dictator ally. Guaido would have fit that role perfectly, and the years of economic strangulation, which has put the Venezuelan government and people under so much pressure, have thus far produced few results for their cause.

Years of sanctions – that are responsible for the deaths of up to 40,000 people since 2017 alone – and the threat of regime change can hardly be considered freedom to the general population of Venezuela. As despised as Maduro may be, it is not up to the rest of the world to dictate who leads the country, particularly when the leader of choice is actually worse. And all this because the Venezuelan people believed that their resources should be used to benefit them, not the US’ corporate powerhouses. What a crazy concept.

Associating the word freedom with fossil fuels is the peak of propagandistic irony. Where is the peoples’ freedom to self-determination? Where is the people’s freedom to life? Where is the peoples’ freedom to live in a world without pollution and climate change? They aren’t choices the mass population of the world gets to make, and yet these gutless politicians and obscene plutocrats dare tack the word freedom in front of fossil fuels.

At least there is one distant winner in all of this. Imagine how free the world will be to recover once mankind has destroyed itself through hubris and vanity?

 

Liked this? Read Aristotle and Climate Change

Previous piece: What Australia Can Look Forward To

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