OBLIVION - Can we survive?

(Click on image for a larger picture)

Oil on Canvass 800 x 600mm

We may have only decades left as the worlds most successful species. Due to the huge success of man on the planet earth it is now far too overpopulated to cope with our demanding and unnatural behaviour. There was no plan to rape the Earth of its' resources, it has not been a conspiracy but instead the process has been random, global and steadily increasing. No one group can be blamed, no one person can be labelled the leader of this exploitation. Unfortunately, today, it is too late to turn the situation around. Billions of people now living on this planet have come to expect the basic essentials for life such as warmth and electricity. This has resulted in the burning of fossil fuels and global temperature rises. The spiral of climate change has been initiated. This in itself may not cause the end of the human race. The spectre of HIV Aids, now firmly established in Africa, will not go away. With 50million people infected today it is suspected that this epidemic has not peaked yet. However disease will not wipe out the entire population of the world in which we, the human race dominates. In fact I believe that man will destroy himself. It will be the most bizarre twist in our brief history.

The most deadly threat to our existence is our arsenal of nuclear weapons. These weapons ensured a sort of peace at a time of global polarization with the Communist Government of the USSR in direct opposition to the Capitalist Government of the USA. The only way to keep the peace between the two was for each to raise the stakes so high that whole populations became pawns. Governments listened only to their arms manufacturing advisers. For years the policy worked because pressing the button would have led to a world not fit for people or animals to live in. This would mean an end to President's own lifestyle and I doubt any world leader is prepared to actually suffer if he or she can avoid suffering. So things went on without a new world war for over five decades. Needless to say there were smaller wars taking place in Asia.  The army was continuously deployed against "Communism" wherever it sprang up. This was the behaviour of a country that still did not feel secure in spite of its powerful  arsenal. Between them Russia and America sold weapons to the value of $16.5billion to under developed industrialised nations in 1992. A state of unrest in the world was a good thing for arms industries the world over (Britain sold $2.6billion worth in the same year). The American Army needed to be deployed here and there because they paved the way for big American businesses such as Coke and McDs. American foreign policy is also driven by a desire to prevent the rise of a society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model1 . Communists backed the wars against the USA. However in many of the wars that the States became involved it was taking te side of the unpopular leadership who were fighting the local population who had become frustrated and developed a desire to turn Communist or Socialist and in the case of Cuba, overthrow the decadent and autocratic despot in charge with the hope of a better life. The Government of Lenin and the original Communists simply provided an example of how it could work and these inspired populations went for it. In every country that has experienced a popular uprising  only to be thwarted by an American backed counter insurgence you will now find a puppet Government to whom the Americans are now selling Arms and worse still, a puppet Government who will allow multinationals to establish themselves in their country. These companies profits then flow back into the hands of the wealthy sharehoders mostly in foreign countries. Thus we see a dictatorship in disguise. A dictatorship whose only aim is to satisfy it's American sponsors without regard for the welfare or prosperity of its’ own nation's people.

The real problem is that these tiny tinpot dictators all around the world have been incredibly good at milking their countries dry. The soils of their lands are sterile. Their mines will soon run out of diamonds and ore. Zaire and Chile are examples of such countries. How will these unfortunate countries survive without income? Having come by power so easily these dictators feel little love toward their people and the people of the country have little of no love for them. They control entire populations using the mighty army now bristling with shiny new guns. Hence they feel safe while ruining the economy and future prospects while doing the minimum to prevent mass starvation. This of course means more chance of an uprising so they place spies in every organisation and ban political parties. Human rights suffer. If the autocratic Government of a starving country has a war to fight that doesn't involve communism then the British and the Americans will happily arm both sides with planes and missiles, if you have the money and you're not a communist then you will be sold any weapon you want short of nuclear arms. An then when your country is all but a wasteland the International Monetary Fund, a tool of the USA, will be there to lend you money in return for an opening of markets to free trade. A further influence on such a countries behaviour will be the inevitable destabilising effect that a reduction in oil supplies will have. The current predictions suggest that the reserves in the largest oil fields are dwindling at a rate of 4-6% annually 2.Even Britain with it's North Sea fields is now a bigger importer of oil than exporter. During 2003 Indonesian oil production dropped by 8.5%3.

The problem is that some of the less stable countries which will collapse as a result of the above have nuclear weapons. They may end up using them as a last desperate act of defiance when the Government at the time realises it is doomed and has no other means of protecting itself once the heavily oil dependent military of that country becomes useless. A Government which will no longer fear the inevitable retaliation that will follow because it cares little for it's people and has the means to escape to safety and hide for a very long time. Such a country is North Korea, armed by the Iranians, angry with its' neighbour South Korea. A North Korea running out of natural resources and dependent on others for oil might lash out when Kim Jong Il gives up all hope of continuing his tyrannical reign realising that the people, tired of being starved and repressed, rise up and storm his palace. What would stop such a man, in this desperate position, unleashing his arsenal on his old enemy just south of the de-militarised zone?


1 A Brief History of U.S. Interventions an Essay by William Blum June 1999

2 Michael Meacher Environment Minister 1997 to 2003

3 Chris Skrebowski “Over a Million Barrels of Oil Lost per Day Due to Depletion,” Petroleum Review (Aug 2004)