“And none of this even touches on the most devastating of all problems related to our oil addiction: global warming. So we’re left in a strangely paradoxical situation: there’s not enough oil to meet the world’s growing consumption, but that growing consumption is itself threatening to imperil the world.”
- pg. 4, WAR, BIG OIL, AND THE FIGHT FOR THE PLANET, by Linda McQuaig, Anchor Canada, 2004
“The job of Exxon chairman entails many things, but ultimately, it boils down to this: keeping Exxon where it’s been for the last century and a half – at the very top of the corporate world, the biggest, richest corporation on the planet.”
- pg. 34, ibid.
A couple weeks ago, Belize City businessman Henry Young wrote a letter to The Reporter, a pro-business newspaper, in which his main point was that, though his family came from the fishing village of Placencia, he was definitely in support of drilling for oil and the oil industry as such.
Last Friday afternoon, the senior and powerful UDP Minister of Housing, Hon. Michael Finnegan, essentially said the same thing in his House presentation on the 2011/2012 budget proposals, but Mr. Finnegan went one step further. He described those who are concerned about the environment in Belize as white supremacists. And, he did so repeatedly.
Remember now, both Mr. Young and Mr. Finnegan are among the most successful electoral politicians in the history of Belize. Mr. Young retired undefeated in 1998 after winning the Port Loyola constituency for the UDP in three consecutive general elections - 1984, 1989 and 1993. Mr. Finnegan is himself undefeated, after winning the Mesopotamia division in four consecutive general elections – 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008. These men have to be considered political experts, and they know their party’s political base very, very well. If they are campaigning for oil drilling, then you can be sure that this is what the UDP’s political base will support.
There are two points this newspaper wishes to make. The first is that it is precisely white supremacists that the environmentalists are not. If you want to examine the bastions of white supremacy, you should try to enter the boardrooms of ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco for starters. Petroleum is an indispensable element of white, Western world hegemony, as it presently exists, and the oil companies are chartered to bring that oil bacon home, by any means necessary and at any cost to indigenous peoples or to the environment. The oil industry lives white supremacy.
There are some apologists for indiscriminate development who argue that the environmentalists are really working for white, Western supremacy, because their philosophy would prevent the emerging non-white giants - China, India and Brazil, from abusing the planet earth the way the European nations and the United States did in their drive to global military/industrial dominance. This is an interesting argument, which has a conspiracy theory as its seed. But, how do you explain the environmentalists’ hostility to ExxonMobil and TexacoChevron, if the environmentalists are really white supremacists, when, as we have argued, ExxonMobil and TexacoChevron are the living, breathing embodiments of white supremacy rule?
Our second point is this. Older readers will remember that in 1970, more than four decades ago, the internationally circulated American magazine TIME quoted the publisher of this newspaper, in his persona then as UBAD president on trial for sedition in the British Honduras Supreme Court, as declaring that “tourism is whorism.” The quote was mistakenly attributed, likely deliberately, to Evan X Hyde, when, in fact, the source was the UBAD vice-president, Galento X Neal.
Still, for the sake of argument, let us say that this was Evan X Hyde’s position. In 1970, there was no tourism to speak of in Belize. Today, tourism is a monster business in Belize, and the industry contributes to the pollution of the land, rivers and sea which is affecting Belize. But, there is nothing you can do to roll back the hands of time where tourism is concerned. At this newspaper, we believe there should be a moratorium on tourism investment. But, what’s done is done. Greedy politicians, cronies and lawyers made money hand over fist mortgaging our Belizean future.
Now the ruling politicians are calling for their base to grab the oil dollars. There was a way, we submit, that you could reconcile tourism with our farming and fishing traditions, but you can’t reconcile oil with tourism, and you can’t reconcile oil with farming and fishing. Our white Belizeans who came here and invested in agriculture and tourism in this modern era did so because they saw where Belize could become a paradise on earth. This dream did not include oil derricks, oil tankers, oil pipelines, and oil spills.
Belize, we can’t have our cake and eat it too. At this newspaper, we did not wish for tourism. But now, it’s here. You have to make up your minds, Belizeans. This is a matter of philosophy. Despacito. The wisdom is indigenous. If you abuse the earth, then someday the earth will abuse you.
Power to the people. Power in the struggle.