Ecological Sustainability and International Trade - Consequences and Risks from the Use of Petroleum Melba Grullón Ubiñas

* “Many things exist that we don`t know, but when we know them everything changes” (Johannes Markus Mandelbaum, Author of “The Thought. The Decisive Power”) On April 22th, 2010, the Petroliferous Platform Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico. This Platform was property of the British Petroleum company, presided by Tony Hayward, member of the very exclusive “Bilderberg Club”. Until that fateful April day, BP was defined as the third most powerful company of those that operate in the United States. That power that they attribute to this company - or, better said, they attributed- is based on its economic development and income-generating, ascending to 327 billion dollars in 2009 and gains declared of more than 6 billion dollars during the first trimester of 2010. For the prevailing capitalist system, the voluminous generation of money is the main indicator to consider a company - and often, a person- as example of extraordinary success and synonymous of what the gurus of the economy, base of our present western societies, have called: Progress and Development. Because of persecuting that progress and development based on the voluminous generation of money, we have arrived as civilization to a point peak in which the human beings, almost irrationally, we seem not to prevent all the possible consequences of our erratic actions as far as the excessive exploitation of the natural resources of the Planet, because – paradoxically- this company, until recently leader of the economic success, has caused with the petroleum spill caused as a result of the explosion and later collapse of this petroliferous platform, the already declared “greater environmental disaster in the history of the United States”. But this, not only affects the United States. The cause is the excessive human avarice in the exploitation of -in this case- petroleum. The effect is the set of all the consequences that this cruel exploitation brings with itself, mainly, the ecological damage that lamentably in many cases is irreparable (like the extinction of some species, for example).

Ecological Sustainability The Ecology “is the science that studies the relations of the living beings to each other and with its surroundings. It is also the defense and protection of the nature”. The ecological sustainability talks about the preventive answer that all human beings have responsibility in giving, as administrators of this beautiful blue pearl who is our HOME; for the conservation and perpetuity of the living beings as of the environment where the sustentation of all physical life becomes possible.

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In the images below, we can see examples of the serious consequences our ecological system is exposed by the extraction of petroleum:  Alteration of the normal process of the ecosystem. Like an interconnected system, whatever happens in the ground repels in the air, and what it repels in the air affects forests, and rivers. Whatever happens in the rivers repels in the lagoons… and so on.  The “black spot” that the hydrocarbon forms in the water is like a floating lamina which prevents the light of the sun penetrates, but this sun light is necessary so the photosynthesis can be made. This situation causes that the primary organisms are themselves affected and with them all the nutritional chain.  This contamination causes the extinction of marine species, birds and the death of the plankton and the reefs of chorale, which are great oxygen producers.  This contamination also reaches the atmosphere in polluting gas form that we also breathe although we were far from the place of the spill.  The economic losses associated to the petroleum spills are also enormous, because the towns and coastal cities where the fishing plays an important role could go to bankruptcy.  The spills cause damages to the tourism, because beautiful landscapes can be transformed into black stained petroleum places, and that´s the reason why this also represents great economic losses for hotels, restaurants and coastal stores, in addition to unemployment and enormous losses for the States.  Damages to the terrestrial ecosystem, because when the black tide reaches the coasts the beaches are dyed of black and the rocks are covered with a hydrocarbon film. The crude is introduced between sand grains and penetrates in the ground, therefore the contamination of the land takes place. The most affected living beings are the invertebrates which live in this ecosystem. The film of crude forms a layer that prevents the growth of new plants and animals.  But, the most serious of the consequences from perforating Mother Earth to extract petroleum to use it as fuel, is intimately related to the question that apparently few people make:

What is, in fact, the Petroleum in the body of the living being called Earth?
According to the Dictionary of the Real Spanish Academy, petroleum is: “Natural, oily and inflammable liquid, constituted by a hydrocarbon mixture, which is extracted from continental or marine geologic beds. Different usable products with power or industrial aims -like gasoline, kerosene, gasohol- are obtained from it by diverse operations of distillation and refining”.

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Other outstanding definitions and characteristics found from diverse sources are:  It is a composed hydrocarbon mixture from carbon and hydrogen.  At the moment, it is the most important power source.  Practically all the productive processes, the production of electrical energy and the world-wide transportation, depend on petroleum.  It is a nonrenewable resource. It is finite, like the minerals, because it has a limited amount as far as its extraction, reason why at some time this resource is going away to exhaust.  The carbon dioxide released after the fossil fuel use, like petroleum, contributes to the famous greenhouse effect and to the global heating.

Regarding the origin of petroleum, the most popular theory is the one that postulates “the petroleum was formed by means of several and diverse prehistoric rest of terrestrial and marine animals, and terrestrial vegetables, which mixed with sediments, under the tremendous pressure and compression of the terrestrial layers, like the heat of the depths, managed to form it. This process is obtained with the passage of million years”. It is so the progress and material development of human being, according to as we conceived it at the moment, is taking us to consume -approximately in the last 200 years- which cost to the nature millions of years to create. These definitions we found about what the petroleum is, are definitions from the human point of view, these are not definitions from the certainty of what that “Natural Liquid…” means for the living being who contains it inside: Mother Earth. I explain myself: The definition of our human blood, according to the dictionary, is “Liquid, generally of red color, that circulates around the arteries and veins of the body of the animals. It is made up of a liquid part or shapes and cells in suspension: cells, leukocytes and platelet. Its function is to distribute oxygen, nutrients and other substances to the cells of the organism and to gather the remainder products from these”. If, for example, we would had tiny beings living on the surface on our head, who could extract our blood to use it in certain activities; as they have not become aware that they live on a living being, the definition they would also give for our blood would possibly be, simply: “It is a natural liquid…” When a living being is losing its blood –its vital energy- it can suffer anemia, serious convulsions and, finally… paralysis. To prevent that ending, its immunological system reacts to look for the lost equilibrium balance, which is necessary for its survival; and that reaction or natural regeneration entails forts movements in practically all its body. These movements shake –mainly- to everything it has on its surface.

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Ancestral Wisdom
There are only few indigenous communities in our world. Lamentably, the majority of them have been exterminated, by Genocide; first because of their resistance towards “evangelism or civilizing actions”, then because of their resistance to the named “material progress of the white man”. Nevertheless, it is quite touching the wisdom the natives expresses as far as the harmonic and systemic relation of all the living beings with the Earth, to whom they consider SACRED and call it “Pachamama”, Mother. One of these indigenous towns is the U'wa people, inhabitants of the deep forests of the Colombian east. Their name means “intelligent people who can speak”. They are caregivers and singers of the forests (they sing to the life, harmony, nature, water, hummingbird, to ruiria, corn… -to everything alive-, and through their singings, they transmit their ancestral wisdom). The Law of the U'wa is "Not to take what is not needed". In 1992 the Western Petroleum, an American company, and Royal Dutch Shell, a Dutch– British company, acquired the rights with the Colombian government to develop a petroleum project in the heart of the U'wa territory. Since that moment, the U'wa people have tackled a courageous struggle in defense of their culture, life and sacred territory. The U'wa people have wanted to make the world understand that the extraction of the oil would bear irremediably to a big destruction on the Planet. They express their warning with the following words: "The oil is ruiria and ruiria is the blood of Mother Earth... to take the oil is for us as killing our own mother ". “Any living being has blood: any tree, any vegetable, any animal, the Earth also and its blood (ruiria, oil) is the one that gives the force to all: plants, animals and men. But we ask the riowa (“white man”): How can you put a price to the mother and how much is this price? Anyone that commits an outrage against the mother also attempts against her children, who attacks the mother Earth attacks us to all, through whom we live today and to through whom then will come. For the Indian the Earth is a mother, for the “white man” it is hostile; for us her creatures are our sisters, for him they are only goods”. “Then we wonder: Who is the savage? The white man has declared the war to everything, less to his interior poverty. He has declared the war to the time and even to himself, as was saying another Indian brother from a distant town: “The white man rides on the progress towards his own destruction".

International Commerce
Although we manage to raise our conscience up to the point of being able to understand the wise words of the U'wa, their warnings, and those of other indigenous peoples as the Hopi Indians, for example, who also live in harmony with “Pachamama” without assaulting her as we do, the reality is that stopping the use of the resource on which we have made all the productive processes, the production of electrical energy, and the world transportation depend on, is indeed a superlative challenge, because it would imply to TRANSFORM radically the whole system of life, imposed since about 200 years ago.
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The International Commerce depends in most cases on the mobilization of goods on ships, planes, trucks … that work with fuels derived from the oil. Then, our challenge is: For lack of oil: How would the movement of goods be on a global scale? What would be used to replace it? In Dominican Republic, for example, in Year 2009 and the first four-month period of Year 2010, the volume of the imports of the crude oil and its derivatives -in gallons-, according to information given by our Department of Hydrocarbons, was: The first Four-month period 2010 130,009,467 119,195,825 104,735,150 42,952,061 60,987,411 44,290,837 57,844,821 136,133,909 37,835,217 2,955,405

Product Crude oil Fuel Oil Natural Gas Premium Diesel Regular Diesel Premium Gasoline Regular Gasoline GLP Jet Fuel NAPHTHA

Year 2009 390,461,407 317,081,001 211,685,612 61,410,398 253,182,535 108,488,247 107,031,210 501,191,270 66,563,730 15,612,206

Although posing this big challenge of looking for substitutes to the use of the oil and its derivatives turns out to be a quite complex and difficult matter, the fact is that we cannot keep on postponing it any more.

Perspectives
The Intuition and common sense, and even the instinct of survival, take us then by hands towards the use of CLEAN ENERGIES. Something positive resultant from this disastrous experience of the spilt in the Gulf of Mexico is the renewed interest from governments of developed countries in the use of alternative energies that could substitute the oil. A lot of these clean energies are already kept around there since a long time ago; since the times of the great scientist Nicolas Tesla, for example, but they had not woken up the sufficient interest on those who administer this world, to develop them and introduce their implementation to the masses. This is it, perhaps, thanks to the huge economic and political interests that have existed till now behind the business of oil, so lucrative for some and simultaneously so perniciously for the world and all its inhabitants. But now when the world is a witness of the aggravating consequences wrapped in the extraction and use of the so-called “black gold”, come it is the moment to initiate this transition, before the convulsions of the Mother, because of the constant received aggression, leave us in conditions of entire insolvency, so as correctly express the U'wa:

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“To the rhythm in which it goes the world there will be one day in which the man replaces the mountains of the condor by mountains of money. For that time, this man will not have already to whom buying anything; and if it were, this man would not have anything to sell to him. When this day comes it will be already too much late so that the man ponders on his madness... Whenever a species becomes extinct, the man approaches his own extinction”. “Every extinct species is a serious wound for the life. The man will reduce the life and then it will begin the survival ... perhaps earlier the greed is moved to pity of him and allow him to see the marvel of a world and the nobility of a universe that spreads beyond the diameter of a coin”. Let's hope we are still on time to look for the alternatives that allow us to change the course. So be it! * The authoress is Initiated in the tradition of The Sacred Order of Melquisedek

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Consulted sources:

Bilderberg http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_sociopol_bilderberg.htm

http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.html
Letter of the UWA to the white men http://www.indo-america.org/uwa/uwa.htm British Petroleum: The worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States and profit of more than 6 billion dollars for the first trimester http://novedadesera.blogspot.com/2010/05/british-petroleum-el-peor-desastre.html BP Oil Spill's Tony Hayward activates Bilderberg member http://www.bpcomplaints.com/2010/06/bp-oil-spills-tony-hayward-active-bilderberg-member-witha-hair-piece/ Spill in the Gulf: Shared fault? http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/internacional/2010/06/100621_2038_derrame_petroleo_culpas_comp artidas_gz.shtml Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy http://www.rae.es/rae.html

The future of the USA energy politics after the spill of the Gulf http://alt1040.com/2010/06/el-futuro-de-la-politica-energetico-de-eeuu-tras-el-derrame-del-golfo

EEUU Judge who allowed perforations has petroleum investments http://www.listindiario.com/las-mundiales/2010/6/23/147501/Juez-EEUU-que-permitioperforaciones-tiene-inversiones-petroleras My Answers.com http://www.misrespuestas.com/que-es-el-petroleo.html Person in charge for the agency that was supervising oil industry in EEUU had a “too narrow relationship” with the companies she had to supervise http://es.noticias.yahoo.com/9/20100527/tsc-dimite-la-responsable-de-la-agencia-23e7ce8.html Ecological Sustainability for Life http://www.cubasolar.cu/biblioteca/energia/Energia31/HTML/articulo05.htm

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This article has been published on the following Websites (Spanish):

1. Agencia Latinoamericana de Informacion (America Latina en Movimiento)
http://alainet.org/active/39201&lang=es

2. Armónicos de Conciencia
http://armonicosdeconciencia.blogspot.com/2010/06/melba-grullon-sostenibilidadecologica.html

3. Clave Digital
http://www.clavedigital.com/ktmllite/files/uploads/Medio %20Ambiente/Sostenibilidad%20Ecologica%20y%20Comercio%20InternacionalRiesgos%20Uso%20Petroleo-Articulo%20Melba-Junio2010-Final.pdf

4. Club Leo Moca http://www.clubleomoca.com/2010/07/sostenibilidad-ecologica-y-comercio.html

5. Cibao Digital http://www.cibaodigital.com/2010/07/sostenibilidad-ecologica-y-comercio.html#more

6. Comunidad Signia. Aprendizaje Colectivo http://www.mutualsignia.org.ar/blogs/item/2693-usomaldebido.html

7. Todo Ecológico.com http://www.todoecologico.com/t/Consecuencias-Uso-Petroleo.html

8. Scrib
http://www.scribd.com/doc/33775713/Consecuencias-y-Riesgos-del-Uso-del-PetroleoArticulo-Melba-Junio2010-Final

9. Multiply

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http://melbaltagracia.multiply.com/journal/item/7/Consecuencias_y_Riesgos_del_Uso_del_Pe troleo

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