Sunday, November 5, 2017

Extractive Industries are Running the Show

Clearly, the extractive and war industries are running the show at the White House from behind the scenes:
Lisa Friedman (November 2, 2017). Trump Team to Promote Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power at Bonn Climate Talks. The New York Times, 62000&_r=0
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will promote coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an answer to climate change at a presentation during a United Nations global warming conference this month, the White House confirmed Thursday.  The program is billed as a discussion of how American energy resources, particularly fossil fuels, can help poor countries meet electricity needs and drive down greenhouse gas emissions. Entitled “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation,” it will feature speakers from Peabody Energy, a coal company; NuScale Power, a nuclear engineering firm; and Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas exporter.

NuScale Power plans to build modular nuclear reactors, according to the Federal Register. NuScale is all over the news for its new "potentially safer" nuclear reactors, another nuclear utopianism that ignores supply chain, decomissioning, and containment/terrorism risks (e.g., see here). You can read about this company here: NuScale Power., accessed Nov 5 2017

Decision-making about energy is being organized around profits, rather than human security. The disregard for authentic national and global security is illustrated in the Trump Administration's push to sell and build nuclear reactors in the Middle East:
Jason Leopold , Chris McDaniel , Anthony Cormier (2017, September 15). Trump Advisers Secretly Met With Jordan’s King While One Was Pushing A Huge Nuclear Power Deal. Buzzfeed,
How can building nuclear reactors in the Middle East be good for security? Collusion among extractive predators threatens us all.

The nuclear industry is a viral machine that circulates around the planet and leaves radioactive waste in its wake.  

I came across this excellent overview of what I call "nuclear governmentality" in Africa where uranium mining drives France's "war on terror" operations there (which the US appears to becoming embroiled within as well):
 Pádraig Carmody (2014) The New Scramble for Africa.Polity; 2 edition.
Francis Ghiles (2017, November 5). France and America's Shadow War in Africa. The Arab Weekly, Issue 130. p. 16

The United States created the US Africa Command (Africom) in 2007 to fight terrorism in Africa and, as US Defence Secretary James Mattis made clear last April, fully supports French-led military operations. The French commitment, as President Emmanuel Macron pointed out in May when he spoke at the French military base in Gao, Mali, is open-ended.
One wonders how much of the war on terror is simply a pre-text for old fashion colonial "policing" of indigenous insurgents resisting extractive industries that strip wealth and leave environmental destitution?

Too much of the world's energy and security decision-making is suborned to extractive industry profits, as very well documented in this article discussing a century of US energy subsidies, culminating in our present pinnacle of corruption:
Elliott Negin (2017, October 31).Scott Pruitt Declares War on Wind and Solar Energy, While Fossil Fuels Get Billions in Subsidies. Alternet,
Regulatory Capture and predatory governance have afflicted US politics for a long time but the current regime is extremely overt in its corruption:
Juan Cole (2017, October 30). Top Six Trump Administration Crimes That Ought to Bring Indictments. Reader Supported News,
The good news is that the Internet allows dissemination of powerful analyses of extractive industry abuses, corruption and poor governance. What we need to figure out next is how to leverage this information to prompt real reform.


Hat Tip: Thank you all for your comments on extractive industries, corrupted politics, the Trump administration, etc. This post was particularly inspired by comments and links posted by  Hammy, Kendra and Juan. 


  1. Suicide of the human race and murder of life on earth.

  2. It seems that the only thing, the demented, orange haired zombie, and his pack, of brain-damaged, jackals, can see now is the short-term.

  3. More murderous, thieving schemes


    Radionuclide sludge from savanah. The end product of extraction economy. They are boom and bust boom and contaminate and leave radioactive hell in their wake.

  5. If there was any doubt about it, there is no doubt now. Donald Trump and his ilk, will kill off the endangered species. They will turn what parts of the Earth and oceans, that are not contaminated into chemical cesspools and unihabitable radioactive-cesspools-wastelands.
    View photo ·
    Donald J. Trump Donald J. Trump
    The U.S., under my administration, is completely rebuilding its military, and they're spending hundreds of billions of dollars to the newest and finest military equipment anywhere in the world, being built right now. I want peace through strength!
    View photo ·

  6. I've watched it all for over 60 years and I must believe that those who never gave a hang about the environment or the health of the human race inbred and inbred and inbred until they produced the ultimate uncaring entity on earth...that symbiotic relationship known as the GOP and those who buy them. HOWEVER, it came to my attention at about age 12 that when the 'Democrats' were in control with THEIR owners, still nothing major changed in favor of the environment or human health affected by that. LOGIC might then dictate that when we allow Big Business to BUY politicians, to fund their campaigns, we are allowing our certain doom. BUT, politics, that PARTY mentality, urges the sheeple to bleat softly and follow their wolf-shepherds on to the slaughtering pens. MUST have a political WIN. Vote for the WIN, not for the good of the planet,nation, nor us, just for the win. And so we slowly fade...Industry must profit. they are the demigods who give the gift of employment. Politicians, owned by industry, must be set over us, for the we lose. Over and over again. It's the classic definition of INSANITY: do the SAME thing repeatedly, expect different results.

  7. What is your solution waninahi? There are antinuclear candidates. None are GOP. The world will barely be able to handle, any more meltdowns. Certainly no fuel-pool fires. Shutting-down reactors and, casking fuel rods is a good place to start.


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