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But seriously ...G8
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-07-12 09:32:35
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And that was it, once more the big power nations have met and once more they have all agreed that the environment is in deep trouble and that they should do something about it. And once more they accepted limits on how warm it can get, and once more they didn’t accept a specific time schedule. This is like a joke, with a variety of groups and participants that always carry the big “G” at the front: we have had G12, G30, G7 and G8, but unfortunately the temperatures still keep rising, ignoring the pompous decisions and postponed actions.

Barrack Obama represented a determination to change things in this meeting, but I’m afraid nothing has changed and in the end the only thing he represented was a gigantic …”we will!” In the meantime, all of them agreed that emissions need to be cut and they proudly announced that by year 2050 the emission cuts will reach 50%. Of course none of them will be alive then so …who gives a damn! Oddly, the only correct remark during the meeting was made by the failed General Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who noted that all the intentions are good and welcome, but they should have established a strong and ambitious mid-term target for the emissions cut. Cynically, the meeting took place in the Italian town of L’Aquila, which suffered from nature a few months ago, when an earthquake hit the town and left it in ruins.

The environment was one thing that kept the world leaders busy, but with Silvio Berlusconi as the host, and with his reputation, it was impossible to leave the female companions unnoticed. Nicola Sarkozy was there with Carla, and Barack Obama with Michelle. The big question was where Silvio was hiding his …company, and if he would dare to surprise the other leaders. There are many ways to measure power, if you’re big enough you can join certain “clubs”, with weapons, economics, influence, history, and in Silvio’s case it is definitely the …size!

Somebody else with size problems was the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, only in his case the problem had to do with the size of the raids and the problems they caused him in northwest China, something outrageous for the very controllable regime in Beijing. China wanted to talk about the global economy, and the Chinese leader was in L’Aquila to talk about this. Unfortunately for him, a series of ethnic conflicts in China raised the old question of China’s human rights. Of course the announcement that the guilty of the raise in China will be punished with death didn’t do much to help his efforts to show a change in the land of Mao.

Of course we must never forget the environment, it is an important issue, but despite all the hopes and announcements, I have a feeling that global warming was used to cool down the question of the global economy, which still seems to be in a crisis. With USA leading, the economic patchwork has somehow worked …temporarily. Cars are produced, bankruptcies have slowed down, and inflation is somehow under control in the Euro-zone and on the other side of the Atlantic. The fact that unemployment is continuing to increase at a scary pace is an issue they plan to deal with …tomorrow! First they need to save the industrialists and the bankers, make sure that they get their big fat bonuses, and keep their Learjets. Then they can take care of the unemployed!

The bitter truth is that the G8 - after their long fight to establish a global economy - lost the war, and now the only way to save the economy is to call for help across the globe. This means making everybody equal, even the countries they snobbishly ignored in the past. The first sign of this was when the G20 gathered a few months ago, with leading developing economies becoming partners. In the near future it is obvious that they will have to invite even lesser developed economies, and all that because they based their structure on sand and then watched everything fall down like a domino!

Now they realize how critical it is to find a solution for the problems in the Middle East, since every single change reflects on the price of oil, and suddenly everything even connects to terrorism. One of the major issues that caused the financial crisis was the fact that major financial institutions didn’t have the capital to support the expected losses. And the states didn’t get involved; despite the fact that they have guaranteed that capital exist for decades. The simple reason for this is that most states, including the mighty USA, are over their heads in dept! Pathetic, but it’s the truth. The over-indebted states had to find funds to support the over-indebted banks and industries, while industrialists and bankers continued to live in an imaginary world were money are just numbers and not real gold that has to come from somewhere. In the end all of them lived in a virtual reality! The only ones who didn’t live in that reality were - and are - the people that demonstrated on the streets of L’Aquila, facing the police and the state’s brutality!

What comes out of this meeting? Silvio Berlusconi emerges as a superb host and shows that Italian food is the best for meetings like these - with all the leaders appreciating the variety of pasta and fish, not to mention the wine! After that, how can anybody take the G8 seriously?
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