Les Relations des Jésuites contiennent 6 tomes et défont le mythe du bon Sauvage de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et aussi des légendes indiennes pour réclamer des territoires, ainsi que la fameuse «spiritualité amérindienne».

mardi, janvier 29, 2008


Plate 20: Southam News Release and article in Toronto Star which links Strong, Ontario Hydro, Desmarais's Power Corp., and Brian Mulroney to coal-polluting development in China.

In the rather definitive magazine Foreign Relations (November/December, 1993 issue) - 'definitive' because it emanates from The Council of Foreign Relations - the periscope of the issues we have been discussing was raised in an article, 'The Rise of China', written by Nicholas D. Kristof, Beijing Bureau Chief for The New York Times from 1988 to 1993.

In this cogent and brilliantly-argued article we are told that in 1991 the per capita consumption of energy in China was only 602 kilograms of oil equivalent, compared to 7,681 kilograms of oil equivalent in the United States. We are also told that if, within a few decades, each Chinese uses as much energy as every South Korean does now, then China will begin to use more energy than the United States. In other words, a steady increase in China's industrialization will place a huge new strain on global energy supplies.

The second disturbing consideration arises from the fact that most of China's energy comes from coal, particularly soft, high sulphur, highly polluting coal. In 1991 - if numbers which are so massive can mean anything to us - no less than 11 trillion cubic meters of waste gases and 16 million metric tons of soot were emitted into the air over China and travelled across international borders to attack forests far away in Siberia and Korea.

The sulphur in the coal causes acid rain, and the actual burning of the coal releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the most deadly of the greenhouse gases that traps heat around the earth's surface. This 'greenhouse effect', Nicholas Kristof argues, could in turn lead to 'climatic changes, a rising of the oceans and inundation of costal areas around the globe.' At last count, China ranked third in the world in emissions of greenhouse gases and throughout the entire world is the fastest-growing emitter of these gases. What sensitivity does the Chinese government or governmental officials have to these issues? Officials make it clear, Kristof concludes, that 'they will not sacrifice economic growth for the sake of the environment - their own or the world's.'

Where does the first Secretary-General of the UN Environmental Program - Maurice Strong - and the Secretary-General of the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Brazil - also Maurice Strong - stand in relation to all of this? He is the one who - with his friends Brian Mulroney, Bob Rae, Paul Desmarais, and the Head of Hydro-Québec - is developing the Chinese coal for, as he stated in Rick Hallechuk's Toronto Star article, 'some cash flow from the projects relatively quickly.'

Events of the middle of May 1994 raise further questions. In a front-page story in The Toronto Star on 17 May 1994, Leslie Papp reveals that 'Ontario Hydro chairman Maurice Strong has opened talks on buying 12,500 hectares (30,875 acres) of a Costa Rican forest.' This is to cost between 10 and 12 million dollars, which Ontario Hydro is expected to provide. It seems also as if the land is in some way connected with Strong's private ownership of land in Costa Rica . What is the land to be used for, Ontario Hydro was asked? 'The purchase,' a Hydro spokesperson (Strong was conveniently away on a business trip in Japan) said, 'is being considered on grounds that saving a large section of forest will help offset the emission of greenhouse gasses by oil or coal-burning generating stations.'

'Major utilities,' Strong declared when he returned from Japan, 'both public and private, are considering investing in rainforests to help cleanse the atmosphere of gases causing global warming.'

What kind of cynicism or opportunism would the ordinary citizen consider this? Here we have Maurice Strong, on the one hand, making a generous environmental gesture (at the Ontario taxpayer's expense) to cleanse the Costa Rican atmosphere and, on the other hand, investing $100 million in China for a quick profit but has no compunctions that the coal plants he is using there are one of the deadliest polluters of the atmosphere. As Rick Hallechuk writes in the Toronto Star article mentioned above: 'Known globally as an advocate of sustainable economic development, Strong did not seem at all deterred by the prospect of Ontario Hydro helping to build polluting, coal-fired power plants.'

Maurice Strong seems like a juggler who capitalizes on the amnesia that the new world order is rapidly inducing in the population of North America (and indeed the rest of the world). For only two days after the Costa Rica announcement, the Toronto Star (19 May 1994) carried another front-page story, this time written by business reporter Jonathan Ferguson 'Strong sought as UN secretary general.' This is clearly a diversionary tactic, drawing attention away from the Costa Rica blunder and at the same time capitalizing on the Canadian inferiority complex which makes them stop in their tracks with awe when one of their countrymen 'does well' abroad: the fact is that current secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt is not expected to leave the post until 1996:

The draft [to become secretary general of the United Nations] surfaced this week when Strong supporters in the international business community fretted over his handling of Ontario Hydro's controversial plan to purchase a jungle tract in Costa Rica for around $10 million.'

Accompanying the 19 May article is a photograph of Strong with the caption 'Hydro chief says he's flattered,' as well as a list of his 'blue-chip cast of supporters' including 'Paul Martin, a Strong protégé and federal finance minister. Strong hired Martin when he was president of Power Corp., and launched Martin's meteoric business career.' Also included in the 'blue-chip cast of supporters' is 'Prime Minister Jean Chrétien who, when a cabinet minister during Pierre Trudeau's years in power, worked with Strong when he headed up federal crown corporations such as Petro-Canada and the Canada Development Investment Corp.' Incidentally, Mulroney used the same tactic with relation to the top post at the UN in 1991.

One is inclined to ask: why is Maurice Strong allowed to prosper by his sleight-of-hand ways at the taxpayer's expense? His first act as Chairman of Ontario Hydro was to adze one-third of the workers even though he had arranged an annual salary of $425,000 for himself: then at his first Press Conference with the 'schoolboy socialist' in tow (Rae beamed with largesse as, on behalf of the people of Ontario, he made Strong a gift of North America's largest public utility), Strong had the gall to declare: 'I didn't take this job for the fun or the money.'

Strong also has conveniently arranged for himself - this time at the expense of the taxpayers of Greece - a $126,000 prize for himself for arranging the 'environmental extravaganza' in Rio in 1992. He continues to speak of privatizing Ontario Hydro even though it has a massive debt of 34 billion. Looking over Strong's record (with Petro-Canada, etc.), one can be sure that he will not lose in the transaction.

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