Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Tick On The Ass Of A Bull


POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Find purpose, the means will follow
. -Gandhi

Today it would be remiss of me if I did not offer my congratulations to the Anti-Smelter coalition in Trinidad and Tobago. A judge issued an injunction to temporarily stop a multi-million dollar aluminum smelter project in La Brea Trinidad. A project that seemed to be back asswards from its inception.

From what has been reported the Trinidad & Tobago government borrowed over $112 US million dollars $703 million TTDfrom the Chinese Government to build a smelter with the condition that a Chinese company will get the contract to construct the plant. Does that sound like someone was double dipped?

Well, thats a loan any banker would love to make. Imagine the benefits of such a loan that comes right back to your bank and the entire loan is still outstanding. A sweet deal for the Chinese, really nothing against China but that is the stupidest thing I ever heard. But that’s not all.

Economically and ecologically smelter plants are a potential disaster. The aluminum market has been depressed; it is an old industry with an uncertain future. It is not a wise business decision in an age of information technology. There are literally thousands of other more lucrative and safe investments in the world today. A smelter plant does not exactly fit into a clear 20/20 vision.

One of the guarantees of building a smelter plant is that it will produce enough toxic waste to destroy the entire surrounding eco-system. And get this, the company have assured the residents living in the surrounding areas that they will be tested for on an annual basis for a variety of potential life threatening diseases. Is anybody that stupid?

Sorry for the rhetorical question.

It is in that light that the Justice Dean-Armorer ruled to quash the Certificate of Environmental Clearance issued by the Environmental Management Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. That was a mouthful wasn’t it? In a 156 page ruling she said that the certificate issuance was “…procedurally irregular irrational and made without regard to a relevant consideration” Another mouthful but a very important declaration. But there is an obvious problem here.

The Trinidad and Tobago Government has already committed to this project to the tune of over $112 US million dollars. Chinese workers are on the ground and work has begun. How do we get out of this one?

The Chinese government will put the squeeze on the Trinidad and Tobago government and who ever the smart men were that concocted this extravagant scheme will be forced to take action. The making of a thriller for TV. The Chinese government is not going away without building something. They loaned the GOTT money with an implied or expressed agreement. That’s enough money for China to send some troops over here and have everyone of us building smelters or whatever they decide we should build?

OK, you laugh, but it’s not funny. The anti-smelter coalition is a tick on a large bull ass and when that bull begins to notice the tick it will react. One good hard lick and ticks are gone. What is actually very intriguing right now is that in the next few weeks and months we can be observers to the response. We will be a part of a process to put that billion dollar project back on stream. Let’s see how it will be handled.



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