Israel offshore drilling: ‘who owns the profits?’- a smokescreen debate
Why is Israel, which could be a global leader in solar and alternative energies, locked in a debate about who gets to profit from fossil fuels?
Why is there no mainstream discussion as to the potential damage offshore drilling can cause to ocean life, to the climate and to the health of citizens?
Mainstream debate is carefully limited to the rightul allocation of profit sharing between the citizens of Israel and the Israeli and American corporate moguls who own the drilling companies. As the debate gets increasingly heated, the corruption around the original gas deal is being revealed. The layers of vested interests of corporate and political leaders from Israel and America who are pushing the deal through as quickly as possible under all sorts of questionable pretexts are also being exposed.
Why is the deal being pushed through so quickly?
This year, the deceits and damage of the fossil fuel industries are making headlines across the world. In June 2015, Pope Francis issued a comprehensive document, the Encyclical, which includes severe criticism of corporations contributing to climate change. His document is receiving enormous publicity across the world as he takes an unusual step forward in bridging between Christian theology and the science of climate change. He is strongly condemning those involved in the greedy and dangerous exploitation of Earth. In the document he calls for the replacement of the use of fossil fuels by clean energy without delay. A recent report shows that for nearly three decades, many of the world's largest fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to deceive the public about the realities and risks of climate change.
A climate change summit will be held in Paris in December 2015 to bring world leaders together to discuss solutions to the spiraling threat to life that results from the abuse of Earth’s resources. It will focus on the impact of fossil fuels and the imperative of alternative energy. In advance of the summit, a worldwide campaign led by environmentalists and celebrities is calling for an end to the delay tactics of such meetings. The campaign calls for an urgent move to immediately commit globally to 100% green energy without compromise. The technology for the world to be entirely powered by green energy exists. Tesla’s solar battery is but one example of the advancements in green technology that can promise a smooth transition within decades.
There are more and more countries moving rapidly towards this goal and some that have already achieved it. In 2013 wind power production in Denmark exceeded the level of power consumption. According to Greenpeace, Germany already produces 25 % of its energy from renewable sources. With twice as much sun, Israel produces only 1.5% of its energy from renewables with a goal of only 10% use of renewable energy by 2020. Why is none of this information making headlines in Israel? Why is none of the larger context presented on mainstream Israeli media? The absence of these developments is suspiciously absent from public awareness.
Israel’s citizens are being sold the idea that we will benefit from the gas deal and will see its returns in the near future - in lower electricity bills and cost of living. So far the opposite is true, as the electricity bills fail to drop and the cost of living continues to rise exponentially. Gas versus solar based electricity creates citizen dependence on the Israel Electric Company that functions as a monopoly and from which the government receives taxes. The fine print in such deals generally show that the last to enjoy the benefits will be the citizens themselves once most of the profits are shaved off by all other parties.
The entire “who owns the profits?” debate has been manipulated to distract from the real issue of true energy independence – energy independence from the multi-national corporations that are destroying the planet, and independence from the government and Electricity Company that are draining citizen’s pockets. Most importantly, the focus on profits from the gas industry distracts from discussing the urgency for all citizens globally to work towards independence from the planet’s finite resources.
As we learn more and more about the planet as an interconnected living system we can no longer think of planetary resources from a myopic local and time limited framework. It is as absurd as thinking that one can plunder the nervous system in one part of the body without impacting the body as a whole. Just as the forests in Brazil function as the lungs of the entire planet, so are all the elements of nature in their accurate location and quanitity to cultivate and maintain life itself rather than to serve temporary human greed. Local resources have global functions and belong to the planet and no one species.
The debate as to who owns the gas and its profits - the people or the corporations, is a painfully outdated and dangerous framing of the issue of energy consumption. The limited human notions of ownership and exploitation of nature for our own greed and benefit have caused the devastation we now face. While more and more countries awaken to the imperative of green energy and an increasing number of leaders are moving to condemn and hopefully outlaw continued drilling of fossil fuels anywhere, Israeli citizens continues to be seduced into an increasingly obsolete mindset. Our attention is being narrowed to counting quick profits while ignoring the consequences of the drilling and missing the train to a truly independent and healthier future for all.
Rather than colluding with the gas deal, citizens should be taking to the streets to call for the end of the drilling. We should be questioning why the solar initiatives have been undermined by those with vested interests and fighting to reclaim the right to free solar energy. We should be joining the global call for 100% uncompromising clean energy for ourselves and for future generations.