NZ Green Party
Ahoy meh hearties

Well, you could go down the clean energy pathway, with wind and solar power, or you could take the other response to peak oil and just nick yourself a Saudi Arabian supertanker.

The capture of the [Sirius Star supertanker] is one of the most spectacular strikes in maritime history.

“It looks like a deliberate two fingers from some very bright Somalis. Anyone who describes them as a bunch of camel herders needs to think again,” one Somalia analyst said.

Well, obviously they weren’t camel herders – camels can’t swim quite that far out to sea. Anyway, keep your eyes open for any petrol being sold at below the market rate. You may be receiving stolen goods, fallen off the back of a camel.

sea camels

Photo credit: red betty black

18 thoughts on “Ahoy meh hearties

  1. Well, that’s telling the NATO forces that the oil belongs to those who were born on the soil, not those who have the greatest arms expenditure, thoroughly.

    I’d expect to see a bit more of this going on, as the indigenous peoples of the world tell the armies of the Western Superpowers where they can take their tanks and guns & stuff them …

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  2. Mind you if they try and pump it out of the tanker where would they put it?

    And where is the refining to be done?

    I bet nobody will do anything and before long the tanker will founder.

    Then the Greens will be up in arms as the whole Somali coast will be knee deep in oil.

    Maybe that is the end game. Let the Somalis have the tanker, they will be unable to control the monster (big seas on a lee shore, will take the tanker about 12 hours to drift the 3 miles to shore, she only has two 24 tonne anchors and with no tugs in sight she will go aground) and have a spillage that will send the coast back to the stone age.

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  3. I dont thnk the infamous pirates are planning to refine the oil, I believe they are negotiating a deal …………..

    Its quite a bold and desperate hijacking really, is it motivated by poverty, greed or plain stupidity ?

    Are we going to see a new class of filthy rich dread pirates swapping their camels in for new BMWs

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  4. Katie

    I don’t know… I wouldn’t put it past Captain Mike to send in some folks to make it impossible for any Somali to go to sea under ANY circumstances for the next few years.

    Cheney is still VP and the US Navy isn’t over-extended the same way the Army is… and I remember Captain Mike pretty well… of course he’s Admiral Mullen now, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, but he was just a Lieutenant and I was just an Ensign back in 1971,

    He put me in hack a fair few times too :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

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  5. As the Somalis said today they are only in it for the money, why try to ascribe to their actions any other motivation?

    THey, unlike many westerners, are still money-grubbing lifestyle aspirants, rather than well heeled, high living, political animals like us.

    It was quite nice to hear someone admit to greed and avarice again, a bit like deja-vu as I heard it alot growing up in the ’50s.

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  6. “I’d expect to see a bit more of this going on, as the indigenous peoples of the world tell the armies of the Western Superpowers where they can take their tanks and guns & stuff them”

    Yeah, and when the “indigenous peoples of the world” run out of money and food, they will come running back to the evil western empire ready to sell their souls for a loaf of bread.

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  7. [joke]

    This supertanker is indeed good news, that means that the number of pirates is going up, and if we all remember that graph, global warming is caused by the number of pirates going down. If the number of pirates is going up, then the world’s temperature is sure to come down.

    [/joke]

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  8. katie Says:
    November 19th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    > Well, that’s telling the NATO forces that the oil belongs to those who were born on the soil, not those who have the greatest arms expenditure, thoroughly.

    actually, the tanker and the oil in it belong to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is both the country that covers the land where the oil comes from, and one of the countries with the highest military expenditure.

    You could make an argument that the oil really belongs to the people who are native to the Gulf Coast of saudi Arabia where it comes from, not the Wahhabist elite who came from the other side of the Arabian peninsula and only set up their capital in the oil-rich zone after the oil was found. But the locals mostly consider the royal family to be legitimate because it has intermarried with their tribal elite.

    the discourse of imperialism and self-determination doesn’t really explain this situation.

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  9. “Dave S Says:
    November 19th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    As the Somalis said today they are only in it for the money, why try to ascribe to their actions any other motivation?”

    I think that’s true:

    “From there, they got greedy,” said Mohamed Osman Aden, a Somali diplomat in Kenya. “They starting attacking everyone.”

    The cause/trigger seems to be:

    “The piracy industry started about 10 to 15 years ago, Somali officials said, as a response to illegal fishing. Somalia’s central government imploded in 1991, casting the country into chaos. With no patrols along the shoreline, Somalia’s tuna-rich waters were soon plundered by commercial fishing fleets from around the world. Somali fishermen armed themselves and turned into vigilantes by confronting illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay a tax. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/world/africa/01pirates.html?ref=africa

    Small government/Unfettered free market/globalisation? (tongue firmly in cheek)

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  10. kahikatea

    Your
    “only set up their capital in the oil-rich zone after the oil was found”
    .
    is a little off base. Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is in the middle of the country and based around a rather large oasis. In the 70s you could see the green and white striped water tower built over the oasis as it was on the edge of the developed city, now it’s regarded as ‘down town’ and can’t be seen without a lot of travelling around big buildings.
    The interesting thing about the country is that the Saud family created it, as a country, by defeating in war all the tribes that occupied the peninsular, except those on the other side of ‘the dead quarter’ – which is now the UAE.

    The cities of Dammam and Dhahran are centres of trade and oil extraction & export, Jeddah is, however, the major port, and on the West coast of the country.

    Given that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia basically holds the key to our current way of life, I am amazed at how few people know anything about it! You are in good company!

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  11. Disn’t the Piracy Industry start a few hundred years ago, in the West Atlantic, under license from various kings and queens? Hmmm Must ask Jack Sparrow he should know :-)

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  12. # andrew Says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    (tongue firmly in cheek)

    why?

    I respond:
    The comment was “a stone in the bush” to see what comes charging out. In particular I hoped to elicit comments regarding the absence of effective government control of the local fishing grounds (small/no government?), the presence of the international fishing fleets that was to the detriment of the locals (globalisation?) and the initial policing/vigilantism of the locals to protect there patch – that soon turned to piracy for its own sake. This seems to be a general lesson about the absence of effective government and what arises in its place.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/world/africa/01pirates.html?ref=afri ca

    “It’s true that the pirates started to defend the fishing business,” Mr. Mohamed said. “And illegal fishing is a real problem for us. But this does not justify these boys to now act like guardians. They are criminals. The world must help us crack down on them.”

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  13. Maybe it is just a symptom of a society in collapse.
    According to Jared Diamond in his 2004 book “The Rise and Fall of Civilizations” Somali was a country in collapse then so what is it like now.

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  14. # Dave S Says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    > Given that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia basically holds the key to our current way of life, I am amazed at how few people know anything about it! You are in good company!

    I’m intrigued that you accuse me of being ignorant of Saudi Arabian geography.

    While Riyadh is inland, it is essentially part of the more eastern of the two more populated areas of Saudi Arabia, which also includes Dhahran and Damman. And the House of saud built their capital there to give them a presence in the east of the country as part of their attempt to unify the nation, because both the House of Saud and Wahhabism had their roots in the west, around Jiddah, Mecca and Medina.

    You are right that the house of Saud defeated the other tribes in war, but the fact that they then married into each clan is at least as important as a basis of Saudi national identity.

    and it’s also not true that they conquered the whole peninsula except for the UAE – they also didn’t conquer Oman and Qatar, for the similar reason that they were cut off by the uninhabited quarter, but most importantly they did not conquer the most densely populated part of the peninsula – Yemen. Yemen is right next to the Hejd region where the House of Saud began, it is not cut off by an empty quarter, and until the rise of the Saudi oil industry it was home to more people than the rest of the peninsula put together.

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  15. kahikatea

    Thank you for your response.

    Your suggestion that “While Riyadh is inland, it is essentially part of the more eastern of the two more populated areas of Saudi Arabia” is sadly off-base. As a simple example, a 737-100 takes exactly the same time to fly from Riyadh to Damman and it does from Riyadh to Jeddah.

    While Oman and Qatar are part of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) it is true that they didn’t conquer Yemen, I stand corrected and ascribe my failure to old age and the onset of that terrible disease (the name of which I can’t remember) that makes you forget things.
    The Saudis did, of course, subjugate Yemen after the oil was found, by employing all its available young men to do the work that a self respecting Saudi would never do. For instance making tea, digging holes, washing cars, driving non-Mercedes-Benz trucks, carrying refrigerators (I have a photo of my brand new American 703 litre fridge being carried from a souk to my house on the back of a Yemeni ‘boy’ – he must have been 60 something ) etc..

    The Saud family essentially came from Nejd -a plateau bounded by the Nefud, Dahna, and Empty Quarter deserts, as well as by the mountains of Hejaz and ‘Asir; essentially this is the ‘middle’ of the Saudi Peninsular. While they linked their line with other tribes, for instance Mohammad ibn Saud married his eldest son off to the daughter of Muhammad Abd al Wahhab in 1744, this was done before the ‘consolidation’ of 1932 that created the current Kingdom.

    Nice place to work in the 70s, it was calm, travellable and the princes were just neighbours. Now, best left to the locals, though it does have the best welfare system in the world as well as the biggest ruling royal family!

    Happy daze

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  16. It says a lot about the world we live in that Somali pirates can hold almost a hundred ships and their crews for ransom and it isn’t deemed newsworthy but hijack one oil tanker and suddenly piracy is headline news.

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  17. While the Somali warlords profit from piracy the planet pays the price in increased CO2 emissions as shippers begin taking the long way round to avoid the troubled waters. Finally there’s something really useful that the world’s navies could be doing and, of course, they’re not doing it. Maybe the US miltary can take a detour on their to/from Iraq?

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