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You Gotta be KIDDING me...
December 12, 2003 10:27 AM   Subscribe

We're filthy rich - now help us!! This is mostly an artice about Kyoto, but one little paragraph left my jaw wide open to see that OPEC thinks they should be compensated if the world finds a better way... I guess it's not a unique concept though - does anyone have some other examples of a (potentially) failing industry that wants compensation?? My apologies if I've missed this in another thread somewhere...
posted by matty (17 comments total)

 
does anyone have some other examples of a (potentially) failing industry that wants compensation??


RIAA, anyone? ;)
posted by dejah420 at 10:33 AM on December 12, 2003


Wasn't there a move to limit the speed of early motorized vehicles to that of the horse-and-wagon? I think just about every industry, when faced with extinction, comes up with this sort of foolishness. They've all been ignored, too.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:42 AM on December 12, 2003


Hands down the airline industry...
posted by EmoChild at 10:44 AM on December 12, 2003


In my view, OPEC ( a cartel that would never be allowed in the U.S. and yet we tolerate price fixing abroad) is simply making noise in order to suggest what consquences might be forthcoming if they are scorned in their ability to make reams of money. Hey, you are in biz; somethsing better comes along, you lose.
posted by Postroad at 10:47 AM on December 12, 2003


If you think the Middle East is unstable now, just wait until it can't make money selling oil.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:47 AM on December 12, 2003


pardonyou? wrote: If you think the Middle East is unstable now, just wait until it can't make money selling oil.

That may be true, but without oil, nobody outside the ME will care.
posted by tippiedog at 10:54 AM on December 12, 2003


See the Candlemakers' petition [original in French], a satire of this kind of protectionism written and published by Frederic Bastiat in 1845, in which candlemakers and industrialists from other corporations petition the legislative body to make a law to protect their trade from the unfair competition of a foreign power: the Sun. Also known as "buggy whip syndrome."
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:55 AM on December 12, 2003


Of course its silly from a policy perspective, but it makes perfect sense in the context of treaty-making. The supporters of the treaty have an interest in getting as many countries to sign as possible, or they will face a significant competitive disadvantage in the world economy. This gives undecided or unenthusiastic states significant leverage to make demands.

This is what makes negotiating these multi-lateral treaties so difficult, particularly when the treaty requires short-term sacrifices in exchange for achieving long-term (in this case, very long term) gains. Global warming is especially problematic because developing countries (with some justification) blame the West for global warming and feel that the West ought to shoulder the vast majority of the burden while they remain free to develop relatively unhindered (or, in this case, actually be given protection from the effects of the treaty).
posted by boltman at 11:02 AM on December 12, 2003


Man new industry (renewables) and loads of cash-- they just don't mix! Whatever you do don't diversify. For me I'm selling my house to buy a single tulip bulb.
posted by soren at 11:24 AM on December 12, 2003


That may be true, but without oil, nobody outside the ME will care.

They will if someone sets them up The Bomb.

So is OPEC planning on compensating the coal industry? How about the whale oil business or the turpentine makers and tallow renderers? How about the carbide processors?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:44 AM on December 12, 2003


Subsidies for angora wool producers, anyone?
posted by adamg at 12:20 PM on December 12, 2003


It's requests like these that make me wonder if there isn't actually something to one premise of the current administraion – which seems to be that the Arab world is culturally handicapped enough they couldn't make the transition to the "right" kind of society on their own.

Of course, we have the same protectionist syndrome in our own society.

Maybe I should just give up on humanity...

/in despair, bows head, there is no peace on earth I said...
posted by namespan at 1:33 PM on December 12, 2003


Subsidies for angora wool producers, anyone?

Somehow when reading your link there I got this image of thousands of GI's marching on Inchon is fabulous, fuzzy angora sweaters, a la Ed Wood.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:28 PM on December 12, 2003


Penny wise, pound foolish.
posted by Down10 at 3:21 PM on December 12, 2003


> OPEC ( a cartel that would never be allowed in the U.S.

The design for OPEC was copied from the Texas Railroad Commission.


> If you think the Middle East is unstable now, just wait until it can't make money
> selling oil.

They'll be back in the goat business, but it'll be cutthroat goat business.
posted by jfuller at 3:27 PM on December 12, 2003


namespan: I'm sure it is the later in this case. Put any other country in Saudi Arabia place---dependant entirely on one industry that stands to be marginalized by a international agreement which its has some leverage to affect---and I'd wager it would be doing exactly the same thing.

Saudi Arabia sees itself as likely to be disproportionately harmed by Kyoto, so I'm sure they just see themselves as fighting to ensure that they are treated equally.
posted by boltman at 4:30 PM on December 12, 2003


Wait - I've got it!

The ultimate conspiracy!

Bush is blocking Kyoto in order to save his Saudi (and other opec) masters!

(you know I'm kidding, right? Right???)
posted by swerdloff at 7:41 AM on December 13, 2003


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