Saturday, December 19, 2009


Loud-mouthed Jim Cramer of CNBC often has moments of intelligent lucidity, such as his promotion of the virtues of natural gas: cheap, plentiful and clean-burning. So when Exxon recently made an offer to take over XTO, a natural gas driller, Cramer thought it was a smart move.

I bet Cramer would be surprised to find that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agrees with him on the desirability of natural gas as one step in curbing man-made green houses gasses and global warming.

Juan Cole in his Informed Comment quotes Ahmadinejad's speech to the U.N. assembly in Copenhagen in a translation by the USG Open Source Center.

Ahmadinejad says:

"Every year millions of people lose their lives as a result of pollution, and skin and respiratory illnesses are on the increase. If greenhouse-gases continue to increase at the present speed, they will reach twice the level of gases before industrialization. In other words, instead of a reduction of 50 per cent, they will increase by 50 per cent and will pose a real challenge to the natural environment."

Ahmadinejad offers several concrete solutions, including ending the purposeless war in Afghanistan and spending the billions of dollars on Afghanistan's infrastructure and economic development:

"The so-called industrialized countries should fulfill their international commitments. At the same time, clear and feasible mechanisms should be drawn up which bring the disobedient governments and economic sectors under control and obligates them to pay fines to the countries which have experienced a loss. It has been said that more than 250 billion dollars has been spent on the expedition to Afghanistan and around 1,000 billion dollars has been the cost of the war in Iraq. Wouldn't 50 billion dollars spent on Afghanistan's infrastructure and economic development have turned this country into a developed country? And wouldn't 200 billion dollars on developing new technology and suitable use of fossil fuel have returned the pollution level to the period before industrialization?"

Ahmadinejad says that Iran is pursuing reduction of green-house gasses and global warming on different levels:

"And to this end the government has focused on the following plans:

- Reduction in energy consumption through improving standards in industries and productions,

- The management of consumption and elimination of energy subsidies in a planned and scheduled program,

- Extensive conversion of vehicles, industries and power plant to run on gas,

- Provision of access to natural gas for more than 90 per cent of cities and many villages,

- Extensive research on the use of clean energy including wind, solar, as well as plans for the production of nuclear fuel and 20,000 mw nuclear electricity."

Note Ahmadinejad's tress on natural gas. As I said above, Jim Cramer would love these proposals. And rightly so.

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