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Re: SC30

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November 22, 2006 10:44PM
http://peakoil.com/article20959.html

As Fuel Prices Soar, A Country Unravels

Energy shock hits the upwardly mobile poor hardest in Africa's Guinea. Riots, blackouts cripple cities. A hospital's incubator shuts down.

Conakry, Guinea - Every couple of days, nurses at the Donka Hospital here scoop up the premature babies from their incubators. They rouse their mothers from sleep, lay the infants on the women's bellies and pile blankets on mother and child.

Doctors call this the "kangaroo method" -- a way to keep the babies warm enough so that they don't die during the long blackouts that plague this rundown West African port. Soaring fuel prices have forced the government to ration power across the city, and the hospital can't afford to run its oil-fired back-up generator.

"We can't keep it fueled up," says Mamadou Balde, director of the hospital's infant-care ward, over the wail of sick babies. "The power outages are becoming more frequent."

The impact of today's energy crunch on the poor is plain in rich nations such as America: Expensive gasoline and soaring heating bills make a hard life harder. In impoverished countries such as Guinea, where per capita income is just $370 a year and surging gasoline prices have helped spark bloody riots, the energy shock has become a matter of life and death.

Global demand for oil has soared in recent years, pushing international prices to record levels. Despite a recent decline, a barrel of crude still costs about double what it did three years ago. The most powerful energy-importing nations have responded by proclaiming energy security a top policy goal. President Bush has vowed to wean America off its "addiction" to oil. The U.S. is mobilizing ( ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL WARS ) more ships and soldiers ( WHO WILL DIE FOR BUSH'S LIES, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, YEAH RIGHT ) to protect supply lines, while Beijing is scrambling to buy oil fields from Asia to Africa ( OIL THE US WON'T BE GETTING ).

While robust economies like America and China are withstanding the shock, the poorest countries aren't. Increasingly they can't afford to slake their citizens' thirst for petroleum -- breeding another form of energy insecurity. The pressure threatens to undermine economies and sow domestic strife, further unsettling shaky regions and presenting fresh worries for policy makers in the West. In addition to Guinea, Nepal, Yemen, Iraq and Indonesia all have been rocked by fuel protests in the past two years........

This is happening right now folks, representative of just how ugly things get, when the energy tap starts running dry.
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