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Articulo en ingles, para discutir: "A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy

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Articulo en ingles, para discutir: "A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy Empty Articulo en ingles, para discutir: "A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy

Mensaje  Invitado Mar Mayo 12, 2009 8:45 pm

Hola tod@s

como ya lo he mencionado, estoy desde hace un rato ya en esto de escribir un articulo en inglés, a pedido de Bart Anderson de http://www.energybulletin.net/ , sobre el descenso mexicano.

Como las realidades cambian mas rapidamente que uno puede escribir, ademas de que el tema del PeakOil Mexico da para mucho, pues el trabajo se está haciendo cada vez mas largo y extenso. Ya contiene aproximadamente 18 paginas, y no veo un fin todavia. Además, como poco escribo en inglés, me cuesta mas, porque todo lo tengo que mandar a unos amigos en EEUU y me lo revisan, y todo esto. Lo mas probable es, que lo sacamos en un formato de varios capitulos.

Lo que tengo aqui para los que hablen/ leen inglés, es una versión preliminar de un texto referencial para los articulos que planeamos publicar en las proximas semanas.

Se llama: A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy.

Aqui se lo dejo para su revisión crítica y comentarios;

HH

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Mensaje  Invitado Mar Mayo 12, 2009 8:48 pm

A short review of Mexican history
Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy
(H. Hieronimi, April/ May 2009)

To understand current situation in Mexico, its quite interesting to take a general overview of the historical context that led to the present situation. Mexico’s history is vast and coloured, in this short review I relate primarily to resouce and energetic factors, and how they might shaped mexican history, society and politics until 2006 (1).

From prehistory to the Mexican revolution-

Mexico has been inhabited by Homo sapiens for some 20,000 years. Its mineral-rich, geologically young volcanic soils, and the unique geographical, climatic, and biological diversity provided resources for the emergence of complex societies by the first millennium BC. Toltec, Olmec, Maya, Tarascans, and Aztec states and empires rose and fell, the last three only after the European conquest in 1520. In pre-Hispanic times, an indigenous population of an estimated 25 to 30 million was sustained in the area of today´s Mexico.

After arrival of the European conquistadores, American ecosystems, in a very short time, underwent deep and radical changes, due to different, mostly biological, factors (2). The spectacular decline of the indigenous population, up to 90% disappeared during the first century of colonization, combined with slow population recovery of the natives, mestizos and colonists, left vast resources to plunder. Only in 1960 Mexico would reach again the population levels of pre-Hispanic times. Mexico, along with Peru and Colombia, was one of the administrative centers of the Spanish empire in Hispano-America. Its territory also covered what are today the southern states of the US: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

During the next three hundred years, Mexico´s gold, silver and other minerals, as well as timber, sugar, meat, grains, and other resources and products went to support the Old World´s imperial structures. This system continued until 1810, when independence movements emerged, led by the descendants of former colonialists, which were finally successful in 1824.

Mexico lost large parts of its territory to the US in the war of 1846 – 1848. And in the following decades political instability reigned, until Porfirio Diaz imposed a 30 year long autocratic government; which pushed Mexico towards modernity and industrialization. In the first years of the 20th century, oil extraction began, led by English companies, who were also involved in the construction of Mexico´s railway system. North-American companies also participated in the early exploitation of Mexico's petroleum resources. These enterprises seem to have been highly profitable, but were an environmental desaster (3). By the first years of the 20th century, Mexico was world´s 4th largest oil producer (4).

In 1910, dictator Porfirio Diaz was forced to step down, due to multiple economic and societal pressures. What followed was a period of intense struggles between different power fractions and interest groups, leading to what is today called the Mexican Revolution. When the dust settled, one seventh of Mexico´s population was dead or in exile. It took almost two decades and different governments to rebuild the society again and set the scene for the development of “modern Mexico”.

Modern nationalist Mexico: 1934 - 1982

The first strong central government to emerge in the post-revolutionary times, was that of Lazaro Cárdenas, president from 1934 to 1940. Cárdenas is now celebrated as a national hero, for the land reform he initiated, and, most importantly, for his decision to nationalize petroleum resources in 1938. Luckily, this project didn’t end up in a Yankee invasion. As the US Government was too focused on its imperial interests elsewhere, the upcoming Second World War was taking much attention, and, after all, there were at the time, apparently infinite oil reserves in its own territory.

During the next decades, the profits from the Mexican oil fields went mainly to support projects of “national interest.” They fueled an administrative and political centralization, as well as the slow but steady industrialization of the country. The influx in profits also kicked off an impressive population growth, from 11 million in 1917, to 30 million in 1960, to 100 million in 2006. Most importantly, oil literally provided the energy to impose political and administrative structures necessary to keep the ever present state party PRI in power; which reined the country, for good or bad, for 72 years. In 2000, the PRI was finally substituted by a conservative/ right wing government.

Until the early seventies, Mexican crude exports weren’t really of big importance to the worldwide oil casino. This changed radically after 1971, the same year US oil production peaked, when PEMEX discovered the super-field Cantarell, in the Gulf of Mexico. This discovery was to become the “fate of Mexico” for the next decades, (and will be for sure the fate, for the time to come).

The energy crisis of 1973, and a subsequent rise of petroleum prices, motivated the fast development of Cantarell. By the mid-seventies the super-field entered production and provided the populist, autocratic, and paternalistic PRI governments with cash for some of the most excessive and wasteful administrations in modern Mexican history. According to one president of that era, the purpose of the political class was to “administrate the abundance”...

In consequence, Mexico's economy was amongst the first to fall victim to the manipulations that would restructure global resource markets. Implemented in the beginning of the eighties, it is now called “the Reagan/ Thatcher revolution”. Having become addicted to large revenues from oil, to keep their government`s inflated budget going, Mexico was unable to adjust quickly enough to the rapid decline of oil prices that were a direct consequence of the “revolution”, and thus fell bankrupt in 1982.

Mexico and the globalization (1982 - present)

The manipulations worked, and Mexican oil was once again “on the marketplace”. In the subsequent decades, most of its considerable petroleum reserves were destined to support US energy needs, growing increasingly dependent on crude imports.

The severe financial situation of 1982 made the Mexican government change the protectionist and nationalist orientation of its economy, towards implementing progressively free market policies dictated by World Bank and WMF spin doctors.
The economic crisis of the eighties meant hyperinflation for the rest of the decade, and the restructuring of the whole social, economic, and political context. Mexico was mainly an agricultural nation back in the early seventies, having nearly 70% of its population in its rural areas producing a surplus of products to be exported. However, during the next three decades it was to become a nation increasingly more and more dependent on oil exports, the development of a massive tourism industry, and mass migration of its young population into the growing mega-cities and, more commonly even, directly into US agriculture or service economy, providing cheap labor. During these decades Mexico also became a net importer of basic grains (corn and beans) to feed its growing population.

The eighties were a turbulent political time, since the Mexican civil society started to emerge for the first time after decades of deep sleep. The horrific earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 exposed the incapacity of the government and its institutions to effectively deal with this scale of crisis. This example paved the road for the popular “bottom up” responses and initiatives to fill the hole left by the government. In the following year’s, the movement gained a larger presence in the socio-political debate.

These changes led to the creation of an opposition-party. Its initial leader was Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, a PRI dissident who publicly disagreed with the direction that Mexico's resource policy was heading for. The son of the former president Lazaro Cárdenas, he very possibly won the elections in 1988, but certain more powerful factors imposed PRI candidate Carlos Salinas de Gortari to assume presidency. During his government, neo-liberal reforms were widely implemented all over the country, while PRI still was trying to conserve its traditional hegemony. Salinas' presidency ended six years later, in the tumultuous 1994 that initiated the 1st of January, marking Mexico's entrance into NAFTA`s free trade agreements.

That same day, when Mexico officially “entered” globalization, in its southernmost province of Chiapas, a Zapatista indigenous uprising confronted the world with the first organized and articulated anti-globalization movement. A postmodern “media guerilla” named EZLN (Zapatista Liberation Army) brought worldwide attention to thousands of indigenous communities, that had survived, virtually forgotten for decades, in the most remote parts of the country, while most of the Mexican society was dreaming of progress and modernity that was promised to arrive soon, according to government-propaganda.

These remote indigenous communities, though marginalized for centuries, were extremely organized and crystal clear in their basic demands. Which were, “Peace, democracy, freedom, and justice”, including the right to live on their land and to manage it according to their needs. “Mexico Profundo” - “Deep Mexico”, as we might call these important Mexican phenomena (4), emerged publicly for the first time in modern history. It was now in the public eye, confronting the government and society over and over again, during the following years.

Nevertheless, by the end of the year, PRI had managed, once again, to retain presidency with Ernesto Zedillo. A Harvard-trained free market-technocrat, he assumed leadership with the mission to complete neoliberal transformation of Mexico. First, he had to deal with another economic crisis (known as the “Tequila-Effect”), which began in late '94 and would have worldwide consequences. Again, inflation and financial meltdown were the rule. Banks were publicly rescued, later to be re-privatized to foreign financial institutes, and the migration of the rural population to the US accelerated. In retrospect, the crisis of the mid nineties appears now, to be a fabricated event, removing the last obstacles to quickly break the majority Mexican controlled banking and industry. This compromised the remaining petroleum resources to the US, in exchange for financial and military aid, (more frankly handing over control to the US Empire).

Another important fact from the late nineties, is that by 1997 the most important Mexican oil field Cantarell, showed its first signs of an approaching peak in production. PEMEX, in consequence, implemented state-of-art technology, injecting a massive amount of nitrogen to lengthen its lifetime. Although this procedure initially boosted production rates, it is also co-responsible for an even faster decline today.

Zedillo´s presidency ended in 2000, delivering a well manufactured “democratic” alternation in government. Vicente Fox from the conservative opposition party PAN, a former Coca Cola executive, was voted into presidency by a large majority of Mexicans, mainly because he seemed to be the most promising non-PRI candidate. His popularity in the last years of the millennium was created by a massive public relations campaign, designed to give the illusion of political change while reassuring a status quo. Apart from the change in the name of the political party in power, the following six years provided evidence of the growing incapacity of Mexico´s political class to address, and even understand, the basic needs of its increasingly impoverished population.

This incapacity found its expression in Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a candidate from the left wing opposition party PRD, who during the Fox-years served as mayor of Mexico-City. Obrador used his position effectively to gain popularity as a “spokesperson of the disadvantaged”, and ran for presidency in 2006, loosing by a small margin to the conservative PAN candidate, and now president, Felipe Calderon.
The 2006 election, and what followed, contributed to the extremely polarized political panorama we find in Mexico today.


References-

(1) The date of the Mexican Peak Oil is genereally referred to sometime between 2005 and 2006
(2) see “The Columbian Exchange”, a classic in ecological history by Alfred W. Crosby Jr. (1973, 2003), for more detailed research regarding the biological impacts of European colonization of the Americas.
(3) J.R.McNeill: “Something New under the sun – An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Centurz World”, 2000, Pinguin Books, 2001 Norton Pakerback, p. 299 ff.
(4) See ASPO Newsletter No.35 (November 2003) for more on Mexican oil history
(5) Mexico Profundo: Reclaiming a Civilization by Guillermo Bonfil Batalla and Philip A. Dennis

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Articulo en ingles, para discutir: "A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy Empty Re: Articulo en ingles, para discutir: "A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy

Mensaje  Dr. Doom Mar Mayo 12, 2009 9:04 pm

¡Enhorabuena, Holger! ¡Excelente trabajo; muy interesante! Por favor comparte con nosotros el resto de los artículos cuando los vayas completando.

¿Van a publicarlo en español, también? Sería bueno para todos aquellos que no leen en inglés, en especial tomando en cuenta que es referente a México.

¡Saludos y gracias por compartirlo con nosotros!

_________________
Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed
-Chinese Proverb

“The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim”. Gustave Le Bon;”The Crowd”
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Mensaje  Invitado Mar Mayo 12, 2009 9:14 pm

Lamentablemente, esto existe hasta ahora solamente en ingles...
chistoso, es la primera cosa que escribo en "inlish" desde hace años, pero este resumen no lo tengo en español.
no seria malo, verdad ? Pero cuando hacerlo....
soy permacultor y jardinero, primero el paisaje comestible, y después viene lo intelectual....aun asi, mi producción no es poca, verdad ???
saludos

HH

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Articulo en ingles, para discutir: "A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy Empty Re: Articulo en ingles, para discutir: "A short review of Mexican history - Resouces and society in context of PeakEnergy

Mensaje  nat Miér Mayo 13, 2009 9:30 am

Hola Holger, me gustó mucho tu artículo, buen resumen de la historia mexicana y el contexto de los hidrocarburos.

En cuanto a traducir el artículo, estaría muy bien que se hiciera, no se si dr. doom quiera cooperar con la labor, pero pinta muy bien.

Vengan las 18 páginas de artículo!

_________________
"Daría mi dinero en energía solar…ojalá no esperemos hasta que el petróleo y el carbón se acaben y lo enfrentemos.”

—Thomas Edison, en conversación con Henry Ford y Harvey Firestone, Marzo 1931.
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