(6) Why the chemical fuels are NOT "fossil"

Rolf Martens rolf.martens at mailbox.swipnet.se
Sat Aug 17 21:19:48 MDT 1996

(6) Why the chemical fuels are NOT "fossil" [Posted: 18.08.96]


- On one technique used in that country for getting oil in the
early/mid '70:s (1 "small" piece of information I have on
this) and its significance, and also on that country's oil and
energy policy and its radical change since the late '70:s, etc. -

This is also a continuation of my replies to Lisa Rogers and
Barkley Rosser, which began in posting (4).

Concerning China, I do know some things which perhaps many don't.
To begin with, one notable fact was often pointed out in China
when it was still socialist, for instance in an article published
in Peking Review No. 11/1974,  "Behind the so-called 'Energy
Crisis'", by Chang Chien (who in that article showed a
certain if not complete understanding of what was, at that
time, in fact going on internationally in that respect):

"An advanced social system promotes the development of
the social forces of production while a decadent and declining
social system obstructs the advance of the social forces of
production. China, for example, is a big country which abounds
in natural wealth, including sources of natural energy. But in
semi-colonial and semi-feudal China, imperialism not only
robbed her of her vast valuable energy resources but also
labelled China 'an oil-poor country'. The situation has been
entirely different since liberation."

[It took a social revolution, with considerable bloodshed, to
get - among many other things of course - that oil, which had
been there all the time, out of the ground.]

"...In a very short time they" [the Chinese people] "have
removed the 'oil-poor country' label stuck on China. The days
when she was completely dependent on foreign oil are gone
for ever." [He didn't take into account the possibility of a
restoration of capitalism, which in fact followed only a few years
later. Even so, he wasn't proved completely wrong.] "More than
self-sufficient, China today also has oil for export."

How did the Chinese find that oil? Your brother-in-law's major
professor, Barkley, obviously wasn't there to help them (as he
later was here in Sweden to help us others fight nature, at least,
which in this respect is a much more reasonable adversary than
are certain politicians on the international level), but I would
guess that some Russians, for instance, may have been, before
the Soviet Union turned social-imperialist. One of the small
pieces of information I have on this points to China's having
utilized in practice the originally Russian "deep-earth-gas" theory.

On 19.11.1974, the news agency Hsinhua (New China) reported
(as I quote from the 2/1975 issue of "Kina i dag" published by
the Chinese embassy in Sweden) i.a. that "in the early 1960:s,
social-imperialism tried to strangulate the new China by means
of an oil blockade" but that the country "by 1963 had become
largely self-supporting in petroleum" and that, of the wells in the
Takang oil field, "many are highly productive with first-class oil
and are reaching down to a depth of over 3000 m" - which is
not yet "unconventionally" deep, I think.

But very interesting IMO is a small notice in "Kina i dag" No.
6/1976 p. 31, on Drilling Team No. 7002 in the Szecuan province
in South-West China having drilled the deepest oil-producing
well in China so far, 6011 m deep, with all Chinese equipment
and personell. *That* was a "cosmic" hole, NOT a "fossil" one!

It's a really a little off topic here, now that we're discussing the
origins of oil etc, but I'll include some paragraphs on what
happened to China's oil production after the capitalists took
over, just because this sad story - no, this cathastrophy, for the
Chinese people - is so extremely instructive, and I think, so
completely unknown, to those who have only followed what
"mainstream media" have recently had to say on this.

And of course the entire question of the origins of the chemical
fuels has its practical significance precisely in relation, in the
first place, to that other one: Which policies are good, as seen from
the standpoint of the great majority of people, in connection with
oil etc and in connection with energy in general, and which ones
are bad? And in the second place, it has a really even greater
practical significance in relation to the question: Which type of
society is liable to bring you a good oil (energy) policy, and
which is not? On this point, much is to be learned from the
recent history of China. I'll start with some statements made
20 or more years ago.

On 30.03.1975, a daily here in Sweden, the Sydsvenskan,
reported, under the heading "China: Oil Is to Give Industrial
Power", on that country's then growing oil export. It said i.a.:

"In 1957, the Chinese produced a modest 1.5 Mtons. In 1974,
annual production exceeded 50 million tons. This year's
production is calculated to be 77 Mtons. It's calculated that in
1977, a level of120 Mtons will be reached, and Western
observers believe that annual production by 1980 will be of the
order of 400-500 million tons." (Which would have put China in
this respect on a par with Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union.)

After the restoration of capitalism, the new Chinese bourgeoisie
themselves pointed out, for instance, with the following IMO very
interesting remark in the Beijing Review (spelling changed in
1979) No. 25/1981 (p. 3):

"It was during the 10 chaotic years" [aka: The Great Proletarian
Cultural Revolution, 1966-76] "that China's oil output went up
>from 10 million to 90 million tons."

Yes, and a just terribly "chaotic" period that decade must have
been in China, too, when during that time the country's oil
production was only ninefolded!

"Everybody" today knows of course "how much better" capitalism
is at getting practical economic results than that "rigid
socialism" which "gives people no incentive" etc, a.s.o. and
blabla. In this case, this was "clearly demonstrated" again.
I invite you to listen to one of the Chinese revisionists'
(meaning, capitalists camouflaged as "communists") deputy prime
ministers, Yao Yilin, talking to US weekly Newsweek in 1981
(issue of 30.03.1981, p. 38):

"Oil production will fall and will keep falling until the late
1980:s". And why? "Our oil policy is not good enough".

For "internal consumption", the same person gave a quite
different reason for this complete and cathastrophic reversal.
He wrote, in Beijing Review No. 11/1981:

"Economize on energy consumption. In order to gain a proper
ratio between reserves and extraction" [!] "and ensure safe
production, the originally planned output of 106 million tons for
1981 has been reduced to 100 million tons and the originally
planned coal output by mines whose products are distributed
by the state has been lowered from 359 million tons to 338
million tons."

I put in the "[!]" because, even in the same article, China's
actually enormusly large proven reserves of oil and coal were
once more pointed at. The contradictory and obviously
mendacious statements here seem to indicate something
even worse than gross incompetence on the part of China's
new bourgeoisie: They smack of deliberate strangulation in
certain respects of the development of industry and agriculture.

Whatever the exact causes, China today still doesn't produce
more than 140-150 Mtons of oil annually. And on the energy
situation in China in more recent years, there was, for instance,
in Beijing Review No. 9/1989 (p. 7), a notice:

"*Power Shortage Threatens China*. The great shortage of
electrical supply, just like a hungry and howling wolf, has
come to threaten the development of various productions
and affects adversely people's lives." "...From New Year's
Day to January 12, they had to switch off the electrical
supply to some units and households four times as often
as they did in the same period last year...".

In fact other more recent information has pointed to as much
as 20-30% per cent of factories standing idle because of the
acute energy shortage. One other thing: In socialist China, there
were also very large forestation ventures, systematically turning
deserts into arable land. On the consequences in this respect
of the bourgeois energy *strangulation* policy, which continues
today and not only in China, you can draw some conclusions
>from an article in Beijing Review No. 35/1982 (p. 14):

"Some 800 million Chinese people live in the countryside.
At present, 80 per cent of the daily rural energy consumption
relies on non-commercial energy resources. About 180
million tons of firewood and 230 million tons of vegetation
waste are burnt every year which are equivalent to 220
million tons of coal."

That "nice", "environmentalist" policy of strangling and
preventing the use of modern energy sources not only quite
directly is a *genocidal* one, it's also a policy precisely of
that *deforestation* which those murder accessories the
phoney "environmentalist" propagandists hypocritically keep
pretending "resistance" against, as if they were not its main

(I'm not referring here to those rather many "environmentalist"
"foot-soldiers" who, because of the massive "official"
disinformation on these questions, have a completely upside-
down view of reality and don't know what they in fact are doing.)

So, what consequences should be drawn from the truth, on
various points, in the questions pertaining to energy today?

In my opinion, as I've already stated before: The reactionary,
genocidal, strangling policies of the main rulers of the world
today must be counteracted as far as possible, by the great
majority of people. And, in order to achieve this effectively -
and for a great number of other reasons too - the peoples
in the world have no other choice than jointly to topple these
rulers from power completely and build an international social
system in which they themselves have the final say, in practice
and not only in theory.

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