Resources are not limitless
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The resources are neither infinite nor eternal: the antidote for the unlimited production is sustainable degrowth. From the French Revolution onwards, the policy options have been polarized with respect to two ideologies: right and left. After Tangentopoli and traumatic early 90 ', we have seen the so-called “end of ideologies”, which turns itself in only one ideology.
It is then natural to ask whether the persistence of this nomenclature, althought in attenuated form and content, is due to styles and media habits, resistance to most of the dated electorate or rather due to the ideologies that retain their essential content. In the latter case it must be asked whether there are and what they are, then, the constitutive principles of both position. It seems also clear that such ideologies can no longer be regardless of the fact that the productive development can not be unlimited, given that natural resources are limited. It should need perhaps an ideological revisionism that considers the current issues of ecology? Can it be abstracted from the requests that come from developing countries who are calling for a Western identity without bothering about the environment? Can the West , having wasted immense resources, set limits to the emerging economies of China and India? Can it stop the story? At the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 was enunciated the theory of "sustainable development" towards a "green capitalism" in other words the ecology of the market. Polluter pays, so that large multinationals can pay, without damage, their own problems caused by the impact, of course, of the cost on the market. Again, invoking this principle, it promotes the production of an increasing number of cars that pollute less and consume less power. They forget, however, that one million cars are much less polluting more than a thousand of the whole very polluting car. The philosopher Michel Serres exemplifies the "sustainable development" comparing it to the captain of a ship realizing that it's going straight into a rock, and he decided to reduce speed instead of changing course. We need to change the logic of "more and more" (Alain de Benoist, Demain, the décroissance! Penser the écologie jusqu'au bout) to return to an old belonging to the nature and not to rule on it. We need to change the paradigm: it is necessary to recognize the intrinsic value of nature is an indipendent value compared with the use that we make of it and realize that there is a limit to the exploitation of resources. Enough with thinking that "more" is synonymous of "better", quality can not be reduced to quantity. The value can not always be declined in market value. The prices are negotiated, values not. It's time to get out of a social model in which nothing is valuable anymore, but everything has a price. Yet we must re-establish and re-interpret ideologies to match them to the environmental issues that now are pressing and need to be properly evaluated as true emergency in these days. Never before the policy has a fundamental role to counter the market forces always directed toward greater consumptions: energy from fossil fuels produces air pollution and so we realize nuclear power plants. The risk is huge and we could go from bad to worse. Rather than invest in developing technologies to capture and confine the CO2 and continue to use coal in electricity production, we should invest in research and development of new technologies, facilitate and encourage the use of renewable energy sources to cope with climate change global linked to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The problem is huge and it would be desirable that each of us is committed to make its contribution towards environmental protection. We technicians are called to play a leading role both working to raise the awareness of clients, and developing projects of sustainable works. Even beyond the bland legal provisions, you must design and execution building works more and more biocompatible, with the use of local materials and with a provision for use of clean and renewable energy sources. Merry christmas & happy new year.