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Leasing the future Leasing the future
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-10-28 10:14:24
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"Give a man the secure possession of a bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden; give him a nine year lease of a garden, and he will convert it into a desert...the magic of PROPERTY turns sand to gold." This is a quote from Arthur Young, an American author and journalist, who lived in the beginning of the 19th century.

My first thought when I read the quote was here is another example of somebody that missed the point, but I soon realised after reading it again that I had missed the point. The quote is appropriate when it is applied to the large numbers of people that refused to vote in the last municipality elections in Greece, plus the equal number that occasionally reach the forty percent of the electoral group around Europe.

Actually, the ones who really own the rock and try to turn it into a garden are the electoral crowd, while the ones that lease the garden are the politicians. Look at what happens at this moment in the USA and the Bush administration. After seven years they feel as if they are total rulers of the game; they are covered with arrogance and the idea that they know what is best, so they ignore the voters' opinions and guide another nation into a civil war, plus take the whole globe on a terror trip.

I’m not going to analyse the responsibilities of this administration or any other administration here with the Middle East after all the difficulties that the issue has undergone through the last twenty years. What I’m trying to say is that none of them has ever had a long-term solution or a policy to use their influence in the international events and sort out the problem. Actually, Iraq has proved that they don’t even have a short-term vision or a solution for the day after.

It is not always necessary to end up with USA, the European Union acts with the same short vision as well. Always trapped inside petty politics and trying to keep a balance between a traditionally friendly Arab world and the responsibility of Israel, since Europe will carry the guilt of what happened during WWII for a long time. After all, you can always say that this is politics. What happens with the environment where the rock that turns into a garden and a garden that turns into a desert is literally true.

For years now, scientists and environmentalists all around Europe talk about alternative energy sources and the EU has often funded studies and tests on top of that. A number of successful tests that have already worked in some European areas, such as the wind farms in Holland and Sweden. However, the short vision of politicians and the need to expand productivity for the industrial world for more profit forces them to avoid decisions that the next generations will have to deal with.

Finland is already building the fifth nuclear plant in total agreement with the Green Party, since a seat in the government is more important than the future. The Germans are seriously thinking about it under the pressure of the Russian energy solution and England is not far behind.

All these decisions are made by people who don’t appreciate our kids, who are the real owners of this land. They just try their best, but what can they do when they can't be bothered to pick up a watering can and lend a hand in the garden?


 
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eva2006-10-28 02:45:52
I think this short vision apply to most people unfortunately. We notice it more in politicians only because of their constant "need" of popularity and because they're in the public eye.

The question is HOW can we make saving the planet PROFITABLE and APPEALING to politicians and business people?

I recently heard a CEO of a big company complaining "I don't see the dollars in that" (said in a broad American accent)

To me, that pretty much summed up the situation. To win this "war", we need to "show the dollars"...


Sand2006-10-28 06:27:37
The Al Gore film makes it quite clear that all that profit will be rather useless in a destroyed world. What is needed is a more intelligent humanity and unfortunately evolution is slower than human capability for destruction of the planet.


Thanos2006-10-30 10:07:00
Profit in a dead world?


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