Just half a century after the Stockholm Conference, the first international summit on environmental protection, the ecological crisis is taking on ominous proportions. The war in Ukraine has overshadowed any interest in the ecological crisis and the path to environmental protection can be summed up as reversing at full speed.
The ecological crisis takes two main forms: the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis. Biodiversity is the inconceivable variety of life forms on the planet, this rich library of life that, according to the most vivid description, is destroyed before we can read the first pages of the first book. Conserving species diversity makes sense not only for insect researchers and magnifying glass scientists, but also for anyone interested in continuing life on the planet.
Whenever an ecosystem is under pressure, the huge variety of species ensures that there is a species that endures and that continues to offer its services without disrupting the cycle of nature.
In the autumn, the UN is holding an international meeting on biodiversity in China, with the aim of pressuring the countries of the world to adopt binding measures for its protection. It is a matter of paramount importance that goes into detail, while the voice of environmental organizations and sensitized citizens is ignored in the face of the urgent issues raised by war management. Even the “green” parties at the moment seem to be more interested in how Putin’s Russia will be defeated than in how to advance the green agenda. In these circumstances, it is not only the armaments industry that is rubbing their hands with the indefinite prolongation of the conflict in Ukraine.
Τhe oil and pesticide industry equally
The oil industry, one of the main culprits for the climate crisis, is recording record profits and paving the way for even more developments in the future, as the moratoriums on new mines, which have entered into force in a number of countries, are being torn down one after another. On the other hand, the pesticide industry, which is enriched by the spread of poisons in soil and water, managed in March to postpone the submission of the EU package of legislative initiatives on nature, which includes measures to reduce the reckless use of pesticides .
In both cases there is a direct problem – rising prices – being used to adopt, under a state of emergency, supposed solutions that are not only completely wrong from an environmental point of view, but will only work for years to come. In other words, companies are pushing for the despair caused by price increases today to shape tomorrow based on their own interests. In the EU, what is needed now is not dependence on gas or oil in general, but dependence on Russian gas and oil in particular. This implies new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, for energy imports from the US, the Persian Gulf and from the new North African deposits.
The cultivate set-aside land
As for agricultural products, the emergency permit to cultivate set-aside land and uproot natural fences between fields has been criticized by a number of organizations as irrelevant to food security. But it is a measure favored by the chemical industry, which governments have taken to enable EU agriculture ministers to announce that they are doing something. The need to publicly claim that he is taking action also seems to be guiding US President Joe Biden, who has backed down campaign promises for a rich climate support package.