Friday, October 12, 2007

Industrialists guarding the Forest

Dora Bakoyianni made an interesting speech when she appeared at the UN. Despite what was going on in Greece regarding international relations, she spoke on the environment and its importance and on how something should be done.
Here's a thought for her, how about listening to the people and creating a separate ministry for the Environment.

Greece has lumped the Environment together with Physical planning (read town/city planning) and Public works (read construction - from roads to dams)
. So in effect what we have is a ministry with two different objectives, one is conserving the environment , the other its destruction. The Wolf is guarding the sheep. OK i know that it might make sense, especially if the ministry has a philosophy of Sustainable development, but it doesn't. Tools such as environmental planning and environmental impact statements are not all that common. When they do exist they just pay lip service without doing a thorough job. Golf is considered an environmental achievement because green is created.

The question is, how can a ministry defend both the environment and construction? Its staff must be torn in two. But of course it isn't. One side is sacrificed, and that side is the environment. Case in point is the Ministers illegal house (built outside town planning, so in theory it is a farm - Who said farmers couldn't have two story villas and undercover parking).

Both major parties have advocated for a change in the constitution article which protects the environment. In fact they want to change it to make it illegal to quote protection of the environment as a reason to stop building and construction.
What the Greek government is trying to say with this action is that it is in the greater common good that the environment make way for building projects. Bourdes (rubbish) (Read Arundhati Roy's - The Greater Common Good for an eloquent rebuttal of this attitude).

Since Dora's party is in power, and she is rumoured to be its next leader, i believe she should act on her statements and join in advocating the creation of a separate ministry for the environment, one whose charter is its protection, not its destruction. Or else be labelled a hypocrite like the rest.


CaliforniaKat said...

Well, hypocrite is a Greek word so she'll just blend right it.

I found that ironic also. I just never said anything because I already bitch about environmental violations enough ;)

Vassili - Mike said...

No one is bitching about environmental violations, We are just raising it to everyones attention. Especially those who live outside Greece and want to know what is going on.