The summer of collapse

Collapse has been one of the most used words in media during summer. Effects of the collapse caused by the climate emergency have show up in our lives and planet. Effects announced for the future become a realty this summer. Record breaking temperatures, prolonged droughts, wildfires caused by global warming, water shortages… In addition,  high gas prices  are causing high electricity prices and increasing the risk of running out of fuel as a result of Ukraine war.

Besides these actual effects, another theoretical discussion has stirred up. Supporters of collapsist theories argue that it is too late to act and that the collapse of the world as we know  is already inevitable.It is curious that supporters of this theory, despite what would seem rational–that they were in favour of implementing as many measures as possible to reverse this situation–are against ground-mounted renewable plants. It is a hard to top ideological twirl.

Recent dystopias have not been enough for us to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. We are dealing with two wars at the same time, one environmental and one more conventional against Putin’s expansionist desire. In the latter, the use of energy has more importance than weapons.

After the first days of catchy headlines we get back to our daily routine and we get angry if we cannot put the air conditioning to winter temperatures, or if the shop windows are not lit at night, as if our fundamental rights were at stake.

Wasting energy is a luxury that the planet pays for, which we can no longer afford. Those who oppose ground plants do not take into account that the opportunity cost is to continue consuming fossil fuels, perpetuating expensive energy that is dependent on producing countries, including Russia. Russian tanks do not do an environmental impact study every time they advance. And I am not saying that projects have to be done without an environmental impact study. I believe that a good complete and quality study is essential to give guarantees to society and fight against the demagogic criticism of the neo-negationists. But I am against general disqualifications without any scientific support.

We live in a moment in which, more than ever, it is necessary to speed up the process of ecological transition. There are delays and problems, especially administrative ones, that make it difficult but we cannot add new walls to them due to misinformation, political or personal opportunism, or competitive economic interests hidden behind a supposed respect for the landscape.

It is urgent to better manage administrative procedures, without making them more permissive. Better quality and increased quantity of professionals for administration services, both at regional and state level, being able to simultaneously carry out procedures, legal compliance …all of thismeasures can shorten promotion times. And let’s not forget that a year saved in bureaucracy means 12 months reducing fossil fuels and enjoying cheap energy.

But what we need is an exercise of responsibility by all the actors: politicians, NGOs, environmentalists and social agents. There have been demonstrations around the world against governments’ passivity  facing climate change; coherence should make these same people and institutions request that-with the appropriate guarantee measures-the process of ecological transition were accelerated. It is an exercise of responsibility and coherence.

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