Who really cares for the environment?

Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, gave a press conference on the proposal for the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP).

Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, gave a press conference on the proposal for the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP).

The European Commission is famous for its practice to generously subsidise a large number of NGOs, which have been created almost exclusively for this purpose. That is, to swallow money from the European taxpayer and in return offer their tribune to Commissioners and other EU dignitaries to be exposed to media. This is a well-known game played in Brussels, where some, rather a lot of people, a special kind of EU apparatchiks, make a lucrative living out of it, working with and in their non-profit making organisations. In reality they are doing whatever they can for their NGO to make no profit at the end of the year. They do it happily by pocketing personally as salary or other expenses, whatever subsidies the Commission pays the NGO. Their main job is to organise speeches.

Invariably all those speeches, delivered in various galas or conferences prepared by those NGOs, are usually trivial and their “raison d’être” is simply to expose the speaker to media coverage. It seems that by far the largest sector having attracted the interest of the NGOs “creators” is the environment, probably because it cannot protect itself. So the champions appear and make it their business.

The reason for writing this aggressive article against the self-appointed protectors of the environment is a sentence from such a speech, delivered recently by Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for Environment. He said with no sign of hesitation, “That is why some may ask: How can we focus on the environment when everyone is talking about austerity and cutbacks. What does the environment have to do with growth and jobs? The fact is that in the long run it has everything to do with it!” How more banal or more tautological a statement could be than this one?

For god’s sake how could he pronounce such a statement without feeling that stating the obvious is an insult to those hearing it? But this was not all. A few sentences down he said, “Here we emphasised the need to ensure, not just the growth of today, but also of tomorrow”. This time what he said is not only banal and tautological, it gives us dangerous hints. He makes his audience think, that he considers the care of preserving our growth potential based on nature, is something that has to be analysed, explained, supported and stressed. Obviously, it is not something that he always does as Commissioner for the Environment.

In short he tells us that protecting our lives and the lives of the future generations, is a task that needs to be undertaken because presently only small attention is paid to it. And by God he is right. Mankind today has the means to greatly undermine the growth of tomorrow, and what is deplorable we do it. And Potočnik instead of denouncing those who destroy our planet, he delivers tautological and trivial speeches in conferences organised only for him, to be exposed in the media as protector of the environment.

Unfortunately for him his voters will not be convinced by empty words and believe better to their eyes,  seeing the world to be consumed in the name of today’s growth and profit. The bad thing is that as a Commissioner he can stay there without any vote.

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