Vandalism in Power

Vandalism in Power

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By Ricardo Barbetti

It seems they only understand business, "cutting edge" technology, laws and decrees, industry, commerce, economics and politics. Those things can exist because the world exists and still works.

Ignorance or Cruelty?

A large number of actions and projects are being set in motion that give various results, among them tyranny over people and extermination of nature. I will give some examples later. Those who approve of these actions seem not to know that for the human being to be well it is necessary to take care of the environment, nature. It seems that they do not know that they promote the destruction of something essential for the development of people, spiritually, materially and mentally: the orderly, reliable, predictable functioning of this world. It seems they only understand business, "cutting edge" technology, laws and decrees, industry, commerce, economics and politics. Those things can exist because the world exists and still works.

Some examples:

-The coast of the Río de la Plata was for thousands of years beaches, forests and meadows, beauty and peace, without maintenance work. They ruined it for the most part by dumping tons of trash, rubble and dirt. And to continue doing that, the mayors of Vicente López, San Isidro and Tigre want to make an agreement with the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, to fill the coast to the canal, urbanize it and carry out real estate operations. There is no mention of a green corridor. In two events of consultation with the population on the coast, the most important unanimous conclusion was no to landfills. It is not necessary to urbanize the coast. And one of the least satisfied needs is to rest from modern life and know what the world was like when it was appropriate for the harmonious development of people: wild, with many animals and plants and without cement, traffic, buildings or businesses. The built-up area is too large, this causes very serious damage. The backfill caused all the problems on the coast. Those who decide to fill in and urbanize the coast say that doing so is a source of work. But when it is insisted that something is a source of work, it is because it has no other quality, good thing, or merit. It is the last argument. Several times a year the coast is flooded, between floods you could walk along beaches and forests, hearing birds and waves. Such experiences are essential for physical and mental health and spiritual development.

-Hydroelectric dams. In Misiones a plebiscite was held on whether or not to build the Corpus Dam. More than 90% voted no. Likewise, an agreement is signed to do so.
They want to climb 8 m. plus the level of the Yacyretá reservoir, which with its current level has already caused immense destruction - the reservoir is a tomb, as one journalist said, with thousands of dead trees where there were jungles. And they want to raise the level of the reservoir of the Salto Grande dam. It would be to increase the negative effects of two works that were already enormously destructive of natural and human environments: they do not only increase the positive or desired effects. Everything that is officially said about these works in newspapers, speeches, television, magazines, is nothing more than grossly positive, irresponsible propaganda, artificially sweetened, tinged with rose color. All this would flood thousands of square kilometers of fertile lands full of life, valleys, homes, jungles with centuries-old trees, toucans, parrots, monkeys, orchids, ferns.
These actions are supported by the arguments that they are cheap energy sources that cause minimal environmental damage, and sources of work. But they are very expensive and cause immense environmental damage.

They say that because they do not take into account the environmental damage (because they believe that it is not important) and because the true price is hidden: the Yacyretá dam and hydroelectric plant cost 11 times more (one thousand one hundred percent more) than the budget that had been accepted, and that's without adding the cost of immense environmental destruction (for example, what it would cost to buy and plant the thousands of trees that were destroyed). Big jump, according to inhabitants of the city of Federación and of fields near the dam, is an interweaving of "miscalculations", waste, concealment of information, lies, irresponsibility, exaggeration in describing the benefits and fraudulent minimization in describing the damages. This style or "modus operandi" is repeated in all these projects, they are the same type of people or the same people.

- Obsolete projects to channel and dredge rivers (Paraná, Bermejo, Pilcomayo). Agreements are signed to carry out these works without having made studies of the environmental effects and without consulting those who would be harmed (only those who know - or believe - that they will benefit) are listened to. Those who know the subject know that this action, by increasing runoff, causes emptying of the lagoons and subterranean waters in the upper basin, much greater erosion of the coasts and the river bottom, much worse flooding and sedimentation downstream, and many other damages that cannot be fixed.

-A new law from Entre Ríos encourages the destruction of wild forests to plant pines, eucalyptus and poplars, without any awareness of the many values ​​of the native forest, which the tree plantations of other continents do not have.

-The Buenos Aires - La Plata highway acts as a dam against the runoff of rainwater towards the Río de la Plata, this causes disastrous floods and makes the water tables rise causing enormous problems, and is used as an excuse to dredge and rectify the streams, great business that completely ruins streams, does not solve these problems and causes new ones.
The Buenos Aires - La Plata highway, the widening of the Panamericana and other road works make possible hundreds of real estate deals in the so-called gated communities or country clubs, which first destroy everything on the land: enchanting landscapes, with streams , natural meadows, forests; then they fill with clay and rough, where almost nothing that is planted grows. These works cause or worsen floods, cause the extinction of many species of plants and animals. Many of these ventures go bankrupt and are abandoned. There is no forecast or rules on environmental consequences, and there are no rules to avoid environmental damage, this is left to the businessmen who buy the land, almost everyone thinks only about money and that is not enough to avoid chaos. Most of those who bought lots at these clubs are very sorry they did.

As I already said, when you insist that something is a source of work, it is because it has no other quality, good thing, or merit. This is said about the cultivation of tobacco for cigarettes, despite the campaign to denounce the damage that cigarette smoke causes to health. And almost all these sources of work are temporary, they cause enormous social and health problems due to the movement of people between many regions, or they give very few jobs to specialized professionals, or to almost slave laborers, or not "almost". The true sources of work are formed by the natural, normal growth of the possibilities of a place. For that, there needs to be tranquility, order, foresight, environmental, institutional, legal and social stability, peace, all things that are more or less completely destroyed by the invasion of giant, violent and very expensive projects, brutally grafted, cruelly devastating people , nature, cities, crops, forests, everything.

-Millions of hectares are sold at gift prices ($ 8 per hectare, for example) to foreign and multinational companies, in Misiones, Formosa, Entre Ríos, Corrientes and many other provinces. These companies kill everything: they cut, burn, plow, then plant pine trees that acidify the land and catch fire very easily, or soybeans for export, which transforms the place into a desert in a few years, causes floods and erosion and pollutes with herbicides, pesticides and foreign genes introduced for purely commercial reasons without regard for any consequences other than monetary gain. And to accelerate this suicidal process, the famous "waterway" is proposed, which would further disrupt the functioning of the Paraná river and the Río de la Plata, because by increasing the runoff it causes drought by emptying the lagoons and underground waterways in the upper basin, much greater erosion of the coasts and the river bottom, much worse flooding and sedimentation downstream, damages that in current conditions cannot be avoided or fixed, and a huge set of other disorders that many do not suspect and that, because they are brief, do not I mention.

It seems that those who promote these actions did not find out that the world is becoming aware that it is necessary to take into account the damage that each action would cause the world, and that, if necessary to avoid very serious damage and that they would not have arrangement, the projects that would cause them should be left undone.

Some have towards these things a lamentable and shameful attitude of passive obedience, fatalism or servility, of only being interested in whether "they are going to do it or not", as if the future was already made, as if the powerful were gods with absolute power. But there is no absolute power, power always needs the support of many people. It is true that too many times many powerful people show that they consider themselves beings with absolute power who do not have to listen to anyone, take anyone into account, and even less ask others who do not see things the way they do. But that they have that arrogant, destructive, fierce and clumsy attitude, does not mean that you have to obey them and accept being victims of their ignorance, ambition and irresponsible authoritarianism. On the contrary, this attitude of many powerful people makes it necessary to confront them with the reality of their mistakes, excesses and abuses.

It is said that all these huge projects that put even more debt to the country, will produce an "economic reactivation." But those that have already been made did not give that result. And even if they did, it is no reason to allow environmental chaos. These giant projects gave a temporary "take off" to some businessmen, generally corrupt and egocentric, but caused in the world destruction of the way of life of millions of people, immense destruction of nature and destruction of stability (these three types of destruction they are inevitably linked). As they are measures based on personal ambitions, not on the serene observation of reality and needs, not the result of natural, genuine and peaceful development and growth (they are like a war against natural and human reality), they are artificial, theoretical measures. , driven by brute force (money, or weapons, or both). That is why they cannot leave lasting or balanced benefits. They make it possible for some people to get rich quick because they are unscrupulous opportunists, but the majority get poorer because they are overcome by violence and disorder, the breach of elementary rules, not knowing what is going to happen, and lack of ethics. They can favor those who are already wealthy and for that reason they can hire teams to attend to complications, but most are victims of destruction

* Ricardo Barbetti [email protected]
Ecology Area,
Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences

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