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Wrongly Approached Earth Day 2022 Theme and Noteworthy IEA Reports

It seems that this year Earth Day is flying rather under the radar, but that’s neither surprising nor, in this particular case and in my view, that much of a problem. Of course, in general, every day should be Earth Day and marking one specific date in the calendar for this purpose shouldn’t make much of a difference, and not paying much attention to such an event at a time when so many terrible things are going on in the world is unsurprising, the problem being that people, whether we’re talking about the masses or about those in positions of authority, don’t recognize or accept at any point that they have a responsibility towards the world, much less act in the manner which such responsibility would require. But the theme of this particular Earth Day, or more exactly the manner in which the topic is approached, strikes me as something that probably should be more or less ignored, if not even fought against.
Yes, we obviously must invest in the planet, but it must be done for the sake of the planet, and in a manner that will break away from the systems that got us in this terrible situation, from exploiting, the environment as well as people, for profits, from endless growth, from corporations, from the finance-based economy, from the private sector setting these directions… And yet, while there are also parts that deal with government intervention and regulations, what I’m seeing there mainly focuses on the crucial role of the private sector and how such investments boost profits and earnings and aid growth, when infinite growth, profits and private sector decisions with large scale impacts are fundamentally incompatible with sustainability on a finite planet where many other species should also have good lives and people should also be guaranteed a decent standard of living and fair treatment.

Under these circumstances, I find the report released by the IEA and EC yesterday, specifying a few key actions that individuals can take in order to reduce the reliance on Russian energy imports, to be more interesting. Of course, individual actions, and individual responsibility, is the least part of this puzzle, far less important than the systems that govern human society and the actions that governments and others in positions of authority need to take, but this was actually only the most recent such report that was released, the previous two, dealing with reducing the reliance on Russian natural gas and, respectively, reducing oil demand, focus on the policies which should be implemented by the authorities, and mostly make very good points, with the notable exception of pushing for maximizing the power generated from nuclear plants and delaying even the planned closures, the mention of bioenergy also being potentially concerning, considering what it often implies. And there’s also that part listed under additional options, stating that switching from gas to coal would also go a long way, though that’s something that should have never even been considered, the fact that it’s specifically not included in the actual plan because it would increase emissions definitely not being enough to stop the potential damage caused by the very fact that such a possibility was even taken into account. But, again, with those exceptions, those plans are more worthy of being mentioned and promoted at the present time than the theme of this year’s Earth Day, considering the manner in which it was approached.


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