Our unpayable debt to the environment
Throughout more than two hundred years of industrialization, humanity has contracted a debt with the environment that gave birth to it: we have taken materials and substances at will, we have modified them and then thrown away without caring how or how long it takes the nature to regain its balance, nor what may be the long-term consequences of our production models. And as everyone knows by now, the payment date may be near.
In nature, as in the economy , resources are finite and scarce. There are almost none that we can use indiscriminately and eternally, or at least not without having to face certain types of unforeseeable consequences. This is because the physical, chemical and biological system that sustains the environment is extremely complex, too complex for us to hope to understand right off the bat, and yet that does not prevent us from exploiting it as if from an endless gold mine. treat. And today, the currency of such a loan is called energy.
The problem of obtaining energy
Energy, as we know, is constant in the universe. It cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transmitted and transformed. And the latter is what we have learned to do best with the passing of time, especially when it comes to generating electricity , which consumes all our devices and allows us to sustain a model of life. We use this energy to produce, to cool or heat our homes, to light up our nights and entertain us in our free time, without being too clear about where it comes from and how much it costs to get it.
There is, it is important to know, no clean and 100% ecological way of obtaining energy. All the methods that we know so far have what we might think of as side effects, although some are much more pernicious on a large scale than others. The combustion of fossil substances, for example, is the most efficient of all the ways we know of obtaining energy, but it is also the most costly, both in its extraction, processing and use.
Other methods, such as wind power , have a tremendous impact on the local fauna and generate noise disturbances for miles around, while hydroelectric power devastates aquatic ecosystems and requires the modification of water courses. Nothing is 100% green.
The truth is that everything on the planet is connected, and the use of a resource must be considered a loan: we will have to pay for it later in some way. It may not be us directly, but other species in our place, but other species depend on them and so on, until it is the turn of our domino to fall.
A debt to the future
It is not explained, then, that it is the same economic sectors that defend austerity and insist that nothing is free, who intend to turn a blind eye to our environmental debt. Either their theoretical convictions aren’t really that strong, or they have a pretty magical idea of how nature works. Two centuries of gas discharge into the atmosphere inevitably have consequences. Two centuries of destruction of the plant biome and impoverishment of biodiversity obviously have consequences. And those who cause these phenomena will be the ones who must bear the bill: us, or our future generations.
So, if we understand as something immoral to indebt a country for several generations, how can we not think in the same way about our growing and unpayable ecological debt with the environment? Are we not pawning the future of our species to enrich a few today? Perhaps the time has come for ecological austerity. And as always happens in crisis scenarios, the struggle will be to determine who is responsible for paying what percentage of the debt. It is time to start thinking about these matters.
What is an opinion article?
An opinion article is a type of journalistic writing , commonly appearing in the written press, in which the points of view and considerations of a signing author are expressed, who is usually an individual with authority on the matter or whose perspective is valued. within society.
Opinion articles are of a subjective, personal and argumentative nature, since in them the author seeks to promote his point of view among readers, that is, to convince them to interpret reality in the same way.