Sunday, December 8, 2013

Short reflection about a Tomato, let it be a Mountain Tomato (#RosiaMontana)

The Earth will be adored only for its mineral riches

Vishnu Purana 

 Or, as Max Weber once said when talking about the secular morality that it: 

[...]. had its contribution in the edification of that vigorous cosmos of the modern economical order linked to the technical and economical conditions proper to the mechanical and machinist production that puts today and will, maybe, continue to do so until the last tone of fossil fuel will be depleted, an overwhelming pressure upon the lifestyle of all those that are born in this gearing [...]

These two quotes define exactly this immoral race towards a predictable, yet disastrous end to this now global affair called: Rosia Montana. An end that will surely mean a lot of things:

  • Ecological time bomb - an unprecedented ecological disaster in the Apuseni Mountains, and even in Europe, marked by the complete destruction of 4 mountains (areal, flora, fauna, etc.), an open pit that could be seen from the Moon, a 185 m dam of cyanide water lake (in a temperate environment prone to rains and torrid summer evaporation) that could & will inevitably poison most of the region's fresh water sources, destroy crops and fertile ground, put down entire forests  and probably, sooner or later, leak into the aquifers menacing all life forms (plants and humans included) in a hundreds of km area. A staggering 13.000 tons of pure cyanide (more than 4 times the quantity used in the whole E.U.) will be used every single year, for a period of 25 years in the extraction of only 2 materials: gold and silver, ignoring all other more precious metals. A 125 years (the time needed for cyanide to be rendered harmless by mother nature) "Auschwitz" of deadly, not-suitable to life, environment. And this impact seems not to be correctly calculated and foreseen, raising more questions about the real and trans-generational debt that we will generate
  • Economical time bomb - hiring 800 men but destroying thousand of other work places in the surrounding/adjacent area. a entire local economy based on agriculture, livestock & animal breeding, eco-tourism, raw food production & other types of processed goods, timber and furniture production etc.) represents exactly an even worse Parreto calculus with sub-optimal results in every single case. Even worse, it is well known among the historians of the economy and among those who are at least a little acquainted with the economical processes one simple, but fundamental fact:   a weak economy cannot flourish solely by the extraction of precious materials/metals - this acts more likely like an attended backfire (an expected boomerang) by a higher and a higher inflation that it causes and a more severe economical downfall, that inevitably appears when the competitors on this type of "free market" will not be able to compete, no other industry will be able to offer the same financial out-put so it will be put out business (gold vs. everything else). People and businesses tend to be poorer in this type of economy, and it is only at hand to look a little to what happened in the American gold rush or even earlier to 2 of the biggest empires in history: the Portuguese Empire and the Spanish one - both crumbled whilst having their cities of pure gold, but refuting the XVIII-XIX century Industrial Revolution. Should we even discuss the 3rd world countries, with economies based solely on precious materials  or the fact that there are more than gold and silver in the ores extracted?!? Should we even discuss that it would be more feasible to use the fertile territory to produce vegetables, fruits, and grains, for export to China for example, than to accept a 6% royalty and a minimum wage tax for 800 employees?!? A simple mathematical calculus will show you all that!
  • Cultural time bomb - roman galleries unique in the world, centuries old churches, and other important cultural assets to the world's heritage all are to be razed to the ground during this exploitation (see why an Oxford report did propose Rosia to be inscribed into the UNESCO cultural universal heritage). But culture seems to be a lesser priority in 3rd World Countries, therefore it would be correct to asses that Romania is one of them, and those you are charged to preserve it are either incompetents or, even worse, completely in an imposture. It is not the case here to discuss the reasons for this monstrous ignorance or lack of competences, but it would be correct to imply that Rosia is the direct result of a deficient management of Romania's cultural heritage as a whole. This could pose an important problem for the future generations (this issue shall be discussed later on, too).
  • Legal time bomb - creating a legal paradox by denying some fundamental legal liberties (like the right to property, the right to trial etc.), whilst arguing in favor of a fully legal and transparent process. The State, arguably, is more set on creating a legal exception for this one private company, opening the road to a legal precedent for illegality - exception being internalized and transformed into normal legal process. This is a legal time bomb because of the possibility of the exception to the law, that could generate a Trojan horse for the legal system itself: all companies would be entitled to demand exceptions and the State would be in no position to refuse them, just in order to preserve its own legal authority. In this case, as Karl Schmitt had already pointed out in the mid of the last century, an irremediable abyss appears between liberalism and democracy, just by "naturalization" of the exception. - the legal exception     
  • Moral time bomb - this reflection turns toward the morality and ethical parameters and implications of Rosia (and now Pungesti). This could be a very long debate, but I will resume it to three fundamental moral principles that are completely defied:
  • A. precautionary principle: I shall only quote it's definition, and I consider it will suffice to understand why Rosia fails to respect this fundamental principle "if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action." -  being harmful for more than the environment and being in the incapacity of correctly estimate the extend of the possible (in our case obvious) harm and negative effects this principle is completely defied and denied. Thus, the Rosia Montana affair violates the Rio's "Earth Summit" Declaration and the E.U. recommendation
  • B. durability principle - with its inherent attached fundamental principle, that of the moral and social responsibility (for the the trans-generational effects of a particular action). All human development, ought to be, even must be durable. That means a development capable to preserve and guarantee the existence of all present resources for all future generations. This implies to reduce at maximum the ecological and natural impact of human's activities, to minimize all futures irrational consumption of materials, bio-mass, and all types of natural resources. A rationalization of this principle directs us towards the compulsoriness towards finding (by every impact free technological and human resource) renewable resource, without exhausting or endangering the existing, but already scarce ones. In view of this argument, irrational mining, the destruction of rare metals by the process of cyanidation and all already known effects of this future, possible, but hopefully improbable exploitation come in a fundamental opposition to the principle in cause and again to all international recommendations (Rio, E.U.). Depleting physically a resource, destroying irrevocably a world heritage cultural and historical patrimony, completely destroying (not only reshaping) the oecumene etc. are clearly reasons for opposing these types of projects
  • C. the non-maleficence principle - or translated via this maxim: "Primum nil nocere!", "First, do no harm!". To whom?!? To humans (and in view of an animal ethics even to animals)! Do you anyone still think that no harm will be done to humans, rational, direct, calculated, and cold estimated to the ones living in close vicinity, but to those that live at longer distances?!? Then I must conclude that ignorance is a heavy burden that comes in direct conflict to the self-preservation urge or every single human being!  

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