Nieuws - 24 maart 2011

Putting nature budget cuts in perspective

We still spend 450 million euros a year on nature management, announced the VVD in a debate on the Dutch government nature budget cuts. That is a pile of money.

Some time ago, someone calculated that the purchase of the Joint Strike Fighter was estimated to be costing 1.4 million more than the budgeted 6.4 billion euros. That is an even bigger pile of money. But it is also a matter of job creation and the investment will pay off handsomely, according to supporters of the JSF. If you ask me, that argument applies to both these budget posts: there are jobs in nature conservation as well as in the building of advanced fighter jets. Besides, whichever way you look at it, the purpose of those fighter jets is to kill people more efficiently.
But to put this in perspective for a moment... Radioactive caesium emissions mean that residents in a radius of quite some kilometres around Fukushima will never be able to return home or till their familiar soils to produce rice and other food crops. In Sendai corpses can be cremated at a rate of 40 per day, and thousands are stored on ice, many of them destined to be disposed of unnamed. People are bidding a lonely farewell to their loved ones, children and parents. No service with family and friends, no ceremony, nothing. Nothing is possible.
So, why get worked up about political choices? They weigh as heavy as a feather, as light as a block of concrete. Well then, why don't we just build another nuclear power station.