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Sustainable Development, And Pollution By Pious Wishes

Victor Vasnetsov. The Magic Carpet.
"If I don't need to be in contact with reality, I can solve all your problems!"
(Victor Vasnetsov. The Magic Carpet. Source)

1) Introduction

What politician doesn't talk about "sustainable development"? These days, "sustainable development" is a buzz-word which evokes, in the imaginations of voters, pretty little birds flying around in clean air and taking bird baths in the pure waters of the Saint Lawrence River, while giving kisses to the little fishes who multiply so well, that fishermen don't know what to do with their money anymore, and so on.

If we leave imagination aside, and look at reality, we can see that our politicians are often guilty of "Pollution By Pious Wishes".

2) The Political Capital Sandwich

If we counted all the declarations, all the promises, all the commitments, etc., of our politicians concerning the environment, we'd probably get a pretty stupendous figure. Actually, most of the time, it seems like politicians talk about the environment mostly to make political capital for themselves. Some politicians have even become experts at making the "Political Capital Sandwich":

- One slice of righteous indignation, concerning such or such a serious pollution problem;

- A large sausage of grants, made with the meat of our national debt;

- One slice of pious wishes on the improvement of the environment and sustainable development.

It's a quick recipe, and Quebecers just can't get enough of it. It's only shortcoming is that it doesn't improve the environment.

3) Be quiet, or take action

Perhaps we should enact a new law to protect the environment, a law forbidding "pollution by pious wishes". All we'd need to do is gather all the politicians and the political parties, and make them all sign a collection of pious wishes on the environment. I suggest the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, since it contains many pious wishes on the environment (and on many other topics, like Democracy or Human Rights, etc.). The Compendium also has the advantage of already being translated into many languages, and of numbering the pious wishes, so we can refer to them easily.

Once politicians would have agreed on these pious wishes, it would be forbidden for a politician to attempt to make political capital by hinting that only he, or only his party, is in favor of such or such a pious wish.

With this new law, politicians would have to either be quiet, or take concrete action to defend Nature. Imagine the positive effects on the environment!

4) Conclusion

The problem of environmental pollution is a serious and urgent problem. Except it's also a problem that's difficult to solve, among others because it requires hard sacrifices. If voters ask politicians to solve this problem, but in a painless way, then pollution will never be stopped.

Indeed, politicians only have two choices. They can tell the truth concerning the sacrifices that are necessary, and therefore lose the votes of all the lazy and misinformed electors. The only other choice of the politicians is to make yet another "Political Capital Sandwich", which makes our poor Mother Nature even sicker.

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