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  Nr. 4156 de marti, 12 februarie 2008 
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Waste, ecology and Romania
-- Do not build yourself a house on a hill, right below a stream of water or far from water. If you get evacuated, don't forget to take with you the window sills, the doors and the roof tiles. This is the environment textbook for Romanian peasants.
As for those who inhabit cities, problems are different: Fix your heat low, use ecological bulbs, leave your car at home and ride yout bike instead. Don't waste our children's future. These are messages (the latter is part of a horror-like ad) part of a recent stream of public activism in Romania: the new ecologism. In the meantime, in our country roads close down for massive stone falls and landslides take place several times in one single season. Houses slide under lands or under waters, things that can't be fixed by means of the "personal enpowerment and enlightenment", in other words by individual decision depending on information about conduct in relations to the planet's disastrous state. Not even individual sacrifice to the general benefit can't fix it. As far as the waste that collapsed last week in Valcea is concerned, the benefit of it is not even known. What is certain is that for three years now, ever since a hill slipped for the first time, people have been asked to wait for sacrifice.
But Romanians use radiators as much as possible and they are very fond of free plastic bags. The car sale is on the rise. We are a nation who has to face undiscriminating cold in order to pay for the foreign debt, a nation who used to make bags of cloth and drive Dacia cars every two Sundays. If the case, Communist dictatorship is the most ecological and "nature-friendly" system on earth, in terms of individual behavior (how can one pollute, since one doesn't consume?!). Christian missionarism and the ecologist new age meet wild Communism in this point.
The problem is that, even if the citizens of this Communist country, didn't pollute, Romania was a shelter for plans on ecology disasters. As far as the town of Copsa Mica is concerned, it was not the harmful substances released by the cars driven by the fighting workers that put the location out of the map of life. The waste in Mateesti didn't flow on the village houses because of the peasants' unwise consume of water. The wastes slided because environment requirements come last on official lists and they are the last "investors" and "exploiters" consider. This is the true inheritance from Communism, sacrificed for the sake of the others' good. The same language trying to muffle the same state of things, now possible to measure in Euros, but not in victories of the multilaterally developed society. The same state of things including the village mayor with incoherent speech, more concerned about his conflict with some local councilors than about the peasants' fate, just as the much more educated prefect who is efficient with patching what no one has done so far, even in terms of words. Patching is actually Romania's environment project, always related to "when": "when our fellows win", "when we join the EU", "when one can see one's nape".
Our children will have no future not because of some citizens or other of the planet (no matter how large the number of them) don't care about when they "happen" to forget their lights on. It is not because of the lacking individual responsibility that wastes get to pour on houses older than the bulky waste. I don't know if Romania's environment minister rides a bike when he is not in front of TV cameras, but I have surely heard about no plan for a proper ecologic use of the first car matriculation fee. Maybe a banner with "Here Is Your Money"?
We live in a world trading the future for a few extra pence and for two lives less. What are we talking about? Do we have to turn on the lights more rarely because electricity producers will soon pay for the pollution they produce and prices will explode? Or do we have to build ourselves decomposable eco houses in case of hill slide?
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