Hard to tackle ecological deficit
There is an ecological crisis in the world threatening the future of us all.
World leaders, from U.S. President Barack Obama to a tribal chief in Papua New Guinea, are looking for a way out, confessing to have exploited nature.
The number of those who had to migrate due to the ecological crisis is not that low.
In 1998, the number of those who had to emigrate due to environmental reasons like drought and deforestation reached 25 million, leaving behind twice the number of those who had to migrate due to war.
The same year, those who had to leave the places they live due to natural disasters made up 58 percent of the world’s refugees.
We now know that these natural disasters are taking place due to the activities of humans and that they are fast increasing.
In other words, there are a lot people who are leaving their houses and hometowns and Turkey is not exempt from that.
The more we eliminate forests, the more we dig below the soil, the more we continue on pressing ahead with investments that are depleting water sources and polluting the air, the more we fuel we put in the fire.
The concept of growth and development become meaningless at that point. We cannot explain “detrimental growth” with rationality and logic.
The Cerattepe case in Turkey
As public reaction has increased about the mine in Cerattepe, this is what Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who argues it is his task to protect Turkey’s air water and land, said:
“To make use of rich mine sources is also our task in the framework of our country’s economic richness. The challenge is to do both without contradicting each other. We don’t need to prefer one over the other. Technology has developed to such degree that you can take out the natural source below the land without harming the environment. We are ready to talk with all stakeholders.”
Unfortunately, it is not possible to do both without them contradicting each other.
We cannot both damage and protect the environment. Let’s say we did not harm the environment while we unearth its natural sources; but we scratch away the minefield from its natural place and thus damage the ecosystem by dividing it into pieces.
At the same time, we know that the environment is neglected in many mine fields in Turkey. If it was not neglected, we would not have faced the ecological damage we witness around mine fields.
Economic welfare is obviously important for a country. But if there is something more important than that, it is nature. Because it is not replaceable. Because nature is breath to humans, it feeds them.
Humans cannot live without air, water and land. But nature can exist without humans. Can an existence as strong be made victim of a man-made concept of “economy?”
We can bring what lay below the soil to the surface and thus close the foreign exchange deficit. But what will we do in the long run?
How can we justify ourselves when the locals in Arvin will be forced to migrate because of mining activities?
How can we explain people leaving their homes?
Let’s talk about economic policy…
How can we close the exchange deficit without touching the tree, water and the land? How can we decrease the importing of fossil fuels? The whole world is debating it; we need to talk about them and take action.
There are certain places where value is not measurable. Cerattepe is such a place.
That deficit or this deficit can open can close and can open again. But a place from heaven like Cerattepe cannot be replaced.