Why insist on nuclear power over olives?

Why insist on nuclear power over olives?

“In the event that olive growing activities and other investment fields overlap, other investments and natural resources should be evaluated in terms of whether or not the olive grove is less beneficial than other possible activities.”

This is the Energy Ministry’s justification for the bill it has just prepared, which has been dubbed a “death sentence for olive groves.” 

The meaning of “other activities that might overlap with olive growing activities” is very well known to be nuclear power plants. It is also very well known that the bill to be passed for nuclear power plants will first open the way for mines over olive groves, then will come housing complexes and the construction of shopping malls.

Isn’t this a bit weird?

While our neighbor, Greece, is importing tons of olive pits from us for heating purposes, we will be sacrificing olive trees to erect nuclear power plants that developed countries are abandoning one by one, and also extracting poor-quality coal.

The olive tree has found its way into all holy books, and has been a crown for emperors. It is described as the oldest tree in the world by several sources.

Those who felled olive trees were punished with death 3,000 years ago in Greece. It is a tree that is the symbol of peace, the symbol of fertility; a tree that describes life, healthy living, beauty; a tree that is also called “immortal.” 

Not long ago, only a few years ago, we adopted a target to become the second biggest olive producer in the world. Now, how can there be an explanation for sacrificing our olive trees for the sake of nuclear energy and for the sake of coal?

The European Union, the door that we have been knocking on for 55 years, is protecting even 0.1-hectare olive groves and pouring in incentives to develop them.

How can we ever explain our efforts to not consider those under 2.5-hectares as olive groves?

What kind of logic is it, to directly execute a sector that provides job opportunities for 500,000 people directly, and helps put bread on the table for 10 million people?

When you say “olive,” the first thing that comes to mind is peace. When you say “nuclear,” it is war…

While olives generate life, nuclear spreads death to the soil, to the water…

Nuclear power plants across the world are shut down one by one; while everybody, regardless of their land being suitable or not, is looking for ways to grow olives…

How and to whom can we ever explain this bill? What kind of an excuse can we ever find for future generations?

We already cannot use the treasure we have effectively and cannot give it the care it deserves.

Greece, which has one fifth of our land, is producing almost three times the amount of olive oil as us.

We are also in a sad situation in terms of the consumption of olive oil, which is known as one of the secrets of a healthy life. While the consumption per capita in our neighbor is 22 liters, ours does not even reach 1 liter. Numbers do not lie; we do not know how to make use of this liquid, which is as valuable as gold. 

Here is a Greek proverb - those who have put aside their consciences and can think only of their wallets should read twice:

“The olive tree tells its master, ‘Take good care of me, then I will feed you. Water me, and I will make your rich.’”

If you cannot think of anything, at least think of this.

We want our trees… You want to be rich…

So let them live…