There are several crisis taking place in Venezuela: freedom of expression, delinquency, government, electricity, water supply. But nobody talks about the real crisis, the one that concerns all citizens in every corner of this planet: environmental crisis.
To understand what happens in Venezuela, we have to talk first about the strong political divergence we have. We live in a fragmented society, where hating people who think differently has become natural to us, and every problem we face has two opposite points of view. The environmental issue is not the exception.
Beginning 2010 the government announced the central hydroelectric “Guri”, that generates over 70% of the electricity Venezuelans consume, reached the alarm zone due to the extended dry season we are having. Last year we had lower levels of precipitation than we’ve had in 40 years. The government also announced a list of restrictive politics regarding energy consumption, lacking of any plan or serious study, creating chaos and disorder among citizens.
Energy restrictive policies, along with the water restrictive policies we have since last year, created big social discontent, but mainly among opposition, who blame the situation on the government for not doing the proper maintenance and inversion that the hydroelectric required, directing economic resources to political goals instead of attending the crisis.
Government is trying to ease the effects of the crisis doing environmental conscious campaigns. On the other hand, the opposition is demanding water and energy supplies as part of their human right to basic services. But nobody is considering the effects of the extended dry season on the environment, and we haven’t reached an agreement on rational use of resources coming from the citizens, not the government.
The same day government announced the environmental crisis, I was walking around my neighborhood in Caracas, the capital city. I could see how many people keep all their lights on, no matter the time of the day, in every room of the house. I also saw two men talking and washing their cars, while water from the hose was running freely in the street.
Venezuelans have no ecologic culture: people who support or people who opposite the government. Lots of Venezuelans who dislike the government have migrated or are have a plan B to do it soon, but if we don’t stop the climate change, we cant migrate, we don’t have a planet B.
We need to stop polarizing every problem we face in terms of political points of view, we have to understand the effects on the climate change and the effects on the planet and life as we know it, and we need to change our behavior NOW.