By Jorge Eduardo Rulli
El Chaco is a province that is dying in its devastated ecosystems. A province that is also dying under the corrupt tyranny of a political corporation so, but so inept, that against all logic, it allows its own territory and the population that it has been mercilessly exploiting for decades to extinguish.
The Impenetrable, now.
The end of the oil age is near and inevitable. The sources of fossil resources that Nature took millions of years to generate will be depleted with the current level of consumption in the coming decades. In 2003, the biologist Jeffrey Dukes calculated that in the petroleum-derived fuels that we burn in one year we use four centuries of plants and animals processed by Nature in ancient times. This is obviously an absolutely unsustainable equation. The rising price of a barrel of oil is a constant reminder that the world, and particularly the system of Industrial Urban Capitalism, is in the midst of one of its most severe and probably last crises. In our country, scientists anticipate that at the rate that Repsol currently exports our crude oil, Argentina will enter an energy collapse in the next eight or perhaps nine years. This means that not only will we run out of oil, but the current alternative sources we use to procure energy, such as dams or nuclear power plants, will be largely outpaced by demand. The idea that we can replace that fossil legacy and its extraordinary energy power with other environmental energies and particularly with biofuels, is so far a mere fantasy. There are no possible substitutes for oil that runs out, if we think about maintaining current levels of consumption. However, irrational attempts to generate bio-substitutes are seen everywhere and although useless or impossible, they entail more pain for the peoples that depend on their agriculture and also exhibit the inability of their leaders to imagine other scenarios different from that of the it was oil. The future is absolutely uncertain and threatening, especially for those who, not being able to imagine other life models that modify current energy consumption, commit to the current planetary equation that consists of systems of superconsumption and waste of energy in the countries rich, while condemning the rest to neocolonial submission and the depredation of their natural resources.
From the GRR, we have argued that the criteria currently imposed in Argentina, of unsustainable exploitation of agroecosystems, as well as the extension of sojisation to provinces and areas of unsuitable soils for permanent agriculturalization, would not only cause massive deforestation with loss of biodiversity and increased climate change, but also true and tragic collapses of ecosystems. Even more, we anticipate that environmentally the weakest link in the chain turned out to be the province of Chaco, mercilessly devastated in its natural forests, in its landscapes and in its peasant populations by the new monoculture systems of transgenic soy and agrochemical packages. . The environmental imbalance that has caused the expansion of soybeans is the cause of the province going from extreme droughts to massive floods and from there back to drought. The facts have given reason to our forecasts. The Impenetrable is only a memory and its last shreds are finished off with impunity on the Internet ... The peasant population that remains in their destitute towns, does not have access to the land occupied by soybeans and remains unemployed from agriculture, living on social plans and under permanent aggression of aerial spraying. The only thing left for the Chaco people is to emigrate to the destitute belts that surround the city of Resistencia or to the pockets of misery in Greater Buenos Aires.
El Chaco is a province that is dying in its devastated ecosystems. A province that is also dying under the corrupt tyranny of a political corporation so, but so inept, that against all logic, it allows its own territory and the population that it has been mercilessly exploiting for decades to extinguish. However, it is even more insane still that the environmental, economic and social crucifixion of the Chaco is not enough for the soy farmers and the complicit officials who have tied the Argentine Destiny to a model of a forage exporting country. On Friday, April 21, in the town of Presidente Roque Sáenz Peña, the local Faculty of Agroindustry, the UNNE or Universidad del Nordeste, the INTA of Sáenz Peña, the UTN of the Province together with the radical Senator Alicia Mastandrea, have promoted open and obscenely the production of Biofuels, as a new and important economic alternative for the Chaco.
On that occasion, Professor Sofía Naidenoff, wife of Governor Nikisch of the Province of Chaco, and also Secretary of Science and Technology, in the panel on the role of the public sector and during the Second Cycle Knowledge and Development, a Regional Challenge, in this case referring to biofuels, and before the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Agroindustries in which businessmen, national legislators, university researchers and students were summoned, according to the Digital Newspaper dated 04/24/06, he said:
"The most interesting thing about all this, where the study was headed when commissioned by the governor, is to substitute 5% of the diesel for biodiesel produced by some 60 artisan plants that produce 2000 liters per day ... Taking the words of the Senator : How much milk, for example, does Chaco produce, we wonder if it is self-sufficient? If so, there would be no malnutrition and hunger as there is today, and then yes, “artisanal” dairy farms could be proposed in the same places and with the same credit and tax advantages that would be given today to the production of biofuels ... and would surely generate much more labor ... And the Governor's wife added: ... more than 2,600 people would be directly and indirectly employed ... if we installed a plant artisanal or an industrial plant, the cost of biodiesel will not vary significantly ...
Who said not? Repsol already has installed a plant of 100 tons of soybeans per day for biofuel. Could it be at the same cost as the artisanal plants?
… In the face of changes in the scale of production… We draw up accounts quickly, and with those 6 million, almost 60 artisanal production plants could work, logically doubling the demand for labor and labor ".
… When multinationals are behind these projects, always, always, the only logic is that of money, costs and scale. Today in Brazil, alconafta is more expensive than ordinary gasoline… what will artisanal biofuel SMEs do in a situation like that? Does anyone really believe that they will be able to compete in the medium term?
Regarding the area of demand, the Secretary of Science and Technology pointed out that:… the consumption of diesel in the province, according to this same study, is 540,000 cubic meters. That of this total, only cargo transportation represents 64%, agricultural activity almost 33%, and in regard to automobiles the remaining 3% ... This is the central issue, the GRR considers that at the end of the It was necessary to move towards an agriculture with fewer inputs and less energy requirements, whatever it may be, and this new model begins with local foods and generating a discipline of critical consumption in the population.
Continuing with the analysis of the numbers, Naidenoff pointed out that the provincial agricultural production, which would serve as raw material for the production of biodiesel, is almost one and a half million tons, in sunflower, soybean, cotton, corn. Where the strongest conversion factors are sunflower, with 42% ... Obviously, someone lies or is wrong Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, Professors of Civil Engineering and Environment at the University of California Berkeley, USA, who verified that sunflower requires 118% more fossil energy than the biofuel obtained and that on the other hand gives us the knowledge that soybeans consume 27% more, and corn 29% more fossil fuels than the fuel obtained (Natural Resources Research Vol. 14: 1 , 65-76).
In this way, we verify once again that these technicians and local political leaders are definitely incapable of finding solutions to the crisis that they themselves caused. Faced with the disaster in the province, they are only capable of offering us more of the same. Today they cling to the fantasy of being able to alleviate the world oil crisis with the production of agro-fuels ... They try to ignore those populations ravaged by hunger, victims of the sin of forgetting that the earth is the means to produce the bread that man needs , and never a factory of industrial crops or fuels. That is our miserable political corporation, clinging to their colonial gestures, they are unable to learn or to renew themselves and before the end of the Oil Era, they intend to replace agriculture by Agribusiness, and bet on the globalized Capitalism of Soy, either as fodder or as fuel ... Not only do they ignore the Chaco tragedy itself, but they also try to ignore and avoid the responsibilities of planetary Climate Change to which they have generously contributed with their extensive monocultures and their waste left in the open, with the burning of mountains to spread the soybean frontier, with the gases produced by the change in land use, its methane emissions and the innumerable gas vents in oil wells.
It is striking that the only legitimate biofuel: that of biodiesel from the refining of frit and other used oils that are extremely abundant in cities and that currently lack any other destination other than polluting the atmosphere, are not worthy of This political leadership has the slightest concern, nor are the officials capable of generating treatment plant projects for these inputs. Used engine oils, so abundant, today are dumped into open-air garbage dumps or are burned in cement kilns without refining them for reuse ... For the colonized Power, it is obviously a matter of persisting in the models roles that have been assigned to us. An Argentina that compromises its fertile lands to such a high degree for the production of pulpwood, agrofuels and fodder for export, definitely puts the nutrition of its own population at risk. If these models of monocultures and industrial land use persist, not only will successive ecological disasters such as those we have already been suffering in both the Chaco and Tartagal, in the province of Salta, be caused, but also acute situations of famine will be reached. in the most deprived population. While those environmentalists associated with corporations, both internationally and within the country itself, propose certifications to guarantee supposedly sustainable biofuels and try to repeat in this way, the makeup that they previously proposed from WWF and from the World Bank with oil palm and soybeans, our governments persist in a colonial model of primarization of the economy with agro-export of commodities and depredation of resources.
We must raise awareness in the population about the installed models and who are currently responsible for their management, as well as the conscious or unconscious accomplices who are in charge of confusing or making these processes of the new dependency invisible. It is insane that in the midst of populations devastated by hunger and instead of promoting local markets and production of healthy, fresh and abundant food from peri-urban areas, they promote as a panacea the production of fuels from agriculture and to solve the problems of the central countries.
We need to find the necessary ways to escape from the hell of the inevitable ecological catastrophe that they propose to us and for this we only need to arouse the conviction that another world is possible, and that this world can be achieved with common sense and with the traditional knowledge that comes from the cultural heritage of our People. We are convinced that this knowledge now ignored, now stubbornly denied by the leaderships of the Province of Chaco, would be enough to generate a model of Participatory Democracy based on local developments and Food Sovereignty, which ensures the happiness of our people and allows us to return to their lands to so many immigrants from the provinces.
GRR Rural Reflection Group