Like getting a lecture on chastity from Diosa Canales…

Last week in Rio, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (a follow-up to the historical Earth Summit of 20 years ago) went through without attracting the same attention of its predecessor. Few top world leaders attended and the final document left almost everyone unsatisfied.

Hugo Chávez was resigned to stay home this time, so he couldn’t repeat the Copenhagen experience of almost three years ago. But what about the Venezuelan delegation? Were they just passive observers or did they achieve something concrete? Not a bit of it…

Claudia Salerno, Deputy Foreign Minister for North America and head of the delegation, previewed the role of the Bolivarian government, days before the summit began:

“What is neccesary right now is to review the deep causes of what causes the crisis of the planet… Capitalism is a model that is exhausting the capacity of Earth’s regeneration… and we (Venezuela) are part of the struggle against the predator of the planet that is capitalism.”

How her actions backed those ambitious words? Prepare to be surprised…

According to Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director for the enviromental NGO Greenpeace, Venezuela made a “sinful alliance” with the United States to block the Oceans Rescue Plan, a proposal made to fight pollution in the high seas and protect biodiversity. Canada and Russia joined to block that proposal as well.

That wasn’t he only thing that the Venezuelan delegation blocked. A specific deadline to end all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 was supressed from the draft text by the objection of Venezuela and other oil producing countries. What else can be expected from the country that spends more on keeping its gasoline the cheapest in the World than it does on education?

The Bolivarian delegation also tried to hijack the meeting to discuss events in Paraguay and Salerno made headlines of her own by denouncing an attempt of agression by a member of Greenpeace. The NGO denied Salerno’s claims.

Chavismo’s grandiose green rhetoric might not be so hard to swallow, if it wasn’t for its terrible, terrible environmental record at home.

Remember that big petroleum coke mountain in Anzoátegui? In less than a year it has almost doubled in size. Nearby, the number of oil spills in the Puerto Píritu Bay in the first half of the year has already surpassed the total number of spills registered on 2011. PDVSA can’t even be bothered to stop oil spills it knows are happening, even when they threaten to pollute thousands of people’s water supplies. Its overall environmental record is one long trail of tears.

Somehow, we have to take lectures on the unsustainability of capitalism from these guys!

Parece que para el medio ambiente no hay corazón venezolano…

33 thoughts on “Like getting a lecture on chastity from Diosa Canales…

  1. GEHA,
    Great article. Environmentalism is chavismo’s greatest contradiction. The extent of environmental damage done in the last few years is amazing.
    Not only in due to the fact that we do nothing to preserve our air, land and water from a regulatory point of view, but the huge contradiction that we are a nation that has a government that relies on oil income. Oil income that, as you pointed out, is invested in incentives for more oil burning.


    • Completely agree. And it also shows that supposed environmentalists such as Morales in Bolivia are full of it too. If the environment is your priority why ally yourself with such an environmental abuser?


    • Carolina, while much of the world’s environment is endangered, and Severn Suzuki is an accomplished 12-year old speaker, I see her Dad’s philosophy and help stamped all over her. I saw David Suzuki speak at a family member’s university graduation, about 6 years ago, and let me tell you, they don’t make them any more more narcissistic. That was a surprise for me. Here’s another: Suzuki has been promoting CFL lightbulbs for a few years now, like there’s tomorrow. He quite likely receives a hefty promotional fee.

      Turns out the CFLs emit 200 times the radiation as the old bulbs, cause some people headaches, others with skin conditions, red rashes and possible aches and pains, depending on sensitivity levels.

      The bottom line is that it’s hard to know what is the appropriate solution. It’s also hard to know what percentage of alarmism goes into the Environment equation.

      Having said that, I don’t doubt for minute that Venezuela’s environmental record is the pitts. But wasn’t the trend already there, pre-Chávez?


      • Syd – I fully agree with you. The first time I heard this speech I went “whoa”. Then I learned who she was so I understood it all. That speech could have been well written by daddy!
        Regarding the fluorescent bulbs: they promote them becuase they use less energy, but nobody explains how to dispose them. They are filled with mercury, highly contaminant.


        • yes, I know about the high mercury levels of CFLs. What I don’t know, outside the obvious energy savings, is why the public has been so pushed to change to CFLs, when experiments with LED’s were coming on board. (Did the LED scientists publish, earlier on, their scientific papers with their projections?)

          Put another way. Imagine if the money spent on pushing and marketing CFLs had gone into improvements on LED light bulbs (and OLED, developments in which I’ve been tracking for a number of years)!

          This brings me to a related question. Outside of the environmental irresponsibility and incompetence by the red shirts in Chavernment and its associations, I wonder what percentage of global alarmism, over the environment, can be attributed to personal and profit-generating promotions?

          Finally, I wonder how much the Suzuki Foundation gives to other countries (in hard cold cash) for a spokesgirl to be chastising the world for not sharing.


          • Ok, regarding light bulbs, there are many things happening right now. I’ll give my feedback as an architect.
            One thing is that four years ago this ban happened:


            (Check it out, surprisingly Venezuela is in the list! Did you ever heard of that?)

            Canada was supposed to ban all incandescent bulbs by 2012. This is the day that nothing has happened becuase they realized that there is not viable replacement option quite yet.
            CFL bulbs are an environmental disaster and that hold back the merge to those. besides, people don’t like the quality of the light in their houses as it’s not consistent enough (too many spectrums), and they cannot be dimmed.
            Halogens are too hot and they need special drivers, and there are not options to retrofit in existing fixtures.
            LED are coming but they are still too, overly expensive. I’m right now in the middle of a discussion between client and contractor because of the huge budget change that going with LED’s in one room is costing.
            So we always end up going to regular incandescent par 20 pot lights.


      • Unless you have some evidence that Suzuki receives a “hefty promotional fee” because he says CFls are the best option right now, it would be fairest not to make the allegation. Everyone isn’t corrupt.


        • Well, Jeffry, when a longterm spokesperson for the ecological movement (and I don’t take that away from Suzuki) appears on billboards and full-page magazine ads to promote the commercial and residential move from incandescent bulbs to CFLs, I would be willing to put money on normal practices. Meaning that Suzuki is not doing this for his health. Furthermore, the financial remuneration in the world of promotions has NOTHING to do with corruption. It’s called advertising – a big industry with which I have no issue. It’s just that I’m also not blind to hypocrisy, when an ecological god starts marketing a product that’s not entirely good for the environment.


      • Syd, please don’t bring Brad/Angelina into this!! By the way, the trend is much worse since Chavez, mainly due to PDVSA lack of internal controls: Lake Maracaibo/ports/Guarapiche+other rivers/ coke mountain/Moron PetroQuimica air/Faja de Orinoco sub-suelo/etc. etc. But what can you expect when you throw out the 20M who know how to run the Industry and add in 80M red-shirt jerks???


        • NET, know how to target your frustrations (cf your “Brad/Angelina”). I was merely responding to a presented youtube.
          Obviously, the trend towards the disrespect of ‘el medio ambiente’ has become much worse with the red-shirted jerks. (I was appalled by the environmental chaos during my last visit.) I was merely pointing out that it was not all milk and honey prior to their arrival. Since I’m no spring chicken, I can tell you that ‘el gobierno de turno’ pre-Chavez, never really instilled much environmental responsibility among its citizens, nor did it provide sufficient facilities for that ‘concientización’. As for more concrete evidence, I leave that for those whose knowledge base on the topic is far greater than mine.


          • Syd, I’m glad you have a sense of humor, but I am sad about the “canas”. You”re right about my frustrations: When she left Billy Bob, I thought I had a chance–but she had to go for that Tweeb Brad.


      • Also God forbid you break a CFL. They have mercury in them, which is also harmful to the environment. My neighbor broke one and had to get the EPA in to clean it up. Cost more than the money you are supposed to save.


        • And let’s see… since the first world countries are pushing CFLs, they’re being produced like crazy and third world countries are forced to buy them whether they care about the environment or not. But guess what, there isn’t a single third world country that cares about properly disposing of the CFLs and, when they burn out, they just get thrown in landfills like anything else.

          In about 20 years all that mercury dumped on regular landfills is gonna cause one hell of an environmental catastrophe about a million times worse than what using regular light bulbs could have ever caused.

          Hurray for unthinking environmentalism!!


  2. Esto pasa porque la mayoria de la gente piensa que el “hilo constitucional” es mas importante que el medio ambiente, la seguridad personal, la moral, la etica y el orgullo de todo un pais.


  3. There is more than one “big coke mountain” in Venezuela. Several tons of one was found recently in liquid form (albeit for export-to Mexico).( Probably peaje wasn’t paid to the right people)


  4. ACCOUNTABILITY & RESPONSIBILITY: What environmentalism is ultimately about. Protests, law, policy, activism, etc. etc: Making persons and organizations responsible and accountable for their activities towards the environment.

    Public enterprise in Venezuela has been traditionally shielded from accountability by this most phony mantra: That they are Stra…. Straaategic. Then,

    Chavismo’s reaction to those two concepts is that of Nosferatu to the Sun. No matter what economic system they peddle, Venezuela has access to modern technology and they will mess up because they cannot be made to care one way or the other, period.


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