Croatia’s Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak’s predictions of great profit and benefit for Croatia only exist in his optimistic bubble that ignores the global reality which surrounds him. In 5 years, his task will be similar to trying to sell Kryptonite to Superman….
Referendum, or Not?
Just two weeks ago Croatian Prime Minister announced that there should be a referendum on the question of oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Croatia. Such an announcement gave hope to environmentalists in Croatia and abroad who know that pursuing a hydrocarbon-based policy for economic growth is simply reckless.
Unfortunately, in a statement to reporters at a conference on Adriatica oil exploitation Budva, Montenegro, Economic Minister Ivan Vrdoljak called a referendum pointless. While the timetable for concluding the contracts has been moved by to the end of May, Vrdoljak asserts that they will be signed and exploration activities will continue.
We can ignore how Vrdoljak directly contradicts the Croatian Prime Minister (with impunity). We can ignore the fact that the requests by Slovenia and Italy for cross-border consultation on the environmental impact statement will only affect the scheduling and not the planning. We can even ignore the utter disrespect for democratic processes in Croatia.
However, we can not ignore the fact that Vrdoljak’s predictions of great profit and benefit for Croatia only exist in his optimistic bubble that ignores the global reality which surrounds him. As he pushes his agenda, intelligent companies and countries continue to divest from hydrocarbons. The most recent announcement comes from the Rockefellers heirs, who have joined in the 50 billion dollar divestment movement.
In 5 years, Vrdoljak’s task will be similar to trying to sell Kryptonite to Superman. Vrdoljak is wasting time, energy and money seeking to extract resources that can not be sold and can not be burned. Croatia must look at it’s economy and future as it fits into the global issue of climate change, and pursue investment into renewable energy resources.
2° Celcius is the generally accepted limit of planetary warming that we can potentially withstand. “Temperature increases beyond 1.0°C may elicit rapid, unpredictable, and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage,” according to a report by the Stockholm Environmental Institute. Furthermore, there is nothing necessarily ‘safe’ about a two degree limit.
350 parts per million refers to the safe amount of the ratio of carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere compared to all other molecules. Currently we are at 400 ppm. According to Dr. James Hansen talking, former head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and one of the most respected climatologists in the world:
If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from [current levels] to at most 350 ppm – Dr. James Hansen
565 Gigatons is the number that represents the amount of hydrocarbons we can afford to burn and continue to stay below 2° Celcius of global warming.
There are currently 2795 Gigatons of proven hydrocarbon reserves in the world. That number is about 5 times greater than what we can afford to burn. There is a glut, a bubble in the hydrocarbon market. Any resources that Croatia is able to find through it’s damaging and aggressive policy of exploitation, can not be safely exploited and sold. Discovering, extracting and burning new reserves of hydrocarbons is simply NOT a feasible economic policy. (top infographic / Source treehugger.com)