Non vogliamo fare sacrifici

L’Economist, lo dico da anni, è una lettura sempre ricca di riflessioni. L’opinione sull’Europa, Charlemagne, questa settimana scrive, a proposito della riduzione della dipendenza dal gas russo:

The absence of such measures reflects three factors. The first is that Europe may not truly be committed to weaning itself off Russian hydrocarbons. More storage of gas at EU level, as looks likely to be agreed, could dent Russia’s stranglehold on Europe. Some might think that will solve the problem, at least if the war ends soon. Keeping the option, if not the necessity, of importing Russian gas would avoid a painful pivot away from cheap power.

Second, energy is a politically toxic topic. The mere mention of speed limits or dearer petrol triggers accusations of urban politicians ignoring the plight of car-dependent provincial folk. Spanish farmers are protesting about energy prices. France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, wants no more gilets jaunes protests ahead of an election next month. Europe is on a glide path to “net zero” emissions, to which the Ukraine crisis has given fresh impetus. Sensible long-term policy might be derailed by rash short-term measures in reaction to transient (albeit traumatic) events.

The third, and most depressing, possibility is that politicians now think their electorates are incapable of sacrifice. Two years of pandemic-era nagging has tested the public enough. The end of covid-19 restrictions (if not the virus itself) was meant to presage a new Roaring Twenties. That is no time for hair-shirt preachiness. “A Europe that protects” is a recent Brussels mantra: citizens must not be inconvenienced by a changing world.

This is a shame. Ukrainians are daily making sacrifices on an extraordinary scale. A growing number of Europeans are opening their homes to them and making donations. The public mood in Europe is of defiance towards Vladimir Putin. Nobody needs a politician’s blessing to lower the thermostat or skip a flight. But it is depressing that none of them has even thought to ask

Weaning Europe off Russian energy will mean making changes

Siamo incapaci di fare sacrifici, anche piccoli. La media europea di temperatura interna, col riscaldamento acceso, è 22 gradi???? Fino a un paio d’anni fa la tenevo a 18 gradi, poi sono sceso tranquillamente a 17, coprendomi meglio. In Francia l’hanno ridotta a 20 negli uffici pubblici.

Eppure non sarebbe un grandissimo sacrificio rinunciare all’auto una volta a settimana, abbassare un po’ la temperatura, ridurre qualche spreco. Ovviamente il solo proporlo è diventato impopolare.

Quindi la democrazia e i diritti umani sì, vanno promossi, purché non cali il nostro tenore di vita. Qualcuno dovrebbe avere il coraggio delle proprie azioni e dirlo apertamente.

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