OPINION

Inherent obstacles to prevention

inherent-obstacles-to-prevention

Although the day after has not yet dawned and although it would be premature to draw any conclusions about the causes behind the devastating wildfires, the cacophony is already in full swing. You have the experts and the ignorant pundits who parade on the media, the laments and the curses of the fire victims, the vitriol flung by the online psychos, the supposedly coolheaded analyses and recommendations from the self-styled champions of political correctness, the desperate efforts of the opposition to incriminate the conservative government, particularly from SYRIZA, which is trying to take political revenge over the aftermath of the 2018 wildfires in eastern Attica, and the government’s efforts to contain the political cost.

All that is, to some degree, natural, given that the magnitude of the disaster is almost incalculable in the short term but more important, in the long term. Also because in Greece moderation and objectivity are hard to come by. On the other hand, it has become clear that Greece is significantly affected by a hyperbole and a particularity which beget risk.

There is no point in repeating the adverse impacts of climate change which are, after all, felt worldwide. The question is what must and what can be done in Greece in order to limit the consequences of this phenomenon. The only measure everyone would agree on is the quick and meaningful relief of the fire victims, which are, if we wish to be honest, part of the political game anyway. 

The emphasis should be placed on what must and can be done. And this is because experience shows that, in Greece, wordy pledges come hand in hand with a mix of weak collective memory, of opposition from big and small interests, of reaction from obsolete mentalities and widespread ignorance, poor education, ineptitude and inability to plan and organize, and large numbers of ill-intended individuals. All the above are unfortunately big and inherent obstacles to preventing future disasters.