The military conflict in the Ukraine overshadows a much larger tragedy: Putin's aggression undermines grass root efforts to initiate an ecological transition and strengthens conservative power politicians in both the Western world and Far East Asia. These people have now an easy argument to dismiss calls for more environmental protection and education. They simply point at a looming and well known threat coming from the Russian front and tell people that we must not bother with ecology when our security is at risk.
Its difficult to understand why the man who already controls the world's largest nation state wants even more. But it is clear that he follows the same motivation patterns as the Brussels and Washington D.C. lobbyists who have enjoyed their fat paychecks in posh capital restaurants and prevented the construction of a decentralized, independent and sustainable energy infrastructure. Their interests are not long term civilization security but short team business or mid term national interests.
It is in particular the European elite in Brussels which was so consumed with its own privileges that it completely forgot to build upon the foundation treaty of the EU which was forged between France and Germany to avoid another war in Europe by pooling their security interests over coal and steel. France's move into nuclear power after the 1973 oil crisis under the Messmer Plan was equal to Brexit, because it abandoned therewith the foundation of a common economy. Macron's decision to build new nuclear power plants is understandable under the new state of the world, but it is wrong both politically and ecologically.
Power generation and distribution must be a global and a public good and must not be the subject of competing nation states which pitch their infrastructure against each other. The result is resource waste and further ecological destruction on a planet which we already hand over to the next generation in a state of deterioration. Where are the politicians who are farsighted enough to implement policies and strike alliances to forge a path which leads into a sustainable future?
Two decades ago, I lamented the futility of Brussels bureaucracy and argued that independence from Russian gas must be achieved through association agreements with the Maghreb region, where photovoltaic power plants producing almost unlimited electricity could be installed; large enough to compensate for the distribution loss of channeling power back to continental Europe. Two decades have passed and the worst case scenario of a Russian dictator going into an open military conflict which threatens European security is real.
There are voices which blame US and NATO expansionist policies for Putin's aggression and they have a point there. But they overlook that the problem is not either Russia or the US: the root cause of this problem lies in Brussels' apathy and self-obsession and the particular and petty interests of European members state governments to deal with the security foundation of a united Europe. Lets hope that this experience will teach a lesson on how to deal with a finite world in which we ought to learn moderation with limited instead of infinite resources.
I recall these days a quote from Buddhist teacher Choegyam Trungpa:
The basic obstacle to gentleness is arrogance. Arrogance comes from hanging on to the reference point of me and other … We tend to think that the threats to our society or to ourselves are outside of us. We fear that some enemy will destroy us. But a society is destroyed from the inside, not from an attack by outsiders. We may imagine the enemy coming with spears and machine guns to kill us, massacre us. In reality, the only thing that can destroy us is within ourselves. If we have too much arrogance, we will destroy our gentleness. And if we destroy our gentleness, then we destroy the possibility of being awake, and then we cannot use our intuitive openness to extend ourselves in situations properly. Instead, we generate tremendous aggression.