Thursday, May 03, 2007


You can't make this stuff up. Today in my dad's newspaper De Stavda, sometimes referred to as De Standaard, an item about Bart Staes, of the Belgian/Flemish Green Party Groen!:

Bart Staes, Green EP member
"You can laugh about it...", said Bart Staes yesterday at the press conference for the presentation of the "Ecological Food Plan" of Groen!..."but all the cows in the world and the other cattle produce more greenhouse gases than car traffic". The next federal government [Belgium has parliamentary elections on June 10 - MFBB] must again make livestock reduction a number one priority. The action plan of Groen! provides financial incentives for farmers who reduce their number of cows.

Other paragraphs in the Ecological Food Plan of Groen! included jewels like a promotion campaign meant to exhort people to eat less meat. "In the past, we had a day without meat on Friday. Why shouldn't we declare Thursday a vegetarian day?" dixit European Parliament member Bart Staes. And of course, they want to reduce the number of kilometers food travels before it arrives on our dinner tables. The plan provides for a distribution sector obligation to put labels on their foodstuff indicating whether it was ecologically transported or not. A red plane label would mean high environmental costs, a blue ship on the other hand an eco-friendly product. According to Groen! a bad example is "a can of tomato soup travelling 32,000 kilometers before we can eat it." AFAIK, the place where the earth's circumference is biggest is the equator, where one has to travel 40,000 kilometers in either direction before arriving again at his starting point. I suppose it's because I am not so smart as a Greenie, but I wonder why on earth, even in the worst of cases, a can of soup would have to travel 32,000 kloms if it could also land in your plate after only 8,000? The only explanation I can find is that Greens must be living on another planet.

Okay now, who TF is Bart Staes? He's a Belgian member of the Green fraction in the European Parliament and active in a number of commissions. If you are crazy enough, check out his site and find out he's quite a busy boy. Look, we may laugh about it, but the fact remains that the Green fraction, although it only has 42 seats in the 785 man strong EP, has an influence on decisions belying its actual size, because it often forms a tandem with the socialist fraction, which is the biggest but one group. A scenario comparable to the national level, btw. It is high time the EP gets cleaned up, but for that we will have to wait another couple of years. Either way, the example shows how far disconnected from reality the weirder strings of Euro politicians have become.


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