Systems of communication are fragile. And like all systems, can be abused, corrupting thought and enabling exploitation. Bad usage of language can be spread by nefarious mediators and people of influence among a social body like a virus in a crowd. This manipulation of language is no more visible than in politics and legislation. Political vagueness falls over the facts like a thick fog, blurring any definition and hiding all the details. Creating a space to conceal indefensible truths in a haze of non-statements.
The word should, indicating a desirable or expected state, is the third most commonly used word in the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on renewables.1 This word enables a space for political vagueness to grow, creating a void between intention and understanding where an audience can come to their own conclusion of the language used. This dualistic state of language allows for the targeted audience to be both correct and incorrect in their understanding at the same time, let us say, a quantum state of language. Industry lobbyists in these areas saw the opportunity to manipulate political language to create a tool that encourages ambiguous legal boundaries between the two fields of economy and ecology.
The aftermath of political ambiguity can be seen in the deforestation of the Pamlico Basin, North Carolina.2 During 2018, the EU passed legislation to increase its reliance on energy from renewable sources to 32% by 2030. 3 This led to a market gap for fuel that needed to be filled for which biomass pellets are a quick and cost-effective solution.
These pellets were designed to be made from the waste material left behind after the logging industry. However, the increased demand in European Consumption has created a sudden surge to harvest the raw material needed for the production of biomass pellets. Like a starved shark devouring anything it finds, waste from logging was no longer enough feed the demand for these pellets, so clearcutting forests from biodiverse areas filled the void.
1) DIRECTIVE (EU) 2018/2001 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources - The guidelines that companies within the EU have to legally follow in order to comply with the renewable energy standards.
2) Global Markets for Biomass Energy are Devastating U.S. Forest - A report made on the impact of clearcutting areas of forest for the production of burnable energy pellets. These pellets are supplied to Europe to burn in “green” energy initiatives to enable companies to comply with the renewable energy standards.
3) Biomass for energy in the European Union - a review of bioenergy resource assessments - A paper reviewing the demand by EU policies for bioenergy potentials in conjunction with available biomass conversion technologies in Europe.
An American space artist and science journalist who was the Design Director for NASA's Voyager Golden Record.
The interview was trying to gain a deeper insight into how ideas and concepts can be communicated when there is no clearly defined audience.