He follows the news with increasing amazement. "Why is nobody doing anything?" John van Ruijven wonders aloud. The techie, active in water treatment with his company JVR Tecmar, among others, sees with sorrow how, according to him, the sector is being "destroyed by The Hague. And meanwhile, I don't see anyone in the sector really making themselves heard," he says.
The news talks about the energy crisis and its consequences all day long, John acknowledges, but that is "not the real picture." He also notices that because of this, people do not have the "right picture" of what is going on. "They just seem to be running behind the government with their sustainability narrative. They don't know the details at all."
John cited a presentation from the House of Representatives, in which a physicist was heard as an expert on the Climate Bill back in 2018. Professor Kees de Lange informed politicians in The Hague that, according to him, reducing CO2 has "no effect whatsoever" on the climate*. "So what if the man is right and CO2 is not a problem?" the tech giant wondered aloud at De Lange's subsequently debated position by supporters and opponents. "Nobody has done anything with it." A government page on the Climate Accord does link CO2 and climate change.
John at GreenTech Amsterdam 2022
If anything is happening at all, it is far too slow. "If the government wants to do anything at all about the current energy crisis, and I doubt that they do, it is going far too slowly. The government is just creating problems." John points to the Dutch childcare benefits scandal. "A problem created by the government. Still, those children are not back with their parents, and in The Hague, they say, 'just send a letter to reverse it.' Those children's lives have been ruined forever by those idiots."
Now John feels that his beloved sector is also being destroyed. He does have a solution to stop the crisis. "The gas tap in Groningen has to be opened. That's easy, but they won't do it. They think it's fine and are steering straight towards a huge crisis."
John also points to recent coverage of MP Pieter Omtzigt, who believes the Netherlands has no gas strategy. "Unimaginable, right? He shows that nothing is regulated, that there are no guarantees, no strategy. That's bizarre, isn't it? They are making a mess of it. Jetten only points to compensation, without getting concrete," he denounces. "He only looks at CO2, it seems."
The tech giant does not understand why people are not waking up to everything that is going on. "The whole Westland is full of upside-down Dutch flags, but they don't seem to care there in The Hague," he says. If it were up to John, the sector would make itself heard much more emphatically. "Norwegian growers, they do make themselves heard. They are warning of a food shortage if they are no longer supported. Dutch growers, but also companies elsewhere in the chain, need to speak up much louder, including those who may still have favorable energy contracts at the moment. I hope people will wake up. Look at those growers. How they are taking action, I like that. They did take action and in a positive way."
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*A government page to the Climate Accord does make the connection between climate change and CO2