Le bois, l’eau et le pétrole : voici les ressources dont il faut prévoir l’épuisement

L’abondance des ressources naturelles inhérentes à toute vie sur terre ne revêt plus ce caractère inépuisable qui pourrait expliquer l’étourderie des consommateurs et producteurs.

L’abondance des ressources naturelles inhérentes à toute vie sur terre ne revêt plus ce caractère inépuisable qui pourrait expliquer l’étourderie des consommateurs et producteurs.

Les ressources naturelles comme le bois, l’eau et l’énergie sont des produits d’une nécessité absolue. Notre communauté est fondée sur elles car, indispensables à la satisfaction des besoins les plus simples comme les plus complexes. Leur épuisement progressif suscite de plus en plus de conjectures dans un contexte où tous les pays sont confrontés à la compétition économique et à la pression démographique. L’importance de ce trinôme nous emmène à nous interroger sur la situation qui pourrait découler de leur épuisement. Le bois, l’eau et l’énergie sont liés à des civilisations, à des climats, à des habitudes inchangeables et cela à tel point qu’il serait déterminant d’anticiper leur inévitable pénurie. Nous devons exploiter de façon plus significative, les pistes qui s’offrent à nous.

Il n’y a rien de plus normal que de prendre un nouveau cahier lorsque celui que nous avons sous la main n’a plus de pages vierges. Quoi de plus intéressant que de pouvoir changer les meubles de la maison lorsqu’ils deviennent vieillissants ? Quand l’hiver approche, quel foyer ne pense pas à l’idée de chauffage ? Pour tous ces besoins, le bois est la principale ressource. De ce fait, nous pensons que plus une matière est importante, plus il faut s’atteler à assurer sa pérennité, dans certains cas, son renouvellement ou dans d’autres, son remplacement. Dès lors, comment maintenir les avantages que nous tirons de cette ressource sans compromettre l’avenir ? Voilà une préoccupation qui nous pousse à avoir un regard prospectif.

Heureusement pour nous le bois est une ressource renouvelable et la sylviculture se pratique de plus en plus dans un certain nombre de pays qui ont compris la vision prospective. Au-delà de l’aspect didactique de ce terme, il faudrait en faire une pratique suivie dans tous les pays du monde. Quand on consomme, il faut remplacer. Chaque pays devrait avoir un calendrier sylvicole respecté selon ses capacités forestières et ses besoins. Au sein des organisations régionales, cela devrait faire l’objet d’un programme annuel. Selon Eurostat, parmi les pays membres de l’Union Européenne, la Suède a produit le plus de bois rond (74,3 millions de m3) en 2015, suivie de la Finlande, de l’Allemagne et la France et environ un quart de la production de bois rond est utilisé comme bois de chauffage et trois quarts sont du bois industriel utilisé pour le sciage et le placage ou pour la production de pâte de papier. La sylviculture est donc la meilleure alternative au besoin croissant de bois si l’on ne veut pas se retrouver à grignoter les forêts classées.

Aussi, là où il pourrait avoir débat quant à l’indispensabilité du bois dans la survie de l’homme, tout le monde s’accorde à dire que “ l’eau est source de vie “. On le dit sans véritablement saisir sa sacralité, vu qu’on peut en avoir à volonté, juste en ouvrant le robinet. Or c’est un bien rare, convoité et même source de conflit sous d’autres cieux. Brian Richter dans son œuvre la crise de l’eau traduite de l’anglais par Olivier Evrard rappelle certaines mises en gardes des dirigeants de l’ONU. Nous étions encore en 1985 lorsque Boutros Boutros Ghali, qui deviendra secrétaire général des Nations Unis sept ans plus tard, avertissait que « la prochaine guerre au Moyen-Orient porterait sur l’eau, et non sur des questions politiques ». Ce fut un coup de semonce dans le monde entier conduisant de nombreux pays à réfléchir sur leurs propres besoins futurs en eau. Koffi Annan le successeur de Boutros Boutros Ghali à l’ONU, a mis le monde en garde en 2001 en disant que « la concurrence féroce pour les ressources d’eau douce pourrait devenir une source de conflits et de guerres à l’avenir ». Parce que les dégâts économiques et sociaux du manque d’eau sont désastreux, il importe urgemment de trouver des solutions et Brian Richter dans son œuvre nous en propose six (6) qui selon un ordre de coût décroissant sont : le dessalement, la réutilisation de l’eau, l’importation de l’eau, le stockage de l’eau, la gestion des bassins versants et la conservation de l’eau. Le dessalement de l’eau de mer, bien que couteux (nécessite une grande quantité d’électricité), est une piste des plus rentables qu’on pourrait explorer car il protège les sources d’eau douce naturelles que sont les rivières, les lacs et les aquifères d’une exploitation accrue. À ces propositions louables nous ajouterons qu’il faut éduquer les populations au minimalisme. En juillet 2017, dans son rapport sur le sujet de l’eau, l’OMS estime à 844 millions, le nombre de personnes qui ne disposent pas d’un service de base d’approvisionnement en eau potable. Parmi ces personnes, 90 % vivent en zones rurales et ne bénéficient pas des avancées de leur pays, selon l’UNICEF. Il ne devrait donc pas avoir place au gaspillage dans les grandes villes où l’on ne connait pas ce problème : il faut éduquer les populations à juste utiliser ce qu’il faut et à faire réparer avec empressement les dispositifs défectueux.

Enfin, le calme sur le front géopolitique est toujours menacé à cause des guerres pour l’énergie. Le prix du pétrole ne cesse de grimper car la demande d’énergie se fait de plus en plus forte. Fixée à 53 dollars, le baril de pétrole devrait atteindre 56 dollars en 2018 sous l’effet de l’augmentation constante de la demande, des accords entre producteurs sur une diminution des volumes de production et de la stabilisation de l’extraction de l’huile de schiste aux États-Unis, indiquait la banque mondiale en octobre 2017. Qu’est-ce qu’il faut faire pour prévenir la crise de pétrole et toutes les autres sources d’énergie ? Maitriser la demande, accroitre le rendement des installations, se tourner vers les énergies renouvelables, lutter contre le gaspillage sont entre autres les choses à faire pour y arriver. À côté de tout cela, il y a de nouvelles formes de production d’énergie par le recyclage des déchets et autres matières dont il faut évaluer la productivité et si nécessaire les développer. Rien n’est à négliger, pourvu que cela participe à réduire la pression à quelque niveau que ce soit.

 

En guise de conclusion, nous pourrions affirmer aisément que le monde tel qu’il va, foncerait droit dans un mur si des mesures pratiques ne sont pas prises afin d’anticiper l’épuisement des ressources naturelles. Le bois, l’eau et l’énergie sont inhérents à notre survie si bien que prévoir leur épuisement ne serait pas une tâche de trop, tant s’en faut.

Yves-Landry Kouamé

Source Agoravox

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