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State Secretary Tina Seršen: You Will Not Burn Firewood

State Secretary Tina Seršen has once again shocked the Slovenian public by stating that people who buy houses also have enough money to buy the most expensive heat pumps that would replace gas and firewood heating, and she also added that Slovenians are dying because of the particulate matter that causes air pollution.

State Secretary of Energy at the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy, Tina Seršen, who is mainly known to the Slovenian public because of her aggressive outbursts when it comes to defending the so-called “green energy,” once again shocked the public at the 44th extraordinary session of the Committee on Infrastructure, the Environment and Spatial Planning.

We have reported extensively on the new law on energy policy, and we have also highlighted the negative consequences of the new legislation several times before. The law brings certain novelties stemming from the beliefs of “eco-activists,” who intend to “save the planet” with the said changes. The law regulates the priority use of energy sources and energy products by prohibiting the planning and installation of a natural gas or LPG boiler in any new buildings, except in certain exceptions. The exception needs to be justified in the technical report and shown in the energy performance report of the building. The law also prohibits the design and installation of solid and liquid fuel combustion appliances in single and semi-detached houses and individual parts of apartment buildings – except in cases where these sources are not used as the primary source of heating. But the Secretary of State has denied all this, saying that such claims are “misleading” – however, the law is very clear.

The fact that Seršen apparently lives in an entirely different Slovenia than the rest of us is also demonstrated by her next statement, namely, that some people can afford to build houses worth hundreds of thousands of euros, and then also install heating appliances that are not wood or gas burning. Her statement is very reminiscent of that of Marie Antoinette“If you cannot afford to eat bread, then have some cake.” This is how the ruling Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) is curtailing our freedom by dictating what we can eat, burn, say, how we can keep animals, and so on.

The icing on the cake of the State Secretary’s “madness”

“I don’t know why you are not worried about all of the dead people, about all the people who die in this country every year from the effects of air pollution – of particulate matter coming from small combustion plants,” Seršen said, among other things. And while she likes to accuse others of making misleading and false statements, it is actually she who is being misleading. Not even the European Environment Agency (EEA), which is the source of “lectures” on the death toll caused by particulate matter and air pollution, is 100 percent convinced about that. On its website, where the Agency states that air pollution is one of the main causes of death and disease in Europe (which is an exaggeration compared to other actual diseases), it also states that fine particulate matter is “thought” to have the greatest impact on human health.

Seršen is misleading

Environmental influences can affect health or bring about premature death, but they are not the direct cause of death, as Seršen claims. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia (NIJZ), which concluded that “a 5 µg/m³ reduction in the current level of particulate matter PM2,5 would have an impact on the overall mortality rate and on the cardiovascular mortality rate.”

Similarly, the National Institute of Public Health’s population health data for the year 2021 states that “the leading causes of death in Slovenia are circulatory diseases (the most common ones include heart attack, stroke, heart failure and others), and neoplasms (cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, prostate, breasts and lungs), which accounted for 60 percent of all deaths in 2021.” So, particulate matter is not listed as a cause of death in our population anywhere, so Seršen’s statement is not only misleading but also untrue.

She does not care about drinking water

What is even more ironic in the whole situation is that Seršen, with her “appearances,” gives the impression that she really cares about the environment and people’s health, but let us remind you of the fact that it was she who signed the decision that the construction of the C0 sewerage canal through a drinking water catchment area does not require an environmental impact assessment. Apparently, she is more concerned about some “particulate matter” than about actual clean drinking water, which is a source of life and also our constitutional right.

T. B.

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