- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Environmentalism is humanitarianism.

Posted by: septimus ( Aus ) on October 31, 1999 at 18:01:10:

In Reply to: tip of iceberg posted by Gee on October 29, 1999 at 13:26:18:

There seems to be this worrying tendency on the part of the ant-Greens to assert that Green politics is doing the third world a disservice.This is a very sneaky trick which has only started to crop up over the last few years. I see it as a deliberate ploy to try and drive a wedge between the 'environmentalist' and 'humanist' aspects of Green politics. It says that if you're a Green then you obviously don't care about people.
The fact is that the deforestation of the Amazon and of SE Asia is not being done by the locals, it is being done in spite of them. It is being done so that we can keep getting our nice shiny white paper at bargain basement prices.
The locals DO NOT benefit. The clearing of jungle does not give land to the poor third world farmers. Any arable topsol which remains is washed away (it's called Rainforests because it gets rained on. A lot)
A handfull of individuals in government and industry get massive amounts of money, their workers get a pittance and we get photocopy paper. For the liberals reading this, the only people who have any real choice are the owners of the companies. The consumers only get to choose between a few brands of wood based paper (anyone heard of hemp?)

The other thing that shits me is this idea that genetically modified food is somehow going to magically feed the starving masses. This is an out and out lie. There is enough food for everybody in the world as it is. The problem lies in the distribution. You can see evidence of this in the fact that while large numbers of the worlds poor starve 1 in five Americans is obese, not just overweight but medically obese (not to mention that 1 in 2 is merely overweight). It's a similar story in Australia and the rest of the western world (not quite the same though you fat bastards).And there's the little issue of the European 'butter mountains'. It is more economically rational to burn or destroy excess food than to give it to those who need it.

Third world farmers are not going to be able to afford seeds from Monsanto et al unless they sell their crops right back to them (in many cases farmers are legally bound in who they can do business with once the crop has grown, and even in when and how they harvest). No African peasant is going to be able to afford to sell his crops to his countrymen. Is Monsanto going to give away hundreds of millions of dollars worth of research and development? It's just ridiculous.

Apart from a hard core of Deep Greens, most environmentalists are Green because of a concern for human beings. There can be no choice between human beings and the world around them, they're inextricably linked.

Environmentalism is humanitarianism.

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