Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don't blame poor people for global warming

...Many of the emissions for which poorer countries are blamed should in fairness belong to the developed nations. Gas flaring by companies exporting oil from Nigeria, for instance, has produced more greenhouse gases than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa put together. Even deforestation in poor countries is driven mostly by commercial operations delivering timber, meat and animal feed to rich consumers. The rural poor do far less harm.
... People breed less as they become richer, but they don't consume less - they consume more. As the habits of the super-rich show, there are no limits to human extravagance. Consumption can be expected to rise with economic growth until the biosphere hits the buffers. Anyone who understands this and still considers that population, not consumption, is the big issue is, in Lovelock's words, "hiding from the truth". It is the worst kind of paternalism, blaming the poor for the excesses of the rich.
George Monbiot - via CommonDreams


  1. I'm sorry, but who the hell blames third world countries for pollution?
    The Kyoto Accord was signed by the most powerful countries for a reason, because they have the most vested in these issues. Of course a country that can produce less of anything will produce less pollution, isn't it common knowledge that the carbon footprint of developed nations is larger than third world? You can't emit C02 unless you can afford something to emit it.

  2. George answers your question in his piece.