Friday, June 12, 2009

Ecology, politics and poor people

When it comes to conflicts between ecology and politics there is usually only one winner, namely the politics. But what this has to do with poor people? Everytime ecology loses against politics we see a rise in certain ecological problem, and the ones that suffer the most are poor people. Take a look at Africa for instance. Africa will be worst hit by climate change problem, with droughts and higher temperatures likely to cause even more problem to already poor and starving population in Africa.

We are really taking about one of the biggest ironies in history of humanity, namely that poorest have to suffer the most because of mistakes done by rich countries. Industrialized nations are the ones mostly responsible for pollution, global warming, and many other ecological problems but they can at least search for solutions in science, technology, sustainable management, etc. This is luxury that poor countries do not have because they don't have money. And without money nothing can't be done in "civilized world".

Poor countries are basically depending upon mercy and good will of rich countries. They need money, technology, and knowledge from rich countries to work on solutions for their ecological problems. But since ecological problems no longer have regional character, and have really expanded to global level, it is not enough for rich countries to only help themselves, rich should also help poor because of interconnection between ecological problems on global level.

And although rich countries have become aware that they need to ensure more funds to poor countries funding is still a big problem, especially in times of recession when rich countries have only one priority - revive their economies. And in the meantime poor people have to wait, wait for some other "better times" when there would be enough money for them. The one thing that rich countries are constantly forgetting is that poor people also need to survive. In order to do so poor people are exploiting and destroying nature just to make some money.

With not enough food and no money in their pockets people really don't care much for nature and environment. You really can't explain to poor people why they shouldn't destroy their forests and rainforests or why they shouldn't hunt endangered animals because they care only for their survival.

As long as poverty remains in so many countries around the globe, global ecological conscience will not be strong enough to prevent the world from buying one way ticket to environmental disaster. We should remember all the time that by helping poor, developing countries we are also helping ourselves. Environmental mess that we created is really big, but it can also become much bigger unless politics makes decisive action. But can we really trust politics?

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