Thursday, February 08, 2007

Is it OK if a Developing Nation Wrecks the Environment?

Brazil is a developing nation. If global environmental regulations are enacted, should they be exempt?

You can't make ethanol from trees and every politician and journalist is pestering us to use more ethanol. Cut down the forest. Developing nations need help catching up with the US in earnings. Cut down the forest. The poor people in these countries can make more money logging than they can otherwise. Cut down the forest.

Does this make sense? If we're all part of a globally connected environment, then doesn't logging the Amazon hurt everyone?

US citizens could make more money if we suddenly decided to scrap most of our environmental regulations, too. Should we cut down our forests and trash our rivers?

One last issue, and this is the biggest of all for the Kyoto crowd. How do you know how much CO2 (or pollution in general for that matter) nations like Brazil and China emit when it's clear that their governments are not able to control local practices? This logging is illegal and the rampant environmental destruction in China isn't part of their 5-year plan. Isn't it in their best interests to lie? Since the Chinese press is controlled by the Chinese government, how would you ever find out the truth?

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