Friday, February 25, 2005

Environmental destruction through debt

Debt foisted on so-called developing countries by rich ones has forced them to hand over their natural resources at an ever-increasing pace to service that debt. More often than not the projects for which the money is lent are environmentally destructive. The PoloNoreste Project in the Brazilian Amazon which built a 930-mile road to open up the rainforest to settlement comes to mine. Noreena Hertz says that the environmental hazards that have resulted are coming home to haunt the industrialized world in the form of global warming, toxic chemicals in imported foods, depleted fishstocks, a huge destruction of species and virulent diseases creeping ever closer to the border. And, where developing countries have the desire to enforce high environmental standards, they lack money.

Their fate is slowly becoming our fate. Will we do anything about it for their sake and ours?

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