New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Archive for January 5th, 2011

Enshrining the Environment

January 05, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Jay Walljasper, Politics

From the Commons to Our Constitutions

by Jay Walljasper

There’s a nagging misconception that all significant environmental progress begins in wealthy nations, which then shoulder the noble task of aiding and arm-twisting poor nations to do their share in taking care of the planet.

While it’s true that limited financial resources hinder environmental protection throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia, it’s not at all accurate to paint the developed nations as green and developing ones as a brown splotch of ecological ruination.

Indeed, looking at per capita rates of greenhouse and toxic emissions, you might think just the opposite — the overdeveloped nations of the world need to follow the example of their poor neighbors to the south, which dump far fewer pollutants into the global commons. After all, these are the places where precious biodiversity, rainforests and other ecological treasures still exist — the natural ecosystems of Europe and North American were largely ravaged a century ago. (more…)