As an example of the influence of distant and possibly undesirable local results resulting from distant and unacknowledged instigators I read about this situation in the weekend's newspaper (about page 20!)

New Guinea is a developing country, parts of the highlands are still unexplored I think. As result of the usual global companies' involvement, New Guinea has been rapidly harvesting their rain forests the quickest way possible, obliteration. This would be bad enough, as the hinterland of New Guinea is very mountainous, and prone to land slips when the forests are cleared and the villagers were subsistence farmers with a garden/marketing system now disappearing fast. But instead of the cleared land used for food crops or even left to regenerate, it is used for growing palm oil for 'us' to use in our cars as we assuage our consciences in our desire desire to grow 'greener'. The wealth of the forests, properly managed, could have been an investment for the inhabitants, but that money has now gone off-shore.

It's all very well talking about solutions in a rich democratic society where the politicians are obliged to respond to our wishes-- but life is bleak when you live in a place where your voice is not heard, you are powerless and uneducated and, more than anything else, you are hungry. That's when you sell your birthright.