Wow! Front page news, eh?
Originally Posted By: Ellis
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,...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.


Revl.
Certainly there does seem to be a nexus between religion and economics. This struck me recently as I read about Stuart Kauffman's discussion on "The Global Ethic." [coming soon...]
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26073#Post26073
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Ellis,
Certainly you have a good example here of "Free-Enterprise" at it's finest. Doubtless the political niche encouraging biofuels is complicit, but does no one 'in power' have anything but short-sighted goals in mind?
Who couldn't anticipate these kinds of abuses?

Economic restructuring that would promote third-world sustainable agriculture, combined with first-world connectivity (with knowledge, education, data and studies flowing freely)[Ellis, re: your comment above], could through adaptive management practices, lift the third-world up to the level of the first while simultaneously fulfilling all of the Millennium Development Goals.

http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/goals.html

Develop a global partnership for development

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Achieve universal primary education

Promote gender equality and empower women

Reduce child mortality

Improve maternal health

Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

&
Ensure environmental sustainability

>Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
>Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss. Oh well, one off....
>Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
>By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers.

How are we going to do this unless we do this?
wink
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Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.