Lately I’ve been reading Paul Driessen’s book, Eco-Imperialism, which exposes how some environmental groups cause death and poverty in developing countries. Using governments and UN agencies, these organizations build barriers to economic development under the guise of the precautionary principle, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.
Driessen’s title is profoundly accurate. Just as governments once kept other countries in poverty to make the homeland richer, Eco-Imperialists ensure destitution to make the homeland feel better about themselves. They don’t directly force the people to accept poverty but their justifications seem so reasonable governments and NGOs are pressured by first-world citizens to do their dirty work. Eco-Imperialists project their standards on the rest of the world, even if it makes things worse.
For example, environmentalists attack DDT which directly led to its virtual lack of use in the third world. Their accusations against DDT are unfounded and no other tactic is better at combating malaria for developing countries because DDT is both effective and affordable. The absence of DDT is directly responsible for sharp increases of malaria cases in the developing world. Each year, about two million people die from malaria. The disease also stretches the limited health care resources and hamstrings their fledgling economies, impoverishing the developing world further.
As a nod to Lou Dobbs—who we’ve been focusing on this past week—I’m starting my own list. Instead of cataloging which companies are “exporting America” (better known as outsourcing), I’m recording which organizations are Eco-Imperialists. I call it Exporting Poverty. This is a growing list and readers of LL&L are encouraged to add to it.
World Wildlife Fund
Earth Liberation Front
Friends of the Earth
National Resource Defense Council
Rainforest Action Network
European Wind Energy Association
The Body Shop
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
Union of Concerned Scientists