By William Markiewicz
Attention grabbing news is that President Bush changed his mind concerning environmental danger for the planet and proclaimed publicly – not enough and too late according to critics – US contributions for the environment. Bush's preoccupations were never humanitarian; now he speaks about Darfur, Aids, environment... If, for the U.S., general pollution becomes the main problem, it is a welcome event but it won’t be resolved as long as the other great and small polluters remain active. Nobody can pressure them because if pollution has finally become the greatest problem for the USA, the others see the USA as their second greatest problem, maybe even the first one. They see how others were punished by the US for their weakness and, blind to all other problems, they fight to increase military and industrial power, which of course means increased pollution. Wars will help nothing because many, if not all of them, are ready to die in the fight rather than be condemned to remain eternally weaker; this is the lesson they learned from the wars of the 20th -21st Centuries. How can the US and the Western World win the trust of those like China, India, Russia, and others?
There is only one way: by sacrifice. This sacrifice will be of practical and philosophical nature: abandoning the now predominant global economy attitude for the global village attitude which ended when the US and Nato started to show their claws. Paradoxically this came with the fall of Communism in Soviet Russia that brought consequences contrary to what was expected. Instead of bringing global peace and fraternity it liberated a war spirit in the West and Russia almost fell into catastrophe. Countless Russians lost their lives in misery under the indifference, even cruelty from the West which not only didn’t contribute a new Marshall Plan but awaited Russia’s downfall ("Russia is too big" was the credo). The war spirit favored the invasion of Yugoslavia, preceded by disinformation like that which preceded the invasion of Iraq. The growth of international corporations, the ferocious fight for money and power, killed the beautiful and developing global village attitude where collaboration had replaced competition. The result is what we see now: environmental catastrophe. Small examples: the drying up of Hule in Israel; a natural water resource was drained for agricultural territory. Countless natural conditions and species disappeared. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein did the same, draining the lakes and swamps in Southern Iraq. Saddam’s reasons were political; to break up Shiites in the south. The Israeli act was the fruit of lack of experience. Now, in Iraq and in Israel, they try to rehabilitate and save whatever remains of the natural richness. As in the global village concept – no domination but cooperation – something must be done to save the planet while it’s perhaps not too late. Global discussion has to be initiated without sticks and carrots but mostly with carrots. The developing countries may pose the right question to the nuclear and industrial giants: “And how about us? In the program of saving the planet, keep a place for us please, so that we can, without fear but with trust, participate. We must care for our inhabitants and consumers exactly as you do and for this we need your help."
Without entering here into details, the all powerful West must find a way to ensure the survival of those countries’ growing economies. Example: North Korea, for their promise to abandon nuclear plans, was granted generous gifts from the West. So, the developing world must receive generous economic back up to improve their living standards, education, etc. and, in exchange, they must offer not to contribute so much to producing pollutants. There are various ways and all have to be adopted. With more restrained appetites, like after the Second World War, for the prosperous West it would be a good start. With fewer armaments there will be a lot of money for everything else.Back to the index of the Vagabond