A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Perceptions of neocolonialism.....

Here is an especially illuminating article on how Brazilains view world concern about Amazonia: 'Amazonian paranoia' [Inter Press Service News Agency (Tierramérica)1, October 3]:
"Nine out of 10 Brazilians surveyed believe that a conspiracy is under way to internationalise the Amazon forests through foreign occupation or some type of international control, says Senator Jefferson Peres.

This conviction is as strong as it is unlikely, according to Peres, lawmaker of the nationalist Democratic Labour Party (PDT) from the northwestern state of Amazonas. He acknowledges that he has lost voter support for publicly disagreeing with the notion.

Fuelling the conspiracy theory was a message disseminated over the Internet beginning in 2000, which charged that school textbooks in the United States included maps of Brazil without the Amazon region, which was allegedly portrayed instead as an international forestry reserve..." (read on)

For quite a time now, there has been concern about the extent to which Northern (Western) 'Green' agendas are really a mask for a new form of neocolonialism, allowing Northern control of the developing world to continue despite post-1945 withdrawal from direct political management. Indeed, Professor Anna Bramwell has brilliantly described Western 'Green politics' as "the Northern White Empire's last burden, and may be its last crusade" (see: The fading of the Greens, p. 208, 1994)2.

Unquestionably, ecofundamentalism is potentially dangerous, in that it strives to veto the normal processes of politics and economics by establishing an eco-imperative that must be obeyed by everyone at all times. This is why so many 'environmentalists' [as distinct from those with a balanced interest in the environment] were incensed by Professor Bjørn Lomborg, who so cleverly called their bluff and who managed to bypass their control of the publishing process by being that most hated of beings, an economist.

We must never forget that 'ecofundamentalists' are the extreme Puritans of today, with a deep desire to control all our lives, not just those of people living in the developing world. For many, the 'global warming' religion is a serious threat to freedom and liberty, to human dynamism and adaptability.
1This fascinating piece is by Mario Osava, who is an IPS correspondent, and it was originally published on September 24 in Latin American newspapers that comprise the Tierramérica network, Tierramérica being a specialised news service produced by IPS with the backing of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

2Unsurprisingly, Bramwell's masterly book was described in The Guardian as a "perverse and dangerous book". Critical environmental historians are clearly not welcome in the world of the Guardianistas.

Philip, off to join Mr. and Mrs. Blackbird, and Mr. Robin, in the garden for a coffee and a peck of something tasty.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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