Thursday, July 24

Is Poverty An Excuse To Rape Our Environment?

The G8 summit concluded on an emphatic note, declaring that a breakthrough agreement on climate change has been reached, wherein the members have agreed to cut at least 50 per cent of their current carbon emissions by 2050 and committing to the principle of mid-term reduction or stabilization targets.

How valid is this agreement? Who makes sure that the targets are met? What happens when the targets are not met?

With these questions swimming in my mind, I decided to dig in. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. I came across an article from The Financial Times written by David Pilling. The article states that China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa have declined to stand by the agreement and have gone on record saying that “That they cannot adopt any measures that will endanger growth needed to pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.”

These countries have dangled the poverty card to as a license to continue polluting the environment. To how far an extent is this justifiable? These are the ones who are right now the culprits, contributing a major share of carbon emissions. They also have adamantly suggested that the “rich & developed” countries are the ones who should cut their emission levels by between 80 and 95 per cent from 1990 levels, while they are given a free license to go and pollute our environment. Yea…license to rape.

I believe developing countries have the flexibility to adopt measures to check and cut carbon emissions when compared to the already developed ones. Any measure put in place now will hold good even in the coming future, taking into account that there would be continuous increase in population; which directly corresponds to increased amount of carbon emissions.

Why wait till a country achieves the coveted status of “developed” to implement carbon emission cutting measures? Why not now?

The stance adopted by a few countries calls into question the futility of conducting these meetings. Why cheat our conscience by adopting resolutions which will not be adhered. Go ahead. Rape our environment. We are more concerned about alleviating poverty.

We can always live with the fact that at this rate of pollution, the day when the environment becomes inhospitable for the existence of our kind is not too far away. But we just cannot live with “POVERTY.”



  1. Industrial agriculture has destroyed diverse sources of food, and it has stolen food from other species to bring larger quantities of specific commodities to the market, using huge quantities of fossil fuels and water and toxic chemicals in the process. … Since cattle and earthworms are our partners in food production, stealing food from them makes it impossible to maintain food production over time… More grain from two or three commodities arrived on national and international markets, but less food was eaten by farm families in the Third World. The gain in “yields” of industrially produced crops is based on a theft of food from other species and the rural poor in the Third World. That is why, as more grain is produced and traded globally, more people go hungry in the Third World. Global markets have more commodities for trading because food has been robbed from nature and the poor.

  2. For years, rich countries have been migrating some polluting industries to poor countries, but still producing primarily for rich countries. This has been possible insofar as it is cheaper than to pay for costly environmentally clean technologies that people demand.

  3. Hi Rocksta, really a very nice article..the most worth reading..wat captured my attention all of a sudden was the title of ur article...which reveals ur feelings for our mother nature...who is getting destroyed in the name of so called "development"...most of us do not realize dat we destroy ourselves if we destroy our mother nature..ultimately it affects us only...humanity has a responsibility not only to each other, but to our mother nature as well, as she has long sustained us and can only continue to do so if we do not destroy her...

  4. Many readers are probably familiar with the tale of four blind men being asked to identify the object in front of them. Each blind man just investigated a part so no one identified the whole as an elephant. Similarly, both environmental degradation and poverty alleviation are urgent global issues that have a lot in common, but are often treated separately. Both environmental degradation and poverty alleviation are urgent global issues that have a lot in common, but are often treated separately. A form of environmentalism that ignores humanity as an integral part of the solution, of economic dogma that forgets about our basic needs, and of forms of development that ignore environmental concerns all add up to numerous problems for the world’s people and fragile ecosystems. Some of these problems are so big we do not even see them even when we think our eyes are open.

  5. We end up in a situation where 1 billion suffer from hunger, while another billion suffer from obesity.

  6. @ Ricky

    Nice comment.

    @ varsha

    You have absolutely hit the nail on the head. That is how we need to look at this problem.

    @ shilz

    Thank you for your kind comments, I do sincerely hope that people do realize it sooner or later.

    @ dinesh

    Point noted, one of the evils third world countries and developing nations are facing right now.

    @ shiva

    Thank you for the wonderful piece of info on "Industrial Agriculture."


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