KILLING PEOPLE TO "SAVE" THE ENVIRONMENT
By Alan Caruba
A perfect example of both these Green objectives is the utterly vile efforts of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) that have been directed of late against major financial investment companies such as Citicorp and Bank of America. Both ceded their lending decisions to RAN in 2004.
Their latest target has been J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, whose Chief Executive Officer, William Harrison, has been under siege in his home in Greenwich, Connecticut. As Steve Milloy of JunkScience.com has noted, “RAN wants to dictate J.P. Morgan Chase’s lending policies for the developing world, especially with regard to energy projects and logging. As an environmental extremist group railing against oil, wood and meat consumption, RAN wants to block lending to projects it claims may contribute to global warming or involve logging in ‘sensitive’ areas.”
One of my personal heroes, Niger Innis, the National Spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), has said, “RAN does not deserve a seat at the table of any bank, and certainly should never been given veto power.” He criticized the World Bank, Citigroup, and Bank of America for having “shamefully compromised” their lending policies as the result of RAN’s threats. An Ugandan, Diana Koymuhendo, asks, “What right do they have to tell poor people they must settle for whatever crumbs Rainforest Action tosses to them?”
Without an investment in the provision of energy in Third World nations, they are going to remain mired in poverty. Nothing happens in this world until you flip a switch and a light turns out, a water pump starts up, or anything else we associate with the modern world begins to function. Life without electricity condemns people to a life of poverty, disease, and premature death.
Would you believe that, worldwide, two billion people still have no electricity? If RAN manages to intimidate J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, that condition will continue because the bank will elect not to support the changes needed to truly create a global economy. With other banks having already caved in to these outrageous demands of the radical environmentalists, poor Third World countries will have nowhere to turn for financing.
And this, of course, is RAN’s agenda for the poor developing countries. They are to remain traditional, indigenous and impoverished, requiring few of the Earth’s “finite” resources, and keeping their populations in check through disease, malnutrition, and starvation.
That means 800 million people will be chronically undernourished, with 14 million Africans facing starvation in southern Africa alone. More than 230 million children will continue to suffer from Vitamin A Deficiency, suffering a condition which currently causes a half million of the children go blind every year. Two million will continue to die from problems directly related to VAD.
None of this is necessary. Modern biotechnology can save human lives, while preserving wildlife and wildlife habitats. It would let farms grow more food on less land, but RAN and other Greens declared war on biotechnology years ago. They cry out that it requires widespread use of pesticides, but that is just another Green lie. Biotech crops can withstand insects and viruses without heavy use of pesticides. Some crops have been created to grow better in saline and nutrient-poor soils. Others can thrive despite severe droughts. Meanwhile, RAN and its allies spend $35 million a year battling the introduction of biotech crops.
RAN is among those Green groups that lobbied to get the United Nations to ban the use of DDT to protect people against malaria. Malaria infects an estimated 400,000,000 people a year in Africa alone. It kills 2,000,000, half of them children. The loss of revenue to poor African nations is in the billions annually, because a third of their workforce is sick much of the time.
There is something obscene about the opposition of Green organizations to anything that would improve the lives of the very least among us, the poor and the starving masses of the Third World. That, however, is the objective of the environmentalists. Their concern is for wildlife or for forests that anyone knows can replenish themselves. Cutting down a tree does not mean another will not grow in its place, but not cutting down a tree often leaves people without ground on which to grow crops or an income from that tree when sold as lumber.
From the rainforests of South America to the parched lands of sub-Saharan Africa, RAN is plotting ways to insure that people, no different from you or I, remain trapped in poverty, lack of adequate food, a constant threat of disease, and the specter of death by age 35 — if they make it past infancy. That is what the modern, perverse vision of environmentalism is really all about.
As this is being written, we are waiting to see if J.P. Morgan Chase Bank will cave into RAN as other major investment institutions already have. One can only hope Chase Bank's CEO will resist the siren call of death in RAN’s message.
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