Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
How are green groups different from yesterday’s colonial powers? Their global agenda is paramount, their lack of empathy for ordinary people breathtaking.
You meet a woman in the forest. No longer young, she hobbles with the aid of a cane. Her back is bent, her burdens are many.
Poverty surrounds her. Those that might assist her are themselves shaky, vulnerable, under siege. Monstrous criminals and blood-chilling violence lurk in the shadows.
So what do you do when you meet this woman? Do you offer her a drink of cool water? Do you give her your bread and your fishes? Do you wish her godspeed and remember her in your prayers?
If you’re an affluent first-world environmental organization you do nothing of the sort. Instead, you surround her like a pack of jackals. You hound her. You badger her with unreasonable demands. You demand tribute from her that you’ve failed to secure from those living far safer, more prosperous lives.
Who are these jackals? Step forward the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). You can read that organization’s relevant press releases here, here, and here. You can see for yourself how it drones on about “the international climate framework” (backup links here, here, and here).
The outlines of this story could hardly be starker. The WWF – an obscenely wealthy lobby group with offices in 30 countries – has targeted one of the planet’s feeblest governments. It has demanded a share of Mexico’s already stretched-to-the-limit-resources. It has spent two years pushing for a climate law more stringent than those in every other country save one.
“WWF was closely engaged since the beginning of the process, more than two years ago and is ready to provide support in this endeavor”, said Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, Climate Director at WWF-Mexico.
Rather than condemning this predatory behaviour, other green groups are applauding it. In February, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced that “the world will be watching” to see if Mexico behaved the way climate change activists wanted it to (backup link).
A week ago an EDF blog post declared:
EDF’s own preliminary economic analysis shows a Mexican emissions trading system could both attract international investment and propel Mexico to achieve the country’s current carbon reduction goals at low cost… [backup link]
Does anyone else think it’s a bad idea for struggling nations to make economic decisions based on research carried out by lobby groups with axes to grind? The piece continues:
We are excited and optimistic about Mexico’s continued momentum to attack climate change…
Personally, I’m rather less excited about the recent news report that says residents of Monterrey (one of Mexico’s wealthiest and largest cities) now live in constant fear. Checkpoints manned by officials with automatic weapons have become part of their daily lives. Those able to relocate elsewhere have been doing so.
Not to be left out, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has also joined the jackals. Jake Schmidt (who resides safely in Washington, DC as that organization’s International Climate Policy Director), wrote a blog post a few weeks ago that helpfully linked to a WWF press release.
He characterized the law as “a positive step,” expressed hope that it would pass, and said not one word about the 40% of Mexicans who live in grinding poverty.
Nowhere did he acknowledge that a nation this poor doesn’t have money to spare, to gamble on pie-in-the-sky schemes that activists think are a good idea but have never taken the trouble to test rigorously.
Nor did he admit that, in a country experiencing 1,000 drug-related murders a month, implementing aggressive new legislation might be tricky. When much of the institutional infrastructure – politicians, judges, and police officers – are thought to be corrupt or cowed surely it’s difficult to get even the simplest things done (blog post backed up here).
The notion that Mexico’s 113 million citizens might have different priorities appears never to have entered the heads of these activists. Perhaps they need to take a “first do no harm” oath before they set foot in Third World nations.
How, exactly, are the WWF, the EDF, and the NRDC different from yesterday’s colonial powers? Their global agenda is paramount, their lack of empathy for ordinary people breathtaking.
Oh, Mother Mexico. In your time of need, who is defending you from these jackals?
See my previous posts: Earth Hour Organizers Prey on Mexico