A few posts back, I pointed out that Grist Magazine, an online compendium of environmental news and ideas, had started a series on Poverty and the Environment. In an article, The Fatigue of Nations, they address the manner in which sustainability programs have unintended consequences, where by local programs in one country may sound like trade barriers when viewed from another, poorer partner.
While sustainability proponents may genuinely want to ensure that the benefits of greener lifestyles cascade to have-nots, she said, the more effective route -- one embraced by many community activists in the U.S. -- focuses on "increasing the power of the poor. When the environmental movement relates to power, then it becomes salient and relevant to minority communities."
When Greens call for local sustainable economic development, should that really preclude international trade? It is easy to make the arguement that this is just one more way in which the priviledged intend to keep their priviledge. Consider those countries that lack mineral resoures and whose major export must be agricultural products. What is the Green solution for their problems?
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