The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973


Ensure that your leaders keep their meagre pledges for a greener world

I was puzzled by your headline "Greens gain a little, but the world's poor no better off" (Catholic Herald, June 19). Surely you meant something like: "Greens gain a little but the 'development lobby' no better off", or even: "A little hope of saving life on earth, but the world's poor...?"

You quote unidentified "Church leaders" as saying "the summit...represented a partial victory for the environment but a defeat for the world's poor...."?

It seems not only did the summit "fail" in this respect but the commendable efforts of the BBC's One World broadcasters, and others, to promote popular understanding of the issues, also fell short of target.

Otherwise how could you and these "Church leaders" fall into the old error of assuming that it is possible to consider human well-being in isolation from our environment?

To the extent that some environmental progress has been made we have all gained, poor as well as rich, the greens no more than those who are content to reap the short term rewards of environmental neglect and degradation.

And greens lose as much as anyone else, in respect for ourselves and our culture, and through the impoverishment of the ecosystem which sustains us all, when our political leaders duck the responsibility for providing the aid which "the Third World needs to avert ecological disaster and feed its people".

The Earth Summit is over, but no end is in sight to Third World poverty or environmental decline. Christian people must unite to ensure that our world leaders keep such meagre pledges as they have made for us, and work towards a more appropriate commitment, which John Major and George Bush have both claimed as an objective.

It does not help when a respected and influential Christian newspaper promotes the idea of an artificial distinction between "greens" and the rest through the headlines on its front page.

George Dent

Catholic Herald (3/7/92) .

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