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
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.
Catholic Herald (3/7/92) .