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Re: [greenyes] Interesting European debate

Actually [addressing our Norwegian friends], deforestation and
desertification are serious social problems in much of Africa?and the entire
Third World. The lack of wood has contributed to warfare and cultural
breakdown in numerous places throughout sub-Saharan Africa for the past
several decades, along with the evaporation of numerous natural resources
and wildlife habitats from the denuding of land. If ever there was an
example of the fact that environmental problems are really social problems,
deforestation is it!

Wood is the only real fuel for a lot of the Third World. About half of the
wood consumed in the world is for cooking in Third World countries. Women in
the rural Third World are sometimes forced to spend all day looking for
enough fire wood just to cook one meal at night. In many cultures women must
walk thirty-plus miles a day to and from sources.

Concurrently, and sadly, there is ample evidence out there showing that one
of the major environmental air pollution problems in the Third World is the
open, uncontrolled burning of wood and other forms of bio-mass?both
mass-burn and home cooking fires. Numerous bronchial infections and diseases
kill millions of people in Africa, Asia and South America every year?just
from hanging out around the family¹s fire.

Planting trees and making wood even partially available means, literally,
survival. But it also means that women are able to spend time being more
productive mothers, daughters, and wives. There¹s Environmentalism and then
there¹s Ecology?at least that¹s the way I look at it.

There are, of course, major parallels too between the Third and ³First²
worlds. If you subscribe to the theory that the endless international
malaise over the Middle East during the last thirty years is a function of
trying to control oil reserves, we are not too far removed from much of the
Third World. I used to wonder what the world would be like when petroleum
shortages began to affect society. Now I know. Wangari Maathai, HELP!


on 10/12/04 4:57 PM, RicAnthony@no.address at RicAnthony@no.address wrote:

> In a message dated 10/12/2004 1:31:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> jpowell@no.address writes:For those interested, however, Maathai's
> award has
> created a bit of a controversy
> Perhaps the statement the noble prize committee is making is that, working
> for the good of the environment is what we all can do to help gain world
> peace.
> Ricanthony@no.address
> San Diego, California

David Biddle, Executive Director

P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118
215-432-8225 (mobile)


Go to <> and choose the ³All dates²
option for articles by ³David Biddle²

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