Politics in Minutes (2016)

Ecology vs development

With their emphasis on ecology, environmentalists are often accused of denying developing nations access to the same wealth and sophistication enjoyed by industrial nations. Many argue that developing nations should be free to pursue the same economic paths as others have taken previously. Environmentalists, however, argue that environment and development are inextricably linked and cannot be treated separately. In the words of the 1987 Brundtland Report (Our Common Future), ‘Failures to manage the environment and to sustain development threaten to overwhelm all countries … Development cannot subsist upon a deteriorating environmental base.’ All growth must therefore take into account the costs of environmental destruction. To this extent, environmentalists have promoted small-scale agricultural projects, the development of Fairtrade and an end to the Western world’s dumping of dirty industries onto the developing world, which has resulted in a number of eco-disasters, such as occurred in Bhopal in 1984.