I found this fascinating article on how sustainability, the holy doctrine of the ICLEIites and their followers, can have unexpected consequences on the very poor in the developing nations that the do-gooders purport to be helping! Maybe the blowback doctrine applies to some non-military intervention, too!
It is written by an Obama, Dr. Auma Obama, a Kenyan sociologist (Please no birther stuff here! I am satisfied that the President was born in Hawaii!) who is the President’s half-sister! Her thesis is that sustainability is irrelevant to the lives of many African people:
Sustainability and green economy have nothing to do with the reality of African people, says Kenyan sociologist Auma Obama, founder of the aid organisation Sauti Kuu and half sister of US President Barack Obama.
But there are many people in this world who are so poor that thinking about a more ecological and sustainable way of living is a luxury they cannot afford. These people face the challenge of how to overcome poverty. Air pollution and over-fertilisation, for example, mean nothing to them.
Dr. Obama did not cite this but the DDT issue is an prime example, where DDT was banned and the result was more people died of malaria!
I am pleased to read this:
How can Kenyan people overcome poverty?
First of all, they have to leave victimhood. I mainly work with young people in very poor circumstances. They believe that they can only leave those poor conditions with development aid. They expect someone to help them.
We try to explain to these people that they can help themselves and that they have to utilize the resources that they have. A farmer who works only one acre of his land and leaves the other acre untouched, has to learn that land is valuable. And that he is not as poor as he thinks.
Implementing green economic methods from the outside can be counter-productive, Dr. Obama argues. I agree! It can look too much like a new colonialism to the ordinary African. Dr. Obama asserts that the Western media is not interested in innovation from Africa itself. I would recommend the entire short interview and also read one potential giant solution – securing clear title to property in developing nations, the thesis of a fascinating book by a scholar with a familiar name: Hernando de Soto. (Not of course the explorer that “discovered” the Mississippi River!) Dr. de Soto is worthy of a Nobel in economics but I’d guess he won’t get it!