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World Politics, Blame and the Environment

Will we see crass politics at the World Summit this week -- or real action? If past history is any measure...

by Brian Risman, Publisher, www thelawjournal co uk - 25 August 2002

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The major international news story this week is the Sustainable Development summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. World leaders are gathering to discuss one of the most critical, if not the most critical, issues facing our planet -- namely, how to continue development into the future in a manner that does not destroy ourselves as a species and the Earth as a living environment.

The problems are immense, and need action even earlier than as soon as possible -- in fact, twenty or thirty years ago when ecological concerns became a public concern. Many of the concerns raised in the 1970s have now started to take root. Global warming, violent weather, draughts, world food supplies in danger, the Asian 'brown cloud' 2-3 kilometres deep over much of the Indian Ocean, India through to South-East Asia, the disappearance of the polar ice caps -- the list goes on and on. The obvious conclusion is that the world is becoming less and less livable.

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