These guys probably enjoyed "Ernest Saves Christmas."
ENVIRONMENTAL groups last week gave new meaning to the old slogan "reuse and recycle." In the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, many were spotted trying to capitalize on the headlines to call attention to their old saws on climate change.
The controversy was catalyzed by a series of quotes like one from a Greenpeace spokesman, who said an increase in "so-called natural disasters [was] no more natural than a plastic Christmas tree."
Similar talk has been heard from other eco groups, though they always clarify that they don't mean the earthquake in the Indian Ocean was caused by global warming, er, exactly. The message instead is worse: Poor countries are unwise to aspire to join the industrialized world, and their "natural" disasters are a comeuppance for buying
into the desirability of economic progress.
By developing along their coastlines, for instance, villagers of Thailand and Indonesia allegedly destroyed nature's best defenses against tsunamis — coral reefs and natural tidebreaks in the form of shoreline plants. Hotels and shrimp farms that bring revenue to the poorer coastal communities, you see, are accomplices of nature's destructive power. Now aren't you sorry you didn't listen to us? (link)
The World Wildlife Fund once even proposed an income redistribution scheme to compensate poor countries for natural disasters "caused" by industrialized countries. "If the U.S. tobacco industry can be held responsible for smoking-related deaths and illnesses and ordered to pay very hefty fines, wealthy countries must be held responsible in some way for the contribution that their carbon pollution is almost certainly making to recent droughts and floods," said the fund's Jennifer Morgan.And I'll bet they loved "Fahrenheit 9/11."