Author: Charles Elliott, PhD

Article Abstract:

That there are finite limits to the Earth’s carrying capacity seemed self-evident to this author, a respected world economist, as far back as 1972. He points out though that, “To the Third World,” (or as we would say today, `the developing countries’ [eds]) “the environmental issue as it is often defined …looks like fat cats worrying about the disappearance of the 14th sub-species of the Arctic grebe, while the majority of the population in the Third World is ill-fed, ill-housed, ill-nutritious and ill-used.” How to reconcile the reality of a “hurting” environment with justice for all countries, rich and poor, is a knotty problem. Is it wise to ask the wealthy nations urging legislation designed to reduce CO2, to “allow” the poorer nations to trade a rise in the sulphur content and carbon dioxide in their countries against higher employment, for a time? These and other questions were the basis for an intense weekend on issues of equal justice and the environment.

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