Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rio+Summit will generate heat, not results

The Rio+Summit is, according to the United Nations organizers, going to be the biggest conference of all time.

It’s also going to accomplish nothing. That’s already clear from positions taken by the participants.

But there will be lots and lots of news-media coverage of the hand-wringing activists who will declare that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.


Statistics show that more people are better fed than ever before.

Poverty is in decline.

And where poverty and food shortages persist, the agendas of the environmental activists would make things worse, not better.

They want to ban pesticides, so crop losses to weed competition and pests would increase.

They want to ban genetically-modified crops, so the soybeans and corn and cotton that can fight off insects would be banned.

There would be an end to research and development of drought-tolerant, disease-resistant and saline-tolerant GMO varieties – except in China.

They want to stop our use of oil and gas to reduce greenhouse gases and global warming. That would leave many of the world’s poor communities without electricity. Solar panels and wind turbines are far too expensive and high-tech to serve these communities.

And global warming will continue because the forces at play are far greater than anything people are doing.

We are wasting precious resources that could be used to mitigate the effects of global warming, such as protecting ocean-side cities from rising water levels.

Rio+Summit is a huge waste of time and effort and money. And it distracts attention from real solutions to real challenges.