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Recent news of a green revolution in Mongolia, a land covered with large desolate areas, was inspiring.
In the rush to industrialize, many Third World countries of the Asia Pacific region have failed to learn from the mistakes of the West.
The developed Western countries 'mined out' much of their natural resources during their industrial age. At present the majority of the so-called "strategic resources" used by the West come from developing nations. Much of the reason for this lies in the ravenous consumption that occurred during industrialization.
Prior to the modern age, Asia Pacific peoples tended to have a very naturalistic and conservationist attitude.
The Japanese possessed a keen awareness of the beauty of nature and the need for its preservation. In Hawai`i, the season of Makahiki brought an end to the fishing season allowing the fish population to recover. The ancient Filipinos would allow the mesh of fishing nets to be only so fine with the express purpose of allowing small fish to grow to maturity. In Fiji, when a tree was cut down to make seagoing ships, elaborate ceremonies were undertaken which in essence asked nature for permission to take the tree.
Much of this attitude toward nature was lost during the last few centuries as the nations of Asia Pacific region have struggled to compete in the global market.
However, lately, probably stimulated by a combination of Western environmentalism and a strong desire to return to one's 'roots,' things have been changing for the better.
The people of the region are realizing that an economic revolution and a green revolution are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the latter can help sustain the achievements of the former.
When a logging company mines out a rain forest, the area becomes not only useless but often turns into a flood hazard for years to come. In very little time, the government will have to begin spending to remedy the resulting environmental problem
If you allow the same company to take only a certain number of trees for a certain period without destroying the surrounding vegetation and environment, you have resource that will last indefinitely.
The same principle can be applied to numerous other examples. In the end, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that environmentally managed growth is far better in the long term, mid term and, in many cases, even in the short term than destructive 'fastback' strategies.
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