January 14, 2010
"Sustainability." A rich lecture directed at the poor.
There is nothing fair about natural disasters, nor is it fair the way some people and some countries are afflicted more severely than others when faced by similar disasters.
I agree with what Johnathan Pearce said here:
richer countries, with superior building standards and better means of rescuing those in danger, tend to fare better when nature strikes.Pearce links Rand Simberg, who sees an additional culprit
The devastation in that benighted country (our own little bit of Africa in the western hemisphere) demonstrates how deadly it can be to be poor, and why attempts to hold back economic growth in the third world with things like Kyoto and cap'n'tax are almost genocidal.I do not doubt that ramshackle buildings in Haiti (along with the mud brick structures responsible for so many deaths in Iran's 2003 quake) would be considered more "green" by those who deliver homilies about "sustainability." (Oh, yes....) Well-meaning people advocate construction of "sustainable brick homes" in Haiti. And here's a "sustainable" Haitian earth bag building. No idea how well they "sustained" the quake, but sustainable is often code-language for cheap. Not that concrete is necessarily better than brick, especially because it appears many of the cheaply made Haitian concrete buildings simply "pancaked":
Entire hillsides of homes appeared to have tumbled, while in other areas structures stood unaffected next to piles of dusty debris. Some buildings lay in pancake-like concrete heaps.Cheap, porous, sandy concrete sounds "sustainable," doesn't it?
In the aftermath of the quake, entire big-box apartment blocks had collapsed along roads carved into the hills. Rubble had blown out onto the roads. Next to the debris lay bodies, their faces dutifully covered by sheets.I have no idea whether dead people are considered environmentally sustainable, and I probably shouldn't ask.
I agree with Reason Foundation's Samuel Staley,
Now is not the time to be adopting policies, domestically or globally, that make it more difficult to nation's such as Haiti to grow.Environmentalist concerns over "sustainability" strike me as a cruel joke right now -- about as compassionate as Pat Robertson's remarks about how the Haitians are responsible because of an 1803 deal with the devil.
Haitians need help, not lectures.
The Anchoress has a list of good places where you can donate.
posted by Eric on 01.14.10 at 12:33 PM
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