ANNE Johnstone laments the apparent failure of the Rio 20+ summit ("Challenge of committing to a green planet", The Herald, June 21).
However, the reasons for the failure of the summit are to be found in the mainstream green thinking articulated in her article.
First, there is the casual misanthropy that views humans as a scourge who "grow ever fatter by polluting the planet". Then there is the call for a "return to a simpler, less profligate lifestyle". Such views are unlikely to capture the imagination of the developing nations who are successfully transforming their economies from backward agrarian poverty to modern prosperity.
The irony of Rio 20+ is that many of those who lament its failure are the same groups who are actively seeking to suppress progressive technical innovations such as shale gas, nuclear energy and GM agriculture which can help deliver shared global prosperity while steadily decoupling human needs from the environment. Their alternative is land and resource-hungry renewable energy, inefficient local production and labour-intensive organic agriculture.
Rio 20+ should represent the end of a failed worldview. It needs to be replaced by a truly progressive vision of the future in which humans are valued as creators and innovators, rather than consumers and polluters. Let's hang up the hair shirt, use technical innovation to accelerate the decarbonisation and dematerialisation of our economy and offer a brighter future than a return to the localism, energy austerity and the wasteful inefficiencies of the past.
Colin R McInnes,
23 Williamwood Park West,
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