Posted on April 24th, 2020

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane 

Today, about 21% of the global population are in the so-called Western industrialized countries and 79% in developing countries. This small % of excessively greedy white men of the Western industrialized consume about 80% of the world’s natural resources and are also responsible for the production of about 80% of all waste and pollutants in the world. Therefore, it is clear who is the biggest enemy of the earth, and of humanity. Nearly 70 percent of the accumulated emissions of carbon dioxide in the last 50 years have come from the excessive consumption of energy of industrial countries. Carbon dioxide emissions are among the main culprits of global warming, now threatening the stability of people and ecological processes all over the world, particularly in tropical developing countries.

Besides global warming, the greatest environmental challenges faced by humanity today, are nuclear war, biotechnology, genetic engineering, cell and tissue culture technologies aimed at modifying living organisms, including animals and plant life, in addition to artificial intelligence and ever-sophisticated algorithms are tapping into our values, habits, tastes, desires and the very thought patterns that define us — all to control how we shop, what we read, and whom we vote for. The notion of free will is defunct. With the rise of Big Data algorithms, it becomes increasingly easy to hack humans, manipulate their feelings, and control their desires. It means an external system can know you better than you know yourself. It can predict your choices and decisions. It can manipulate your emotions, and it can sell you anything, whether a product or a politician. Previously in history, the most important resource was land, the natural environment. Now data is the most important resource. Politics is becoming the struggle to control data, and the future belongs to those who monopolize the data. One of the biggest political questions of our era is. How do you regulate the ownership of data?

If we consider the long history of colonialism, slavery, abuse, exploitation, and misery that, for centuries, have been imposed on developing countries by the main industrial nations, we could conclude in a gigantic environmental, economic and social debt, with which industrial countries have so far got away with. Environmental devastation is directly related to international economic and political relationships. The depletion of resources, and the environmental and social costs involved, are deliberately ignored by the established economic system in the West. Developing countries are the most affected by the growing social and environmental damages derived from decades of imposition of the established international economic order. Most of their economies are based on the ruthless exploitation of both people and natural resources, to feed industrial processes mainly driven by industrial nations. The interpretation that the population growth in developing countries is the culprit of worldwide environmental damage is a total fallacy. Such interpretations are at the bottom of foreign policies of industrial nations, as part of the overall attempt to preserve the established international economic order, regardless of how profoundly unfair it may be too much of humanity.

Nearly three-quarters of all people in developing countries are already below the poverty line. Over 14 million children, under the age of 5, die each year from hunger, thirst, malnutrition, or from easily curable or preventable diseases. An average of 26 children per minute. At the same time, nearly 14 million hectares of natural tropical forests are destroyed every year, also in tropical developing countries. 

Massive and irreversible destruction, mainly due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier, in order to accommodate growing numbers of people in extreme poverty, practicing survival agriculture. The growing numbers of people involved are not only due to the increase in population. It is mainly driven by rampant unemployment and a dramatic economic impoverishment.

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane                                   

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