Government representatives of more than 3.3 billion people have recently met in Yekaterinburg, Russia, for the first BRIC (Brazil-Russia-India-China) summit (16 June) and the ninth Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)’s Heads of State summit (15 June).
One for all major Western anglophone news channels, you’d think? Think again.
The only reason I have learned about it is because Iranian President Ahmadinejad attended the SCO summit in the middle of the election crisis. And the only reason why I remembered to mention it is an article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, mysteriously available on the web only in Russian.
What is this sorry episode but another example of how the “free world” is victim of its own propaganda, that depicts a subservient, hapless globe whilst in reality there are powerful people seriously discussing how to contain the USA?
Or…how the usual “little” greenie exaggeration can ethically harm people under the unscrutinizing gaze of journalists and politicians…
Ben Pile on Spiked: “Greenpeace: putting trees before people”
[…] There may well be an argument that what happens to trees thousands of miles away is a problem. But the problems experienced by the poor in Brazil, and throughout the world, must surely be more pressing. Instead, it is squeamishness about what our shopping habits do to forests that drives the argument for international regulatory frameworks, and it is hard to see how focusing on land, trees and cows will raise the standard of living for people whose labour and lives are cheap. Such campaigns seem to express greater solidarity with wood than with people.
Greenpeace enjoys an increasingly cosy relationship with the establishment. As politicians find it harder to make arguments for themselves, they frequently turn to NGOs to give their policies credibility. For instance, the UK Conservative leader David Cameron recently launched his party’s energy policy at a press event held on the rooftop of Greenpeace’s London HQ (watch it here).
Journalists, too, look to such organisations for moral direction and sensational copy. This means that rather than holding them to account, the claims and broader agendas of NGOs often go without scrutiny or criticism. It is taken for granted that they are ‘ethical’, but no one ever voted for Greenpeace and there is no good reason to believe that the preoccupation with environmental issues is in the interests of people, either in the UK or in Brazil