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Climate blame game.

VICTIMHOOD appearing to be morally superior is part of the climate change armoury, targeting the blame away from the poorer 'victim' countries towards the richer Western perpetrators of the environmental destruction, as the Pope appears to be doing in his encyclical.

In 1971, I went to Mexico as an agronomist/conservationist to work with Mayan Indians on a sustainable agriculture programme.

Over centuries, they had decimated their highlands, so in the 50s and 60s, they migrated to the lowland rainforest and did the same through slash-and-burn agriculture.

The situation reached a pivotal point when the land available was no longer big enough to support the growing population. The result was environmental devastation of highland oak and pine forests and tropical rainforest.

Another result was localised climate change with a longer dry season between January and June, but with fewer thunderstorms.

A similar process has happened in many of poorer countries of the world and it doesn't help when the Pope, however well-intentioned, continues the myth that it is the fault of the West.

Perhaps he could instruct his priests and lay-workers throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia to teach people to swap slash-and-burn for environmentally friendly farming.

Bob Short

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 23, 2015
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