NEWS

Environmental disputes a presage to war

As incongruous as it might sound to talk about the environment during a war, it is one of the major indicators of the times. After all, the emasculation of the UN and the current unilateral mode of international crisis management was first observed in talks on environmental issues, according to the visionary environmentalist and town planner Michalis Modinos, president of Greece’s National Center for the Environment and Sustainable Development. The UN was bypassed, yet the world community has tolerated this «because it wants an uninterrupted supply of fuel. Despite the humanitarian outcry, we have not emerged from the petroleum society and so this kind of intervention will continue,» he said. Europe’s advanced policies for social and environmental protection have been sidelined. The US way is much clearer – unlimited economic growth, unrestricted use of fuel – and is acquiesced to by 130 countries, including the developing giants China, India and Brazil. Any positive steps toward environmental protection are therefore diminished, admitted Modinos, who has written many books on theoretical and political ecology and for years has been the publisher of New Ecology magazine, and president of the Institute of Environmental Research in Athens. Modinos carefully analyzes how we arrived where we are now and describes where we are headed. «Without America, Europe cannot do much about the environment,» he said. Environmental problems cannot be restricted to or resolved in «fortress Europe»; they are ecumenical.