By Pedro Rivera
It’s 3 AM in the morning in Popayán, a small city in the south of Colombia, suddenly, the street alarms interrupt the sleep of one particular suburb called Palacé, but it’s no surprise, all the neighbors know what’s going on: Constructors are trying to install a high-intensity transmission equipment hidden in the night in the middle of a neighborhood inhabited by families with children and elder citizens.
by Erik Vollstädt
I’ve recently been to one of Spain’s typical mass tourism strongholds at the Mediterrenian coast, Roses by name, leaving me appaled. I had already forgotten about these horrible holiday destinations made up of cement and artificial restaurants.
The only thing the people using these facilities think about is how to get to the Mediterrenian for cheap without planning too much, that’s why they use travel agencies and charter services. They have no idea how much damage they are causing nature and the local culture by using these “services” and the mass tourism infrastructure.
by Erik Vollstädt
Most of the world’s precious nature reserves and regions known for biodiversity are not privately owned, as the government deems their preservation too important to let private people take care of them. What happened as a result of this noble undertaking is known as the “tragedy of the commons” – instead of having “everyone” (or rather their government delegates) control the public space, no one will be really interested in preserving its quality, since every individual expects someone else to do the job. The lack of incentivization prevents our government delegates from doing a good job, as their income does not depend on customer demand or market competition, but rather on how many favours one has accomplished for one’s supervisor and his cronies.
by Fabricio Terán, 08/19/2013
Recently, the Ecuadorian government decided to cancel the Yasuní ITT Initiative , but I’ve noticed several worthwile alternative propositions on social media. Some of them surprise me somewhat regarding the circumstances given, anti-capitalists supporting the rainforest’s removal, government allies in favour of the rainforest’s preservation, oppositional preservationists against the withdrawal of oil corporations, libertarians in favour of government oil industry in the Amazon. It’s interesting to see how quickly everyone changes their mind as soon as political leaders have laid out a different guideline, many of them even had a contrary opinion a few days before the cancelation of the initiative. I’ve noticed as well that the philosophical debate has shifted towards a confrontation between industrialism vs preservationism, which I will prove to be a false dilemma.
I will explain why the topic of Yasuní ITT (the territory, not the governmental initiative) shouldn’t be about industrialism vs preservationism for any champion of a free market society, and why the advocacy of free markets is so easily associated to industrialism. In this particular case, the advocacy of a slightly preservationist posture is even more preferable, irrespective of biodiversity or any apologetics of an “ecological economy”, blackmailing other governments for “not touching” the rainforest.