TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Disappearing Opportunities
Global Warming and Developing Nations
Developing nations face a dilemma in the global warming debate. Understandably they want the right to economically expand the fastest way they can, like developed nations have been doing for the past 100 years. Therefore at the Kyoto conference they were the most hesitant to agree to any sort of convention that required them to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. The irony is that developing countries have the most to lose should global warming occur. Many developing countries have neither the resources nor the technology to defend against rising sea levels, increased incidence and ferocity of tropical storms, and expansion of tropical diseases. As developing countries build their economies, frequently heavily dependent on manufacturing and energy-costly industries, they increase the risk that they will be ill-affected by global climate changes. Developing countries face a difficult decision, whether to sacrifice their economic development for protection against possible ecological problems in the near future. However, there may be another alternative: developing energy efficient means to fuel economic development could result in stronger economic progress than relying on fossil fuels. Only time will tell what path developing countries choose.