“Brazil is at a major fork in the road on its journey to prosperity”, writes Damian Carrington in an article titled Can Brazil become the world’s first environmental superpower? (the Guardian). “One path is rough, with few signposts and has never been walked by any country: the route to growth without environmental and atmospheric vandalism. The other is well paved and lit, with an easy-to-follow map. It is called business as usual, though it may very well end in a sheer drop. Success is far from assured, but Brazil appears ready to take on the hard road and prove that “environmental superpower” is not an oxymoron.”
I’m happy to read that the Brazilian government is actively working on ensuring sustainable development in the vast country. Economic prosperity and environmental protection seem well under way. But what about the third pillar needed to reach sustainability – social justice? Difficult to imagine a country with a class divide that is stronger than that in Brazil. Do millions of poor or very poor citizens understand the need to protect the environment? Will the incentives be strong enough not to live cheap and dirty for a few years on the enormous oil reserves? I certainly hope so! Rising superpower Brazil – at least that bit seems clear, whatever path it takes.
Picture credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team