The Irish Greens\’ attempts to portray the EU as a paragon of ecological wisdom are at variance with a new report by Friends of the Earth. It shows how Europe is the highest net importer of natural resources of all continents. At a total of three tonnes for every head of population per year, the fossil fuels, metals, cereals and forest products that we import are not only draining poor countries of their raw materials, they are perpetuating the economic model that has created climate change.
Err, importing things from where fewer resources need to be used to make/extract them is a bad idea if we wish to save/reduce our use of resources?
Are these people lacking simple basic logical capabilities?
Think, just for a moment: Athens has lots of people, not much land and not much rain. It\’s therefore dificult to grow the wheat to provide the population with bread.
East Anglia (to take just one example) has not many people, lots of land and sufficient rain. So we grow wheat there, where there are sufficient resources, and ship it to Athens where there are not.
Or we could get that wheat from Canada (lots and lots of land, very few people and entirely sufficient water).
Once we\’ve agreed that Athens itself is not going to feed Athen\’s population, we conceeded the point about trade. After that it\’s just where is the best place to trade with isn\’t it?
Given that the price of a good (and yes, we do indeed want to price in those externalities) reflects the cost of the resources that went into its manufacture, the cheapest goods will have used the fewest resources, which is what we all want, isn\’t it?