Back on Sept. 22, 2004, I wrote a post about “Valuing Eco-Services”. Celeste promptly turned around on the 29th and applied its concepts to the disastrous 2004 floods in Haiti.
Now the Miami Herald chimes in with Haiti: A ravaged land more bleak by Susannah A. Nesmith. When it comes to Haiti’s deforestation and the economic/ environmental devastation it has wrought, there’s a lot of blame to go around: NGOs, government, even Haitians themselves. Haiti’s poverty isn’t a conspiracy from abroad, it’s the product of choices. If those choices don’t start changing, neither will Haiti’s fate.
Belmont Club, discussing similar issues in the Philippines, called it “Death By Insanity” - and the term is apropos. Dysfunctional cultures, corrupt governments, and (worst of all) a lack of understanding of economics or the importance of property rights add up to a toll of doom across the 3rd world. Haiti is just one example, albeit a very illustrative one. So let’s take a closer look: