In its 2012 Living Planet Report, WWF has promoted its latest doomsday scenario by claiming that, if current trends are not reversed by 2030, we would need more than two Planet Earths to sustain human activity. In a manner that is reminiscent of the scandals raised by the IPCC’s 2007 assessment report on climate change shown to have been based on material put out by WWF rather than on hard evidence no facts are provided to substantiate these latest claims, which owe more to the science of headline-grabbing than the science of ecology. Released in the lead up to the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, the Living Planet Report calls for the need to reduce consumption and reverse catastrophic trends before the Eearth gives out in according to its predictions 18 years time. This latest dose of anti-growth rhetoric comes at a time when the WWF is facing heavy scrutiny for projects in Tanzania which have led to the eviction of thousands of villagers who have been prohibited from practicing sustainable farming and fishing in areas deemed to be of high ecological value. More worryingly, these most recent alarmist claims come at a time of severe food shortages in many developing countries. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 925 million people around the world still do not have enough to eat while David Cameron has planned to hold a ‘hunger summit’ during the Olympic Games. The response to such calamities should be more growth and development, not irrational alarmism used to raise funds for more environmental protectionism and the undermining of global prosperity.
Ideological manipulations and "greenism" cause damage to the environment. In order to balance two fundamental goals, such as safeguarding the natural heritage of the planet and the spread of wealth among the human population, we need a pragmatic approach, which moves by some indisputable truths: wealthy countries are more committed to the protection of the environment than “starving” countries; scientific research and new technologies are not enemies of nature, but contribute to a lower consumption of resources; private management of environmental assets is often the best form of promotion and protection of this heritage.
Le strumentalizzazioni ideologiche e il “verdismo” fanno male all’ambiente. Per rendere compatibili due obiettivi fondamentali, come la salvaguardia del patrimonio naturale del pianeta e la diffusione del benessere tra le popolazioni umane, c’è bisogno di un approccio pragmatico, che muova da alcune incontestabili ovvietà: le società ricche hanno un’aspirazione alla tutela dell’ambiente superiore a quella che possono avere le società affamate; la ricerca scientifica e le nuove tecnologie non sono nemiche della natura, ma contribuiscono ad un minor consumo di risorse; la gestione privata dei beni ambientali è spesso la forma ottimale di valorizzazione e di tutela di questo patrimonio.