Corporate Role in the Environmental Crisis

October 1, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

Tragedy strikes once again in the earthquake prone Indonesia causing a chain of events in other coastal territories viz. the Western Samoa hit with Tsunami, The Philippines embracing the worst casualties in the poorest region from the Typhoon, Japan and Hawaii remaining on alert due to the warnings issued by the U.S. Geological Survey.

When calamities of this magnitude happen, it predominantly takes toll on the poorest population unwillingly surrendering themselves to premature death or scrambling to survive the wrath of the environmental force. It’s no longer the natural disasters as once declared but instead the insatiable appetite to satisfy the ‘wants’ is forcing the entities to use the means for their material status at the habitat’s peril.

Unfortunately, rescue, evacuations and rehabilitation are costly even to the rich nations, evidenced in the Katrina victims still in the process of reorganizing their lives. Thankfully, the generous investment of time, money and resources by the private philanthropists like the actor Brad Pitt, organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from all walks of life is easing the burden on the natives in rebuilding their homes.

For the poor nations, recurring crisis of this nature cause tremendous economic and social challenges leaving them in poverty, hunger and disease that leads to the political turmoil common in the island nations of The Philippines and Indonesia. The people in these parts of the world deserve a decent existence prevalent elsewhere.

Global summits like G-20, Earth Day, Peace Forum, etc., are crucial to evaluate the international goals and achievements on important issues pertaining to life. However, these summits become ‘elite and exclusive’ if the tree bearing the fruits fails to provide for the entire inhabitants on earth.

The rich and the developing nations can do more on their part in alleviating global poverty and disease through the democratic process by defining the ethical standards for the corporations, the defense forces, and the mass media, the dominant forces in the evolutionary process.

Environmental abuse by the domestic and foreign corporations of the industrialized and emerging economies worsening at the expense of the people… particularly the middle, the lower and the poorest groups in the economic strata. The irony being these neglected demography constitute a significant part of the consumer chain and yet receiving little or no respect and value from the free market beneficiaries.

In the global economy, when the mighty corporations venture into the continents rich in natural resources but lacking in technical know-how and basic tools for self-sustenance, the local population involuntarily mortgage their precious agricultural lands and lives including the freedom to the foreign investment power.

The foreign investors’ role not limited to short-term profit oriented schemes;
In fact, it’s often expansive with a long-term strategy infiltrating into the political infrastructure of those nations as proven in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East leaving those regions in eternal political instability, civil wars and environmental catastrophes.

The ‘so-called’ investors successfully subvert any horrific industrial accidents and deliberate environmental pollutions by influencing the political powers in the respective domains. Thus, the ‘corruption’ stigma assigned specifically to the exploited regions. Meanwhile, the responsible sources honored as the ‘noble,’ wealth distributors dedicated to liberating the poorest nations from the misery.

In the absence of any international indictments against the culprits, the systemic ethical erosion has contributed to the obliteration of the once solid socio-economic structure yielding the status quo.

Not all is lost as the people in every part the world have the power to create a cornerstone for the collective benefit rather than the individual interest. It may not happen instantaneously, nevertheless the foundation required to build the monument that would accommodate the needs of all.

Human values appreciated through genuine care and support to the victims of such disasters. Crisis is indiscriminate to color, race or religion and the human concern or the lack thereof immensely impact the recovery.

Please reach out to the victims by offering any affordable donations through international organizations like the Red Cross and others engaged in the humanitarian relief.

I share the grief and sorrow with the victims’ families in this tragedy.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.