Development and poverty

At the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, attention held fast, though not without distraction, to the problem of poverty. For international meetings on weighty global issues, it seems, there is hope.The oil and gas industry should welcome this new emphasis. It nudges the otherwise diffractive subject of "sustainable development" toward focus around what should be the chief concern in discussions of economics and the environment: the well-being of people. Protests from environmental pressure groups testify to the merits of this shift. Environmentalists' political agenda subordinates humanity to narrowly defined natural values...

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