Ecological Effects of Current Development Processes in Less Developed Countries

  • Kenneth A. Dahlberg


It would be intriguing to take a position rather like that of Gandhi and argue that it is the rich Western countries that are really the ‘less developed’ ones as they have not been able to come to grips with their masses of material goods either spiritually or ecologically. The temptation is the greater because many ecologists are doing much the same thing: they are suggesting that we, the rich Western countries, must change our basic attitudes towards nature, our modes of production, many of our institutions, and many of our comfortable habits. The challenges which these ‘subversive scientists’ 1 present to our traditional ways are strikingly similar to the challenges which conventional economists have presented to the non-Western world in urging them to ‘develop’. It is only when we think about the degree and difficulty of change that is being asked for by the ecologists (as well as the social and institutional resistance to such changes) that we can begin to appreciate the ways in which conventional development processes challenge the poorer countries of the world.2 Such a line of argument would also more clearly stress that it is the rich countries that are the greater sinners in terms of pursuing anti-ecological policies and technologies and that, given the wide-ranging impact of the rich upon the poor, it is really in the rich countries that the major changes must come if we are going to learn to live within the limits of our planet.


Rich Country Green Revolution Human Ecology Manganese Nodule Ecological Cost 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Ltd. 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth A. Dahlberg

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