Friday, November 09, 2012
Another Victim of Globalization - Britain's Trees.
British Columbians were, and remain, incensed that trade agreements prevented our government from blocking the export of raw logs. We wanted the log processing jobs from the sawmills to wood fibre and pulp processing opportunities. We can't, we were told by Victoria, our hands are tied.
Britons are now being told their country will suffer because of trade deals that left their government's hands tied. This time the loss won't be jobs but Britain's Ash trees.
The British government claims it was powerless to prevent the importation of diseased Ash trees that spread their infection to the country's native Ash groves.
The government claimed it was powerless to ban imports of infected trees because its "hands were tied" by EU and world trade rules when it was warned in September 2009 that ash dieback disease could have a huge impact on the British countryside, the Guardian has learned.
...Burgess wrote that it had become apparent "fairly recently" that the disease – which the commission understood to be caused by Chalara fraxinea – had a form caused by a different fungus called Hymenoscyphus albidus. This, he said, "was widespread across Europe, including here in Britain.
"This fact alone precludes us from initiating an emergency response under the European Union plant health directive and we would also fall foul of our international obligations under the World Trade Organisation," he wrote.
When will we come to our senses and realize that globalization and world trade agreements were shaped to the needs of the world in the late 70's, a world that has sadly been replaced by the much more challenging and dangerous world of the 21st century. Those agreements have lost much of their utility and purpose. If you have a chance I strongly urge you to read Stiglitz' discussion of the flaws in globalization in his new book, "The Price of Inequality." It is a compelling eye-opener and reveals we are heading much too fast down a dead end road.