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Environmental Ethics

Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 1994

Alastair S. Gunn
Pages 21-40

Environmental Ethics and Tropical Rain Forests
Should Greens Have Standing?

Almost everyone in the developed world wants the logging of tropical rain forests to stop. Like Antarctica, they are said to be much too important and much too valuable to be utilized just for development and are said to be part of a global heritage. However, it is not that simple. People in the developing world consider our criticisms to be ill-informed, patronizing, and self-serving. We are seen as having “dirty hands.” They hold that we neither have nor deserve moral standing as critics until we change our trade policies, rhetoric, and extravagant lifestyles.