Good News/"Good" News August 29, 2002

As you all know, the World Summit is going strong this week. By going strong, I mean the United States and its affiliated business interests are going strong. They're watering down, shredding up, obfuscating and spinning like as if it were their jobs. And to tell you the truth? We've sorta got caught up in this. It's nice to see the pros at work. So we present to you, the readers of this column, a special WSSD-edition of GN/BN, wherein all Bad News is magically transformed into "Good" News.

"Good" News

Leading the way for our "Good" news section, everyone's favorite corporate apologist, Bjorn Lomborg, has his own principled view on the state of the world. To wit, everything's OK. Sure, we've got some problems, but fixing them is only a waste of money, when we can just learn to adjust later, and save money in the process! Tuvalu may have some contention with this theory, but they're a small island nation, and we've got room for all of them on Bjorn's sizeable yacht!

President Bush is "fully engaged and committed" to sustainability. He couldn't make it to Johannesburg because his expertise is desperately needed to fix the U.S. economy and eradicate terror from the Earth. Have no fear, world citizens: he is in constant communication with Colin Powell, and together, they will fix everything.

When the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization meet in Zimbabwe, and the World Health Organization then says that genetically modified foods are "unlikely" to kill you or make you grow gills and/or a prehensile forehead, it's because of strict scientific evaluation, and not because they've got butt-loads of GM corn rotting in warehouses. OK?

Talking about free trade means we're talking about the 51st state of the U.S., Corporate Interest. And since President Bush hails from the capital of C.I., Unrestricted Greed, he is trying to convince, by way of punitive sanctions, the European Union that they should be allowing these safe genetically modified crops into their farms and supermarkets. Monsanto, the governor of C.I., is generously supporting President Bush's actions.

Now that the ball is rolling on this whole "sustainability" thing, we should really get working on so-called "global warming." A recent study says that the insurance industry is going to be the hardest hit by global warming. This is major cause for concern, because Tuvalu is really counting on Bjorn Lomborg's heavily insured yacht...

Once GN/BN decided to switch over to the Dark Side, we got one major benefit: realizing our dream of creating a herd of amphibious monkeyrabbits to do our bidding. Unfortunately, we're afraid the dream is over. They can take the amphibious monkeyrabbits from us when they pry them from our cold, dead, eight-fingered hands...

Last, but certainly not least in this list of "Good" news, we've got the small matter of Australia. Everyone is always badmouthing the U.S. for our purported pollution and disregard of global ecology, but when they call us part of another "Axis of Evil," we feel the point is really being missed. What about Australia? They're way worse than us. Sorta...

Good News

Yet another wonderful benefit of the World Summit, in addition to all those listed above, is Brazil's new gigantic rainforest park. Announced at the commencement of the Summit, it's just the first of many ecologically friendly steps the Brazilian government plans to take, including regulating the use of genetic material taken from its rainforests.

An unlikely but hopefully fruitful partnership of industry and environmentalists has also emerged from Johannesburg. Greenpeace and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development have issued a joint statement urging world leaders to fight climate change. Hopefully, this will prove the idea that going green is good for business.

In these crazy days of freakish weather and seemingly rapid climate change, it's nice to hear a voice of reason. After months of heated debate, Norway changed its tune on dumping industrial waste into the ocean. I guess it's obvious to more than just GN/"G"N that carbon dioxide doesn't necessarily belong in massive amounts at the bottom of the sea.

For the second time in as many months, the Nature Conservancy comes out at the forefront of preserving nature. Similar to its work in preserving Peru's wild spaces, the Nature Conservancy has bought out $50 million in debt from Great Northern Paper in exchange for 41,000 acres of wilderness and a conservation pledge from the company.

Matt Wheeland is an increasingly deranged editorial intern at AlterNet.

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