August 02, 2006

We need obnoxiousness indexes

Sir Adam Lerrick’s “Good intentions at the expense of the poor”, August 2, is full of good intentions when suggesting to NGOs to shut up but fails to be convincing as it gives little guidance to when they should not. He presents the case of Kiani Kertas pulp mill in Indonesia but, if only ordinary citizens were provided with some idea of how this specific pulp mill could classify on a scale of five, in a worldwide obnoxiousness of pulp mills index, this would help NGOs to focus better their good intentions, and perhaps even help out in getting finance for a Kiani Kertas so as to be able to request the closure of a worse pulp mill sinner. As is, the NGOs have unfortunately only the next in line project to go after and many of these just happen of course to be in poor developing countries. These obnox indexes are needed for ports, dams, power-plants and many more. By the way, obnoxiousness indexes would also allow for a more rational approach to solve the not-in-my-back-yard syndrome that affects many projects needed in developed countries.