Live and Let Survive

by Einar Du Rietz

As tragic as it is, I can’t help being hopeful about the rebuilding after the catastrophe on Haiti. Emergency aid, especially coordination, is difficult to say the least. Sometimes it seems as coordination is what is not needed, but rather individual initiatives. Naturally, people tend to get in each-others way, but a common mission can create spontaneous order. This of course does not include the looters and vultures, or subsequent lynchings. why the need for a civil society is a paramount part of the overall efforts.

Plain stupidities however, seem to have been rather scarce. One lady recently managed to publish a lengthy article claiming that missionaries were the worst problems, as Christianity would be a threat to the traditional voodoo religion. The born again christian diva Carola, twice winner of the Eurovision song contest, is walking around the ruins contemplating that this is the biblical sign of the Armageddon. And, I guess, there are some other compassionate air heads there too.

The thing is, they don’t really cause any harm. Carola even takes care of an orphan. If we closed the border to all religious zealots, we could very well be doomed.

And as for environmental preachers, I’ve still not heard anyone – apart from sloppy archive digging  journalists, claiming that natural catastrophes are increasing, for some reason (notch notch)… – link Haiti to global warming.

The only conflict that is going on is the same as always, distrust of aid organisations where money goes astray, competition among the NGO’s for attention and support, but it’s not really doing any harm. The serious organisations are doing their job, not caring about the huge salary the fundraising president gets. And for the less serious, well, any donor has a choice. Just try to imagine an international, governmental monopoly in charge. Sure, politicians are throwing out tax money as well, taking up space at the airport for photo ops, but the important work is carried out by professionals who don’t care about politics or religion. Please feel free to register to add a comment to this posting, and suggest help lines.


About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.