In South Africa, President Thabo Mbeki has attacked environmental laws for being anti-development and for slowing his country's economy. Predictably, South African leftists became apoplectic at his remarks:
Minister of Housing Lindiwe Sisulu sparked outrage in the environmental world recently when she told the construction industry housing delivery would no longer be "held hostage by butterfly eggs".
They could be talking about spotted owls.
And environmentalists reacted furiously to a report from the economic cluster of national ministries that the controversial De Hoop Dam on the Olifants River in Limpopo "would be completed by 2010". Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin said "there has been progress on environmental authorisation to the satisfaction of relevant parties" -- despite the fact that the EIA process has not been completed.
Fumed Nick King, CEO of environmental NGO, the Endangered Wildlife Trust: "Are our politicians remotely aware of our national legislation? How are they 'above the law' in circumventing it? Where is required 'due process' in the legislated EIA process?"
I suspect that King defines satisfying due process as obtaining the result he prefers. How upsetting it would then be to him for a politician to stand in his noble way.