FROM RIO TO RUIN?

MAYBE NOT. AS THE U.N. DITHERS, THE POOR TAKE ACTION

President Bill Clinton and scores of other world leaders met last week at United Nations headquarters in New York City to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the 1992 environmental be-in known as the Rio Earth Summit. The heads of state were supposed to decide what further steps should be taken to halt the decline of Earth's life-support systems. In fact, this meeting had much the flavor of the original Earth Summit. To wit: empty promises, hollow rhetoric, hypocritical posturing, bickering between rich and poor, and irrelevant initiatives. Think Congress in slow motion.

Almost obscured by this torpor is the fact that...

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