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The Tragedy Of Sri Lanka: A Cautionary Tale On “Going Green”

This story is almost too bizarre to believe.

Guess what country has one of the highest ESG (environment/social justice governance) scores in the world?

Yes, Sri Lanka.

Oh, wait. Things aren’t going so well there.

You’ve probably heard that Sri Lanka is in a state of total economic collapse and anarchy. The schools and businesses are shut down. The nation has run out of fuel. Last weekend, violent demonstrators stormed the official residence of the President and then set fire to the residence of the Prime Minister. Both officials have announced they will resign.

There are many factors behind Sri Lanka’s demise, but green policies are one of them.

Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in food production until 2021. Then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued an overnight ban on all synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in a drive to promote “organic agriculture.”

The production of rice, a staple of the Sri Lankan diet, fell by between 40 and 50% nationwide. Food prices rose by over 80% and now there are severe shortages, which has led to malnutrition and widespread hunger.

Michael Shellenberger, a liberal analyst who specializes in environmental issues, reports that Sri Lankan leaders “fell under the spell of Western green elites peddling organic agriculture and ‘ESG.’” Sri Lanka’s leaders bought into myths that organic farming is trouble-free and that pesticides and fertilizer were dangerous.

The enviros got what they wanted. Sri Lanka has a near-perfect ESG score (98) which is higher than Sweden (96) or the United States (51). It also can’t feed its people and it has run out of nearly everything.

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