In Cambodia, the government is threatening to "handcuff" environmental or civil-rights groups that cause public dissent. In China, protesters are being harassed while draconian new anti-protest laws are being drafted. In Laos, lands-rights activists are being harried. And India is becoming a poster-child for anti-environmental fervor.
Even in Australia, conservative politicians seem to be declaring war on environmental groups. The conservative Tony Abbott government is currently considering new restrictions that would remove the tax-free status for any environmental group that engages in public debate or criticizes the government.
This comes on top of recent efforts by conservatives in Australia to ban environmental boycotts. There has also been a mass defunding of voluntary environmental and heritage organizations, and moves to insert gag clauses into community legal centers.
And a green group that exposed massive illegal logging in southern Australia is now facing possible prosecution by the Victorian state government.
Writing in the online journal The Conversation, ALERT members Susan and Bill Laurance decry the growing attempts by conservative governments and politicians to hamstring environmental groups. You can read their article here.
And while all this is happening, wealthy corporations continue to fund many 'community groups' that really are little more than industry mouthpieces. These environmental wolves in sheep's clothing argue that global warming is a myth while pushing pro-growth, anti-environmental agendas.
The only way to achieve any kind of balance in societies is to hear both sides of an issue. The growing efforts by conservatives to damage and silence environmental groups is a danger that we all need to heed.