I ask the question because it comes up, in one form or another, in many different contexts.

Poor and developing countries want to cash in on their natural resources, and they don’t want to waste a lot of time worrying about deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprints or much of anything else.

It’s understandable. Being environmentally aware is a luxury only the affluent can afford.

Or closer to home, poor families looking to stretch their food assistance budget find it cheaper to fill up on less expensive high-calorie processed foods than the pricier, healthier foods.

I’m not convinced that the goals of environmental protection and poverty alleviation have to be mutually exclusive. But I do think it will take a concerted effort on the part of those working for these goals to link the two goals together whenever possible.

Make the healthier foods available at a reasonable cost. Provide the incentives to develop alternative energies to developing countries.

What good do these things do if they’re kept out of reach?