BRIEF COMMENTARY: El Salvador, Elliot Abrams, and Rep. Omar

BRIEF COMMENTARY: The House Foreign Affairs Committee Looked Like an Episode of Reality TV, Yesterday.

Unsurprisingly, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is, again, in hot water. Yesterday, in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Omar attempted to take down Elliot Abrams. For those unfamiliar with Elliot Abrams, he is universally viewed as a neoconservative, foreign policy icon. Although, he was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, he has impressive credentials and serves as a Fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations which is notoriously difficult to obtain.

El Salvador was a particular focal point in the back-and-forth between the freshman congresswoman and the veteran foreign policy icon. While Rep. Omar’s line of questioning attempted to emphasize the failures of U.S. diplomacy, our team at Counter Current wanted to examine the biodiversity, climate, and geography. Has there been any improvement in the El Salvador’s environment since it became a ‘more free’ country?

Biodiversity, Climate, and Geography

El Salvador lacks a robust environmental policy to protect the biodiversity of its species. However, in 1997 and in 1999, the government established the ‘Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources’ and passed legislation that can most accurately be described as “general environmental framework law”. The path forward has precedent, but conservation efforts need vast improvement — from carbon tax regulation to wildlife efforts.

In terms of climate, El Salvador is exposed to a massive array of natural disasters because of its geography. Located near two Teutonic plates and given El Salvador’s proximity to the equator, the country is immensely susceptible to both cataclysmic weather events, volcanic activity, and earthquakes. The randomness of a flood destroying 80% of crops, like in 2001, makes El Salvador’s ability to act in an environmentally conscience manner more challenging. Further, the high poverty rates coupled with unfortunate geographical position of the country, ultimately, inhibits a sustainability focus as the country cannot move past Kuznet’s curve.