When most people hear the Little Red Book they think of communist book Quotations from Chairman Mao, required reading in China during the cultural revolution. It looked like this:
Considering this book has many negative events associated with it (police reportedly beat any citizen found not carrying it) it is surprising that an environmental group would choose to embrace this theme for a publication dedicated to preventing deforestation. In December 2008, the Global Canopy Programme released a book called The Little REDD Book, intended as a guide to UN negotiations on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). Here is their webpage with an online version. Here is the pdf for easier reading. This is what the title page looks like:
The red and yellow color scheme along with the title set the tone for the document itself. Here is their definition for REDD:
The basic idea behind Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is simple: Countries that are willing and able to reduce emissions from deforestation should be financially compensated for doing so.
Why should a country who voluntarily stops deforestation in their own country be compensated by other countries? They are a sovereign country who can do whatever they want with their trees, if they choose to cut them all down, so be it. If they choose to preserve them all, so be it. Why should they be financially compensated (obviously from developed countries) to do so? Their argument is simple: because if we don’t, deforestation will lead to more global warming and then we will all die.
I am glad that the creators of this little red book aren’t hiding behind some ‘market based mechanism’ like so called carbon trading. They seem to openly admit, with their title no less, that this is wealth redistribution on a grand scale. Chairman Mao would be proud.