Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is there something I'm missing?

I'd consider myself pretty phlegmatic* about most things, including environmentalism and human rights, that sort of thing. Not because I don't really give a shit, but because I consider these matters to be sufficiently important that in dealing with them, one's reasoning must not be tainted with emotion. And, in the greater scheme of things, I'm pretty sure those few who have the money and the power to make the decisions which will decide the fate of humanity won't be swayed by bleeding heart, Bambi-eyed, tree-hugging hippie crap.

Which is why I'm kind of in two minds about Greenpeace. On one hand, they raise valid concerns about the environment, and count many respected scientists and intellectuals among their number whose word counts for something when speaking of working towards a sustainable future, with humans as custodians, rather than parasites on our Pale Blue Dot.

And then they come along with something like this:

What kind of a statement is that, exactly? How on Earth do you expect a reasonable person to sympathize with 600 people lying buck nekkid on a glacier? 10/10 for good intentions, but seriously, how exactly are they addressing the problem?

This strikes me as kind of sad, because this is the kind of thing that undermines Greenpeace's credibility as an independent environment watchdog. The suits at the top? When they see these protests, they're NOT thinking "Ooh, I should start caring about the environment." They're thinking, "God, I hate hippies."

But far be it from me to offer criticism without at least offering something of a suggestion for improvement. Speaking as a former white-collar warrior, let me tell you something: In the 21st century, the greatest driver of human endeavour and both the source of all the opulence and all the misery in the world today comes to a little number. It's called the Profit After Tax margin.

Show the right people how present environmental policies affect this number, and show how sustainable practices can preserve this number in the long run, and the battle is good as won.

* No, I don't have a cough. Phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine and melancholic are kinda old words but I like 'em. Go see!

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