Monday, April 23, 2007

Choices for the planet

E.O. Wilson:

Humanity must make a decision, and make it right now: Conserve Earth’s natural heritage, or let future generations adjust to a biologically impoverished world.
I'm betting on the latter, unfortunately, but Wilson has a number of good ideas of how we might act to go about the former.

And, in a related piece, Don Fitz says we might have to throw that baby out with the bathwater if we wish to live on an inhabitable planet for much longer:
We all want to believe that our checks to Sierra or the Nature Conservancy do some good in the long run and that they are just a little slow to do the right thing. The tough reality is that big enviro is doing bad things that lead in the wrong direction.

The most basic task for stopping global warming is having a moral, ethical and spiritual revolution based on the belief that excessive crap is bad. Reduction of unnecessary production is the antithesis of what corporations are all about. However destructive it is for the planet, corporations must seek to convince people to consume more and more.

Enter big enviro telling people that excessive consumption is not bad at all because it gives the consumer the ability to affect change with purchasing power. The erudite techno-magician waves his wand, uttering “Don’t look at the mounds of discarded junk that go into landfills. Look over here at the fabulous eco-gadgets of our corporate friends.”

Big enviro may be doing more to preserve the ethos of self-devouring consumerism than big corporations could ever do. What a surprise to learn that the Sierra Club has a history of obtaining funds from Chemical Bank, ARCO and British Petroleum. Big enviro just may deliver to big oil what it most needs — faith that a market economy can protect the planet.

Karl Marx once said something to the effect that if there were only two capitalists left, they would compete to see which would sell the rope to hang the other one. A modern version might be that if the planet was so roasted that only two big enviro groups remained, they would compete to see which could get a grant from big oil to show that what was left of the world could be saved by consumer choices.
In other words, we're going to have to disembark from corporate capitalism. None of the mainstream environmental lobbying groups seem to understand that, something that shouldn't be too much of a surprise if you trace their funding and their staffing (corporate liberals, virtually across the board).