by Eric Englund
are feeling the pinch of stagflation. Going to the grocery
store and to the gas station leaves consumers in a state of
sticker-shock. Neighbors are losing their homes. Retailers,
restaurants, and countless other businesses are closing their
doors. Mass layoffs are being announced with alarming frequency.
As inflation and joblessness spiral upward, the economy plunges
to greater depths. Opinions abound as to why Americaís economic
ship is taking on water. Just as certainly as John McCain
has personally witnessed global warming, I have ascertained
the cause of Americaís economic malaise. Indeed, in a moment
of deep insight, I have discovered that our economy is sinking
in direct proportion to the rise of the environmental movement.
The greener Americans become, the further our economy falls.
understand that I have written this essay holding myself to
the same standards as eco-alarmist Stephen Schneider. In the
spirit of scaring humanity straight into the clutches of the
green movement, Dr. Schneider (a Stanford University Professor)
stated the following in the October 1989 issue of Discover
do this, we need to get some broad-based support, to capture
the publicís imagination. That, of course, entails getting
loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention
of any doubts we may have. This "double ethical bind"
we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any
formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.
the least, the green movement is presently receiving loads
of media coverage. Day after day anthropogenic global warming
is mentioned on TV news, PBS documentaries, talk shows, etc.
Fortune 500 companies are paying for expensive television
ads declaring that they have gone green and are fighting to
protect Mother Earth. We are being harangued to conserve this,
recycle that, and boycott something or other. Americans have
been so saturated with environmentalist gobbledygook, that
green has become mainstream.
person epitomizes the rise of the green movement, it is Al
Gore. He is the environmental movementís self-appointed ambassador
who has brought a high degree of legitimacy to the green movement.
Mr. Gore has accomplished this by winning, in 2007, a Nobel
Peace Prize and an Academy Award for his "documentary"
thanks to Al Gore, greenies are riding high. For it is they
who are the anointed ones who have the answers to prevent
hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, soil erosion, flooding, osteoporosis,
indigestion, migraine headaches, and shark attacks. (Of course,
their real objective is to eradicate humanity, but that is
an issue I have covered
previously). And, true to Stephen Schneiderís "vision",
the green movementís success has been built upon a pack of
who want an antidote to the gibberish being spewed by greenies,
I highly recommend The
Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism
by Christopher C. Horner. As for attempting to understand
the natural fluctuations pertaining to Earthís climate, a
terrific book to read is The
Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change by
Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder. I also recommend this article
about the distinct possibility of global cooling. But I digress.
get back to the robust correlation between the rise of the
green movement and the decline of the American economy. Greenies,
and their political minions, are constantly bossing Americans
around. Watch out for having too large of a carbon footprint.
Did that bottled water come from Fiji? Recycle your paper,
your plastic, your metals and donít you dare mix any of these
materials in the wrong recycling bin. Donít water your lawn,
get a low-flow toilet, and for gosh sakes replace your incandescent
light bulbs with fluorescent ones. Are you driving an SUV?
Shame on you. Think globally, but act locally. Blah, blah,
amount of physical and mental energy is expended to make the
green busybodies happy. None of this "work" is productive.
Sure there are those who feel a sense of fulfillment by following
these mind-numbing edicts from greenies Ė as one feels more
connected to nature and to a worthy cause (I suppose). I have
little doubt that green sympathizers are the same people who
celebrate the income tax so that money can be forcibly taken
from bad people and transferred to the good downtrodden proletariat.
Hurray for April 15th! All in all, going green
is a monumental waste of time and energy. It is, consequently,
a drag on our economy and a proximate cause of economic decline.
across the country, have been indoctrinated with the claptrap
that just about anybody or anything can be a stakeholder in
a business. It is passé to believe that simply treating
employees well and pleasing customers are the keys to business
success. No, it is now chic, and politically correct, to integrate
varying degrees of environmentalism into a companyís business
plan. For Mother Earth herself is a stakeholder in every business.
The intrinsic value of nature must be acknowledged and celebrated
in order for a business plan to be credible. By embracing
such twaddle, it is no wonder once-great American companies
are slipping into mediocrity or worse. MBAs, from top business
schools, are part of the problem, not the solution.
some of Wall Streetís mightiest companies Ė such as Citigroup,
Lynch, and Wachovia
Corporation Ė have had to go begging for money to repair
damaged balance sheets. Due to blatant numbskullery,
these titans of finance have lost focus and poisoned their
respective corporate cultures with standards that are impossible
to meet. After all, how does one perform as a stockbroker,
on an environmentally-sustainable basis, so that the stockbroker
may protect the global ecosystem? How does a loan officer
see to it that a loan is being originated in an environmentally-friendly
manner? How can a financial company, or any company for that
matter, really battle climate change? Wouldnít this entail
controlling the Sunís output? Good luck with that. Business
planning, peppered with green ideology, apparently causes
companywide brain damage. Thus, it is no wonder that these
companies have reported staggering losses.
companyís own words, here are their respective declarations
of greenness. Read it and weep (or laugh). I did a little
we believe that working to promote environmental and social
sustainability is good business practice. As a global corporate
citizen, we view sustainability issues from both a risk
and an opportunity perspective. We analyze the potential
impacts of our business activities and take action to reduce
environmental risk and impact. We also look for opportunities
to make sustainable investments and develop products and
services with positive environmental and social impacts.
Brothers: As a global corporate citizen, Lehman
Brothers is committed to addressing the challenges of
climate change and other environmental issues which affect
our employees, clients, and shareholders alike. It is critical
that we continue to develop initiatives to focus on these
challenges facing our environment now and in the future.
Lynch: At Merrill
Lynch, a longstanding commitment to the fundamental
principles of corporate social responsibility underpins
our recognition that protecting our global ecosystem is
of vital importance to us as a commercial enterprise as
well as a good corporate citizen.
are strongly committed to reducing unnecessary or wasteful
exploitation of scarce nonrenewable resources. And
we are committed to providing sound investment analysis,
guidance and capital to enterprises dedicated to promoting
environmentally responsible and sustainable economic development.
is committed to being the best, most trusted and admired
financial services company. We carefully consider the impact
of our business activities on shareholders, customers, communities,
employees, and the environment. We leverage our social,
economic, and human assets to deliver business results in
a way that supports fair business practices and sustainability.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report highlights
our social responsibility commitment and values in action.
a load of tripe. Multiply these declarations of greenness
by countless companies, and it becomes obvious that American
businesses have lost their way. It would be hilarious to compel
corporate executives to define exactly what "sustainability"
means and how they can measure their respective contributions
to environmental sustainability. By diverting precious capital
and human resources toward nebulous objectives such as eco-sustainable
business practices, innumerable companies are damaging themselves
and the economy as a whole.
Beckerman stated in his magnificent book A
Poverty of Reason: Sustainable Development and Economic Growth:
therefore, the increasing popularity of the concept of sustainable
development cannot be explained by its intellectual strength,
its growing influence on international and national policy
might perhaps be better explained by reference to sociological
phenomena, such as the publicís appetite for dramatic environmental
scare stories or politiciansí tendency to jump on media-supported
bandwagons. Such phenomena also fit easily into what economists
describe as rent-seeking behavior of various agents in society:
each agent seeks to maximize its market power by means other
than socially valuable methods of increasing productive
efficiency and the like.
sure, green companies may as well rewrite their respective
business plans in order to concentrate upon searching for,
and capturing, griffins and unicorns.
a doubt, by using the green movementís "correlation equals
causation" methodology, I have proven that Americaís
current economic downturn is directly correlated with the
meteoric rise of environmentalism and its damaging effects
on business management (just as certainly as global warming
brought about the destruction of New Orleans). Using this
standard, set by greenies themselves, feel free to blame environmentalists
for what may be unfolding as the United Statesí next Great
Depression. Theyíve earned such opprobrium.