Posted by keith on April 17th, 2009
I have written before about many of the very worst forms of environmental hypocrisy — the types of things that transcend simple greenwashing and seem to have become articles of faith. We are talking about behomothic, potentially species-ending “developments” such as genetic modification, carbon capture and storage, biomass as transportation fuel, carbon offsetting and geoengineering. All of these are symptoms of Industrial Civilization, and the basic mythology that we have to continue moving at breakneck speed in the same, catastrophic direction, whatever the consequences. The system will utilise everything in its toxic toolbox to convince us (and ensure we convince each other) that its “solutions” are the only ones we are allowed to consider.
Simplicity, reduction and deceleration are anathema in this world: have no doubt, you will never be asked by authority — whether that be a politician, a business “leader” or even a mainstream environmental organisation — to do these things to such an extent that they actually make a difference. Economic Growth is the only game in town — it is the Endgame.
From Rising Tide North America comes a guide that illustrates many of these contradictions in stark terms; I can’t recommend it highly enough as a primer in the types of developments mentioned earlier, along with many other contentious ideas that, frankly, have no place in a survivable future.
Only a few years ago, some companies were saying climate change wasn’t a problem. Now, as its impacts becomes apparent, corporations are suddenly scrambling to claim leadership on the issue. Desperate to avoid regulation that may hit their profits, they present a dizzying array of “false solutions,” quick fixes that perpetuate inequalities in our society and attempt to cash in on the crisis.
Our fear of change and the unknown, and the widely held belief that technological progress can solve all problems make these techno-fixes and market-based solutions extremely seductive.
In most cases it’s an easy sell. Since the 1980’s, global politics have been dominated by a model of corporate globalization: An entire generation has grown up in a world in where little has been possible without corporate assent. Economic growth and increased consumption are society’s implicit goals and to achieve this, multinational corporations must be given free reign.
Yet upon closer examination, the choices they have presented are false ones, dangerous detours on the road to a just, livable planet, distracting us from the root causes of the crisis.
This concise, but hard-hitting document can be downloaded using the following link: