Saturday, January 07, 2006

Last post on Jared Diamond

So I finished Collapse last night, and I just have one more point to make. When talking about companies' environmental impact he basically says - companies will be environmentally friendly if it's more profitable than not being environmentally friendly.

On one level that's blindingly obvious, companies will publish anti-capitalist writing, if it makes money - that's the whole point of capitalism. Profit, not ideology, is the motive behind what companies do.

But actually it leads me to opposite conclusions Jared Diamond, if companies will only refrain from destroying the planet that we all live on if it's profitable to do so, then they can't be allowed to make decisions about production in our society. I don't understand how anyone can acknowledge the limited circumstances under which companies will operate in an environmentally sustainable way and then say "look they can operate sustainably" rather than "this is not a good way to be making decisions about our society".

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