Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on January 11, 2010 By Draginol In Politics

Discussion I had on Treehugger.com:

 


We all need to make money, that's a given in this modern day and age. The issue greens have with "capitalism" is that it is done almost completely devoid of conscience and consideration for the long term outcomes. ("This asthma medicine may help control your asthma symptoms that have not been brought under control by existing medications.... this medication may increase your risk of death from asthma.")


Capitalism is certainly no panacea. It's just the best of the worst options we have. <img src=" src="http://forums.treehugger.com/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif" /> Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union were certainly not environmental paradises.

My belief is that the most effective means for change is to persuade people that helping the environment is in their best interest in one way or other. Once that happens, that creates a demand for products and services that cater to the people that companies will in turn fill.

In the home I'm building, I'm spending a lot of time dealing with the contractors who produce and install the environmental friendly products -- the solar panels, the LED lights, the close/open cell insulation, the geothermal, the gray water system, the inverters, etc. And every step of the way I'm dealing with people who are to the RIGHT of me politically. 

That takes nothing away from people here. It was TreeHugger.com that set me on the path of finding out what I needed to do to make sure my new house was as green as possible. So I'm certainly not arguing that people here aren't having an impact.

The issue is when one group demonizes people who aren't in lock-step. Or worse, creating strawmen of their political opponents and imbuing them with traits that are simply figments of their imagination.

In one conversation on this forum, I was told I was anti-green specifically because I don't buy the CO2 hypothesis on AGW. My deeds meant nothing, only my faith. As a conservative, it is just as easy to build a liberal strawman - the hapless hippie whose idea of helping the environment is bitching on forums and composting twice a year while driving some 30 year old van 50,000 miles a year. But that's just as much of a strawman as the one SgtMaj constructed for conservatives.

We simply do not accept the notion that straight, short term economic gains should be the driving force in making business decisions. Which at this point in time, is exactly the way the majority of "Capitalists" do business. 

We do not support companies that continue to throw all other considerations and concerns under the bus in their single-minded pursuit of ever growing profit margins.


The problem I have with this is that it's so subjective as to be meaningless. 

IMO, true environmentalism is already winning -- at least in the United States. And it's almost entirely due through increased awareness which has created a demand that business look to fill. Even Walmart is now stocking organic products. That's a big deal.

In just the past decade, there have been tangible results in the realm of energy conservation, reduction of waste (people bringing their own bags to the grocery store), a focus on cleaner water and air, more awareness of taking care of the environment around us.

Compare how people live today versus the 70s. I can still practically smell the lead that used to be in the air and people cutting down all their trees to make room for their grass or dumping fertilizer on their lake front grass. 

In another decade or two, windows will start providing solar power to homes, virtually all new cars will be EV, new homes will increasingly have geothermal to lower costs even further, and on and on. 

And the reason this will happen is because people will demand this sort of thing in their products and it will increasingly be reflected in basic building standards in local communities.

It won't happen because a bunch of militant greenies bullied their way to getting oppressive federal laws in place. It'll happen in spite of that.

Original: http://forums.treehugger.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13782&start=30


Comments
on Jan 11, 2010

It is weird to see the rabid environmentalist trashing capitalism, while skirting communism (at least as defined and practiced by any large society on this planet).  Some of the true faithful just dont want to wait, so they are trying to destroy what is here (capitalism) in order to force the issue to a quick and rapid conclusion (through dictatorships such as communism).

Others want to speed it up through a dictatorial edict of some sort, while maintaining the appearance of a free society.  That part is never really explained other than in their hatred for the capitalistic markets (whereby people choose with their pocketbook instead of a forced compliance to an arbitrary rule). 

Man is a short term animal, as you indicated.  Most alive today do not remember the way it was because they were either too young or not around. But anyone experiening the "greatness" of the past when all was "idealic" can think back to the old days and see how things are so much better today.  Not perfect, but better.  You mentioned smelling the lead.  Yea, standing behind a running car was always an experience in breath control!  But today, (maybe my honker is just kaput), it is barely noticeable (except for diesels).

While the horrors of polution can be seen daily, for the most part they are in nations that have not embraced the fact that polution is self defeating (we can hope they will in time).  We have a place here in this state - a big pulp and paper town - that you could smell from 30 miles away back in the 70s.  Today?  I was out there a couple of years ago, and I could not smell it in town.

We are making progress as we progress (in both living standards and technology), It appears to be working out well, just not in the speed some want.  But then their solution is to dismantle the society that is providing the solutions that allow man to progress in a healthy way.  And that is just cutting off your nose to spite your face.

on Jan 11, 2010

I believe most people want to have as clean a planet as possible, I do. All change isn't bad either as long as it is carefully thought out and implemented. Many in the environmental movement can't seem to grasp that, they are down right violent in their demand to have it now. It's quite something to see all the trash on the ground after one of their rallies, so there is plenty of do as I say not as I do mentality there. It took decades until everyone had electricity in the US, why would green technology be any different?

In some respects environmentalist do more harm to their case than help. The intolerance is a turn off to many. When something makes good economic sense for the everyday person that is when ideas take off. People need to be given choices that will encourage greener techs, not force them to buy something ill conceived, or expensive just because one house on the science channel is set up that way. Have they never heard honey attracts more flies than...

I like what they are doing with hybrid cars. Personally I thing they suck, too expensive, dirty to produce, other technical issues. But, they are available to those that can find them practical, while the companies get better and better at the technology. I have no doubt that one day they will develop a car that can travel 3000 miles on a single charge, it just won't be tomorrow. It's all a balancing act.

on Jan 11, 2010

I like what they are doing with hybrid cars.

It's all a balancing act.

And a version act.  Some of us are waiting for the version 2 with Service pack 1 to come out.

on Jan 13, 2010

We simply do not accept the notion that straight, short term economic gains should be the driving force in making business decisions. Which at this point in time, is exactly the way the majority of "Capitalists" do business.

Should be

We simply do not accept the fact that short and long term economic gains should be the driving force in making business decisions. Which at this point in time, is exactly the way the majority of "Capitalists" do business.

They pretend that somehow communism is better when it is clearly not, capitalism isn't perfect, its just the least sucky system; that is a fact.

They also pretend that capitalism is "short term profit at any cost" and that the "majority" of businesses operate on a "short term only" model... this is stupid, without proper long term goals business will fail. Capitalism is about profit, that means short and long term goals; and it means meeting the demands of the people.

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