Why do we let liberals dominate the environmental dialogue?

I am not going to discuss Al Gore at all nor do I want to really to discuss the movement in general trying rather to be specific to one cuase; but there is a specific aspect of environmentalism that annoys me to all ends.  Why do you see environmentalists attack and attack and attack WalMart (and any other corporation out there) when they put forth environmental initiatives?  From what I have read and understand (a great article in Fast Company http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/118/how-green-is-wal-mart.html) people just hate WalMart no matter what they do and have no respect at all for their projects that are aimed at sustainability.  A good deal of the arguments that I have read claim that WalMart, and others, are just doing it to make a profit and should be scorned for their efforts.  Environmentalists seem to take the approach that no matter what WalMart does, they cannot be trusted and that their motives are evil (I totally recommend you read Grist as it is an awesome environmental website.  But on this topic, read all of the lame comments about this here: http://www.grist.org/topic/Wal-Mart).  Do you believe this? 

I think that environmentalists set a vary dangerous precedent when trying to judge the motives and “morals” of a company for their actions and intentions.  Who cares why a company goes green as long as they do it, right?  The Bible talks a great deal about the motivations of people being the most important thing in determing a man’s life, his worth, and his eternal destination.  Charity, which is real intent, is what is judged (1 Cor. 13:1).  Is environmentalism creeping into a religious belief if one considers the morals of a persons behavior as the most important factor in their cause?

Similarly, when environmentalists attack “wicked” corporations for exploiting the world and destroying it, why are they being so anthropomorphic to these entities?  Afterall, is not a corporation just an entity with one responsibility only; to make a profit?  What else could it be?  Why should an entity be anything beyond that?  What kind of thing, even humans, does not seek to be the best and create the most in its field of interest?  Do not all of those profits go to people; individuals?  Is not it the role of individuals to transform the world and “save” it?  I think that if environmentalists really cared, they would stop focusing on the corporation, which is an investment vehicle and cannot be or do anything else, and instead focus on educating people about how they as individuals can make a difference in their individual behavior and decision making.  Engage the rich in your causes rather than shun them?  Get the powerful on your side and use their power for good; for truth!  If people really knew, even more so than cared, about ways to help and do good things, they would surely do it.  But by attacking and focusing on negative things all the time, nothing gets done as we are simply arguing morality and not focusing on ideas and issues; things that really matter and can change.  Try arguing religion with somebody and see where you get!  Arguing morals and using all of one’s energy to simply get moral authority and dominate others has never worked and never will.  (I love the episode of South Park that mocks the Hybrid cars drivers for their “smug” pollution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T_KGHubIGo). 

Lastly, if environmentalists really cared, they would 100% embrace the efforts of WalMart and work with them to provide ideas, initiative, and support for their effors.  Take for example the efforts of Adam Werbach (this article rocks: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/118/working-with-the-enemy.htmlO).  I hate to break it to people but WalMart is not going anywhere.  They must be doing something good if they are one of the biggest businesses in the United States.  Think about all of the people who shop there on a daily basis and all of the new buildings that are opened each week.  From there, consider all of the growth that they have been experiencing, and will continue to experience, overseas; especially in India and China.  By trying to “take them out,” destroy them, complain about them, boycott them, and get the government to intervene, environmentalists are beating their heads against walls.  Why not engage WalMart and show them how to be more sustainable?  Why not engage WalMart shoppers how they can act in a more environmentally conscious manner?  Why not promote WalMart’s initiatives to empower employees in sustainable practices (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/118/getting-personal.html)? 

I do not know why but it is terrible disappointing to see such non-productive initiatives dominate the sustainability movement against WalMart.  As a conservative, I hate creating rules and regulations to enforce things because it creates slow and expensive bureacracy, it engages non-professionals (i.e. politicians; the scum of the earth) into processes they are not good at managing and have limited if any knowledge about, and every rule takes away a choice and thus limits freedom.  We should be fighting to educate people as to how and what they can do to create more sustainable lifestyles on an individual basis.  If we can get enough people to truly be involved and change their behavior, we can create a movement and do some real good.  Complaining and trying to diminish the power of people by arguing moral authority and taking away choice will never do any good but rather create tension and animosity.

This could be a good discussion!

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One Response to “Why do we let liberals dominate the environmental dialogue?”

  1. Amber Poyer Says:

    No environmentalist, try as they might, can fight Walmart, it is one of the fastest growing companies. Everywhere you look there is a new one popping up. I am an avid Walmart shopper due to low prices and price matching because money is tight and I like to save a buck. Frankly I am suprised that they are going green, because they really don’t have to. Business is good, they have tons of customers, and those customers really don’t care one way or the other if their one stop shop for everything is environmentally friendly or not. I would rather applaud Walmart for providing a sector of the population with such products because obviously all they are interested in is saving a buck. Your average Walmart customer is not going to change stores and go out looking for green products, so Walmart is being proactive and bringing it to them. I am sure Walmart is trying to be environmentally conscience to attract more business, otherwise they are practicing poor business strategy. But look at all the people they are able to reach in the process that no other business, politician, or environmentalist can. So if you are so interested in saving the world why not send some ideas and support Walmart’s way. I am not saying become a Walmart shopper (because you might be ridiculed by all your friends), but hey give a little credit where credit is deserved and lay off, they’re doing a good thing when they could just sit back and let the money keep rolling in.

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