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Ecological Problems Essay

1516 words - 7 pages

Ecological Problems: The disease is not the cure

The entire human population, the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the governed, and the governors, stand at a very dangerous precipice. That precipice is the degradation of the natural environment: the cutting down of the rainforests, the pollution of the air and water, climate change the overconsumption of resources and energy that are not renewable, the list goes on. Some have surmised that corporations and the invisible forces of the market will create an economic atmosphere conducive to solving these problems through traditional market forces and corporate objectives. It is true that much progress has been made by corporations to be ...view middle of the document...

Certainly, they have a place in the solution but they cannot operate according to the rules of conventional corporate environment. The reason for this is because the conventional corporate environment only addresses the need to turn out greater and great profits. As Donald S. Siegel asserted, corporations should only “adopt green management practices only [when] such actions complement the organization’s business and corporate level strategies.” This notion is bizarre because the existence of the market, of humanity in general, is dependent on our ability to live within its limits Regardless of whether we like it or not, humanity cannot exist without the goodwill of Mother Nature. The Earth is the ultimate authority in this regard. Even environmental activists are mistaken with their appeals of “saving the earth.” The earth is saved. We must label this appeal more appropriately as, “save ourselves.” The reason being, as James Lovelock pointed out, “If there were a nuclear war, and humanity were wiped out, the Earth would breathe a sigh of relief. It doesn’t mind radiation.” Earth will inevitably recover form whatever injury humanity inflicts upon it. It has survived for millions of years and has millions more to live, humanity on the other hand does not have the luxury of time. Humanity will not be able to cope with nuclear fallout, or massive flooding, or climate change, and the resulting mass migration of people. We simply will not have the time to adapt to such stark, sudden, and irreversible changes.
Corporations have been and continue to be a moving force of the industrial revolution’ and industrial prosperity. They championed the methods that have led to a consumerist culture and the degradation of the natural environment. They view the resources of the planet as a commodity and not part of a natural order that must be delicately maintained and respected. Nonetheless, because corporations are such a big part of the modern world they to must be part of the solution. They just need to invent a new set of rules to abide by.
Alfred A. Marcus and Adam R. Fremeth stress that “green management” of corporations is of utmost importance regardless of whether it is profitable or not (a factor that governs traditional corporate strategies). Nonetheless, in an appeal to those who think differently they outline the benefits of “green management” and claim that “green management,” just like and other corporate strategy can be profitable and involves necessary risks as well.
“Green management” requires corporations to “use resources wisely and responsibly, protect the environment, minimize the amounts of air, water, energy, minerals, and other materials used in the final goods people consume, recycle and reuse, respect nature’s calm, eliminate toxins that harm people in the workplace and communities, [and] reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid activities that do irrevocable damage to the climate.” The underlying concern any corporation should...

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