Overwhelmingly depressing..till you get to the end

I am a member of my local Sierra Club chapter and am quite proud of that fact…till I read this lengthy but biased article written by a very good writer.

Here’s the article..read it, you might enjoy it if you are cynical, capitalistic or both..

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100322/hari

For those who would rather take my word for it than read it; first thanks! He’s basically trashing all environmental organizations that have any kind of corporate partnerships saying that profits and non-profits shouldn’t work together. One is in the business of making money and the other in saving the planet and the twain shall not meet. So what do you think? I don’t think that’s necessarily true. The last green book I read ‘Green to Gold’ was all about working together and coming up with better solutions and sharing knowledge in your domain of expertise.

But, I must say I am not sure anymore; after all I haven’t worked for WWF or The Nature Conservancy etc, so I can’t tell for sure. On second thoughts, I do belong to the Sierra Club conservancy committee and I get atleast 20 emails a day from them..each one is well researched and brings to notice something good happening in the state, something shocking that needs our attention and each volunteer has something amazing to contribute..I think good things do happen at the individual levels; so maybe it’s best to work from that vantage point? This reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes from God Father: “All my life I kept trying to go up in society. Where everything higher up was legal. But the higher I go, the crookeder it becomes..”


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2 Responses to Overwhelmingly depressing..till you get to the end

  1. Debashis says:

    Read the article.I must say the writer has researched well for the criticism he doles out. No good effort in this world has gone without its share of critics. But criticism should drive us to strive evn more for the causes which are right and we so truly believe in.

    No doubt the article is well researched and has its facts in place. But these are mere exceptions. The fight against environmental degradation has to be multi-pronged- 1. At the individual level 2. At a community level 3. At a national /global scale.Its upto us where we want to join this fight.My perception, By making changes at an individual level and thereby exemplifying we can persuade others to join the cause. Thats why Iemphasise that change should always come from within-our homes,our communities, so on and so forth. When this change unites with the resolve of millions of people across the world it has the capacity to transform. Just like water droplets becoming a river which joins the mighty sea. More and more people around the world are aware of their environment now than ever before. And this number will multiply exponentially in the coming years.As of today, due to the discrepancies in global economics environment is not a top of the mind agenda for most people/nations.But in a few years as we start seeing the effects it will be.

    I personally think ,at a macro-scale, environment friendly technologies should overcome the cost-benefit ratio & scaling up issues to make sense to the average citizen. For eg. solar panels are being increasingly adopted by households. But to make it a big thing it needs economies of scale. Thats where the govts. should step in with policy decisions and incentives.

    In short. on a vast arena like environment everyone has got to play to their capabilities. Let the individuals do what they do, let the NGO’s do their job and let the govts. do their job. Each one has their own domain.

    On the issue of funding environmental initiatives…yes, its true that globally private firms are increasingly turning to the campaigns to bolster their image.”We are associated with XYZ” where XYZ are some NGO’s..is the new social responsibility paradigm for corporates. I would say that with many corporates there is a measured initiative they wanted to be associated with. But there are always going to be exceptioins-like the worst polluters associating with a cause just to refurbish their image. Its then upto the NGO’s to take a call who they want to be associated with. Unfortunately, the lure of cash is sometimes more lucrative. But I feel that as long as the end doesnt justify the means its Ok. for eg. if an NGO is against global warming and takes funding from oil cos. its not a problem… ethical issue as long as the NGO doesnt waver from its basic agenda. Its a problem when NGO’s stick dangerously close to their donors and justify the means to carve an end. for eg. if NGO X were to support polluter Y inspite of Y’s record.

    Unfortunately, its a chicken n egg situation. The govts. of the world dont have enough funds (supposedly) to fight the battle. Its then left to the corporates to fill the gap !! from thereon where it goes …we’ll see it play out.shant we /

  2. tamannam says:

    These are great points..someone asked me yesterday what I was doing about all this..I said I am doing the best I can; and now I need to inspire others..so, I am glad you are with me in this..

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