Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mammon on Sunday


Yesterday, I was visiting with an consumer- enviro activist friend.

He was a little depressed, not so much because of the bad guys,

but because of the so called good guys.

Now that General Electric and giant utilities like FPL

are the big gorillas in the Wind business,

They act like Big Gorillas.

FPL no longer pays dues to Renewable Energy Associations,

now that the spade work has been done.

General Electric treats its wind division like any other division.

It needs to make profits.

Forget whether or not our combined longevity on the planet is dependent

on the rapid and economic deployment of their technology

that they bought from Enron before its timely demise.

In Texas, a wind developer apparently wants to use lattice towers,

which are proven habitats for birds, and are significantly inferior

to sleek pole towers in both their beauty and environmental impact.

The wind industry is looking to maximize its profits.

The solar business, once it really takes off, will be no different.

The bottom line mentality which has brought on these problems,

will continue to do what it does.

Bring us to the Bottom.

It will continue to do whatever it can to externalize its costs

and socialize them.

It's the way business works.

If we want to truly mobilize our collective resources and imaginations

in the real war that faces us,

we will probably need to change that business model.

We will need to develop a new business model that is not sociopathic.

Last night at dinner,

we discussed the ethical boundaries of our conduct.

If you want to sell your house,

you must tell the buyer that the house had termites,

you must tell the buyer that someone died in it,

you must tell them that the slab is cracked.

But, must you tell them that you think that it is haunted?

That you heard a rumour about a freeway extension?

That you believe that the dollar will double in value?

That you believe that the market is going to collapse?

That you believe that interest rates are going through the roof?

The lines of ethical behavior in our business dealings are not so clear.

It is a commentary on the human condition that we must use greed

as the primary motivator for almost all ventures.

It the challenge of governments and institutions large and small

to see that Lady Justice does not also become a hostage to this greed

and to the true terrorism of wealth and power.

Cold Comfort for a Warming Earth

Perhaps the only solace I can offer my friend,

and all my friends and readers is this:

In my view, the coming years will bring significant changes

in the hearts and minds of men. (and women)

Waiting lines are a particularly effective way to convert Republicans.

Whether they are for gasoline for your car or soup for your stomache,

they drive the point home in that visceral way that Rs often need.

We will soon see the folly of a system that worships wealth all week,

and Mammon on Sunday.

We will soon see that letting the market work is a recipe

for calamity and just a clever aphorism for our own specious greed.

We will soon see that in order to survive,

We will need to cooperate and we will need to work together.

We will need to go beyond

our limited sense of self,

our limited sense of community,

our limited sense of nationalism,

and our limited sense of our potential.

We will become a earthfamily,

Whether we know it or not.

Its happening.



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*Evelyn Pickering de Morgan


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you attack the private enterprise system. It is what has made America great.

What would you offer in its place?

3:49 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

Don't confuse private enterprise with corporate hegemony.

The private enterprise system is essential. It's the domination of capital in our lives and institutions over our other important values that is the issue we must address.

9:10 AM  

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