Bill McKibben has argued that “it’s possible that there’s no greater example of corporate irresponsibility than climate change – I mean, these companies melted the Arctic, and then rushed to drill in the open water. ”
As the evidence of climate change mounts, Professor Gail Whiteman says managers must reimagine business. (Text Bennett Voyles)
For some time now, most businesses have put environmental sustainability on an ever-growing list of laudable corporate social responsibility goals. Some have even made serious efforts to achieve that aim.
…many have pointed out that my position allowed me to protect the environment. But that never sat well with me, especially as it relates to fossil fuels with their broad and wide externalities. After much introspection, and a couple of tears, I realized that an opinion like that is a flat view and it ignores the fact I have enabled interests that are contrary to human existence. It’s the enabling that drives us nuts. To this end, I now flatly refuse any work that deals with fossil fuels interests. It makes life much simpler for me and I suspect it will for others.
Climate change has rapidly emerged as a major threat to our future. Indeed the increasingly dire projections of increasing global temperatures and escalating extreme weather events highlight the existential challenge that climate change presents for humanity.
In popular and political discourse, climate change is depicted as an environmental or ‘natural’ problem that requires ‘rational’ responses based on scientific evidence. However, there is also a need to view climate change as a social and politically embedded phenomenon, linked to patterns of production and consumption and the ideological assumptions that underpin the economic system and our collective sensemaking processes.
Last night I attended Bill McKibben’s first public Australian lecture at the University of Sydney. It was sell-out event and the Seymour Theatre was full as young and old crammed in to hear what one newspaper has termed the “rock star of the global warming movement”. Waiting for the doors to open it did have that feeling of a big event – a performance by someone who has been willing to call-out the elephant in the room – our convenient but ultimately suicidal race to change the physics of the Earth in the name of “business as usual”. People were hungry to see and hear the unassuming American who has become the most prominent public face of the fight against global warming.
a recent piece by Andrew Winston in The Guardian pointing to the same theme of a new abolitionist movement around climate change action (you can nominate your favourite ‘climate change abolitionist’ here).