Friday, 28 August 2009

Green Greed


A funny quote from the new add of Emirates (airlines), Emvironment, "this kangaroo would be déd if we didn't hév this fence roght heee" (i'm trying to have an Australian accent) - this fence provided by Emirates to an Australian national park in order to protect the kangaroos from foxes. If you haven't seen the add, go check it on youtube or read the blog Enviro.aero, which talks about the efforts of the aviation industry to reduce its CO2 emissions.

This add is good, though I am not fully convinced by the spot. There is something about how they present things. How they brag about having saved all these animals and protected all these trees. It's like when Oprah goes to South Africa and spends her days crying with the families in these remote villages. They all do it for one reason: to be liked so that we buy their product. These efforts are certainly not made because of their love for the environment or of the poor; they are made because of greed. All these companies turning "green" today...do you think it's because they care? No, it's because they can make money out of it.

We have become so messed up that that the only valid reason for us to start saving the Earth is if we can save money from it. "If it's cheaper to be green than i'll be green". Our intentions for saving the Earth today are wrong. They are the same bad intentions that got us into this mess in the first place: they're greed, money, power, etc. and unfortunately they seem to be the only ones able to get us out of this mess. Incentives to save electricity, is a cheaper bill. Incentives to buy a small engined car, is to spend less on petrol. Incentives to take public transportation, is by making traffic shit in town and expensive and almost impossible to park (and then we think about public transport). CEOs around the world have noticed this trend and they started producing all these eco-friendly products that are no different than the previous ones, they just comsume/spend less, thus pollute less - and sell them as the new "green thing to have".
But there is another incentive that encourages us to be greener, and it's a recent one: Guilt. We now feel so guilty that we avoid buying SUVs or that we buy the eco-friendly light bulb; not for the sake of saving money but out of good conscience. That guilt could actually be the solution we need to set things back the way they were. Because being greedy and wanting more is what brought us to over-population and over-consumption, hence a worsening environmental situation. So we should start acting because we really want to, not because it's more convenient and cheaper. What if one day it becomes cheaper to start over-consuming oil and other polluting substances again; don't you think we'll take that cheap option? We need to start this environmental protection process on more stable grounds that would last on the long term. Our intentions need to be sincere and certainly not selfish (a very hard task for humans, i must say).

Just start saving the earth even if it costs you money. If everybody does it than it will become cheaper afterwards - like Bio food; my friend Tobias always wants to buy Bio products even though they are expensive. He says that if we keep buying today then we can contribute to a higher demand, hence a larger production of this bio product thus a lower price. And it will become more and more affordable and finally we will end up producing ONLY Bio products which is far better for the environment.
But Emirates is mixing our guilt with its greed. It has no incentive to be planting all these trees and saving the animals because it costs a lot of money - and I doubt they are doing it out of good will - they are doing it so that we feel guilty if we fly Etihad because Etihad doesn't have the great Emvironment programme.

So Emirates, if you read this, thanks for helping the environment with your plans, but try to be more sincere in your message and show me that you really care. You need to show that you are making efforts to help the environment without trying to sell me a seat on one of your airplanes. Let it be genuine and also an encouragement to all your competitors to do the same. Because the more companies follow your example, the more we could move forward more rapidly. But you did it in a way that is rather arrogant, more like "i did this, i can afford it, I'm the best, now fly with me". Not good. Show that your intentions are good. Play conscientiously with our conscience because it is the healthy way of convincing us to start being green...don't bring your greed into it.

1 comment:

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility is so over-rated. A business will alway be a business and be about making a profit...

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