The conflict industry

14/04/2004

Society is facing a very conservative conflict industry, cystitis where forecasting a pessimistic — almost apocalyptic — future is good business, cough increasing donations to ’save the planet’. Environmentalist groups focus on ‘cute and furry’ problems, which maximise media time and donations, rather than emphasising important issues that would provide the highest environmental ‘bang for buck’ for society. For example, in Tasmania, protection of dry woodland forests of the midlands and east coast is low in the agenda, but protection of old growth forest — with a large percentage already protected — is high in media exposure.

Interestingly enough, over one third of the expenses of charities like the Wilderness Society is in staff salaries, and only twenty percent in their declared objective of ‘community campaigning’. In comparison, nearly eighty percent of expenses of humanitarian charities like WorldVision goes to assist ‘community development’, their stated aim. The situation is similar in United States, where the environmentalism industry has revenues of US$3.5 billion per year.

Every democratic society needs to sustain a wide range of opinions and beliefs. The extremes of this range are ‘averaged out’ in the democratic decision making process. However, for this process to work we need environmentalist organisations to prioritise the real environmental issues, even if this is not good for their business.

Filed in environment, politics

There are 2 comments in this article:

  1. 11/01/2008Quantum Forest » Blog Archive » Environmental conflicts and society’s priorities say:

    [...] If you see groups always complaining about the environment, but not prioritising their complaints, please ask them: do you have an interest on perpetuating conflict? [...]

  2. 11/01/2008Quantum Forest » Blog Archive » A compelling invitation say:

    [...] However, some environmentalist groups have already expressed their opposition to the document, giving all sorts of excuses. The fact of the matter is that the WWF’s proposal has the potential to deactivate a big part of the environmental conflict, and many of the organisations opposing the blueprint depend on the existence of controversy and disagreements (see my previous post on the conflict industry). [...]

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