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The Green Monster in the Mirror

Many businesses are rushing to the new gold mines – except this gold is green.  Green ethics are the new gold standard of blue chip companies.  Confused?  Saving the world is the new battle cry of business.  Marketing execs are holding hands, singing Kumbaya, and pursuing polar bear photo ops.  But what caused this ‘rush’ and is it really a good thing?  Consumers are more involved with the process than you may think.

Before there was a hole in the ozone layer, or the technology to detect the hole (which, ironically, seemed to occur simultaneously,) the business world pursued progress for progress’ sake.  Madison Avenue, in efforts to burn their product’s image into our heads (Huh…maybe that’s why it’s called ‘branding?’) persuaded millions of Americans to believe that life just isn’t good unless it’s busier, faster, better, and cheaper.  Don’t have the money? You don’t need it!  Don’t listen to grandma’s advice about saving.  No.  Get a loan.  You need it – no…you deserve it – now!  But like my mom always says, “It takes two to tango.” There is no seller without a buyer, and we bought it all.

This “me first – me now!” attitude blossomed through the 80’s and 90’s as consumers epitomized the very term “Consumer”.  The baby-boom generations blossomed into the Joneses and those trying to keep up with them.  As a result, America suffered an identity crisis.  We are no longer the hard-working, boot-strapping nation where individualists like Benjamin Franklin define the American Dream.  We evolved into a nation of pretenders and blamers.  Some people used self-discipline to develop successful and balanced life while millions of stressed-out people pursued the illusion of balance at the expense of their families and credit ratings.  Our desires for more have threatened our very existence.

Our lusts and passions are the reason we are now embracing trees.  In an effort to stymie the tsunami of our sins, there is a concerted effort to undo our past wrongs before they kill us.  The funny thing is, businesses are still prospering.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  I hope they make a killing.  Business is about one thing: profit.  As long as the “Consumer” demands Green and no longer supports – eh – brown, then there’s still a chance to make a difference.  We determine the next step; not Wall Street.

So, are green ethics good?  Yes.  Regardless of the motive, the ends justify the means.  But before we go overboard blaming big business, industrialist, big oil, or Madison Avenue for our current global woes, take a long look in the mirror.  Without our wallets, none of these institutions would exist.  We vote with our money and businesses follow it like a lovesick schoolgirl.  Big Babies are to blame – consumers – you and me.  Let’s grow up, put our selfish wants behind us and vote for what we really need: personal responsibility.

Enough ranting already…I’m going to buy a tree.

3 responses to “The Green Monster in the Mirror”

  1. Avatar lee lee says:

    you make an important point: “Regardless of the motive, the ends justify the means.” as someone very new to ethics (it seems i slept through this class in college…), i’m interested in thinking, learning, hearing more about this…what do people think??? in regards to green ethics, especially…!

  2. Avatar M.L.B.T. says:

    Green Ethics… Brand new term in a market flooded with CDO, CDS, Derivatives, Stocks, Debt Obligations…
    I just don´t think that Market should regulate any kind of ethics… mainly because a market has no ethic by itself, it has demand and offers…
    What kind of ethics do we expect a market to have when we ourselves don´t have a real notion of what is real and what is propaganda disguised as marketing and “Green Attitudes”?
    As i said in my post yesterday, maybe we will face with a pale expression the day that John Kerry, Al Gore and Obama will announce that The Holocaust was a good thing for the environment because it prevented the emission of many tons of CO2 to the atmosphere…maybe we will have hunting seasons for human people in order to keep population under de 500 million beings… maybe we will sell stocks and licenses to pregnant women to have the right to pollute the world with one more child…
    Crazy times ahead…
    If we don´t develop our green ethics by ourselves, the market and the TV will.

  3. JC JC says:

    MLBT – the market is us just like the government is us (okay, horrible grammar, but you get the point 🙂 )
    Just like the US constitution begins with “We the people…” it is the masses of consumers who determine the attitudes successful businesses will adopt. Businesses that don’t adopt these attitudes will fade away. Look at the Montgomery bus boycott in the 50s. Look at the boycotts in South Africa which had a profound affect on Apartheid.
    My friend, please see that we control these institutions and not the other way around.
    For the record, I’m not that green. I’m not convinced that global warming is man-made. Regardless, why not take steps to limit what could be the issue? I’ll recycle, switch to energy saving devices, and support the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity that are expanding the future for green products. How? By buying them and not buying the others! 🙂

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jarock74 About jarock74

James Cook is a professional writer and amateur outdoorsman. After writing things his whole life (beginning with a three-page screenplay at the age of six), he became a professional writer in 2016. He has since completed one novel and has ghost-written, coached, and/or edited five published books, one of which was an Amazon best seller in five categories. He believes "life is too important to be taken seriously" (Oscar Wilde) and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and teenage daughter.

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December 2009
Season Finale
November 2009
{Seven Deadly} Sins
October 2009
Mischief Making
September 2009
Green Ethics
August 2009