Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Local belief systems

This is the right approach.

Environmental evangelists are therefore not interested in pragmatic solutions to climate change or technological fixes for it. They are even less interested in evidence that if we were really serious about reducing carbon emissions we could do so by large amounts without significantly affecting our economies or our lives. Windmills on roofs and cycling to work are insignificant in practical consequence, but that is to miss their point. Every ideology needs rituals of observance which demonstrate the commitment of adherents.

Business should treat the environmental movement as it treats other forms of religious belief. Business leaders do not themselves have to believe its doctrines. Indeed we should be wary if they do: business linked to faiths and ideologies is a sinister and unaccountable power. But companies must respect the belief systems of the countries in which they operate, and acknowledge both the constraints these structures impose and the commercial opportunities that arise.
Last week (was it only last week?) we had to sit and listen as the High Priesthood and their acolytes hurled fulminations at Tony Blair because he had travelled by plane to Florida and then to watch him squirm from common sense towards cringing acknowledgment that he had sinned and would do penance. There's that faint echo of Bukharin reciting that hanging was too good for him.

(via Tim Blair)

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