Friday, February 5, 2010

How Big Corporations Harm The Environment

Corporations are ruthless, and big corporations are more ruthless.  As money comes in, corporate conscience evaporates. Ultimately, whatever produces money in the short term is defined as good. Whatever stands in the way of making money is expendable. The environment, for example, seems very expendable when you are on a corporate cruise after money.

Big and small corporations pollute the environment in many ways besides their mere presence, which is a pollutant by its own right. They pollute the air with the carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, as well as a large number of exotic poisons. They pollute the water with oil spills and with drainage of poisonous chemical waste into the water bodies of the world. They pollute the land by dumping hazardous chemicals and radioactive wastes.

Some of the worst pollutions of the last century came from corporations like Wal-Mart, DuPont, Monsanto, GE and Exxon. It is strange that a retail chain founded by a small town businessman would one day use slave labor and pollute the environment of third world countries with toxic chemicals. Exxon is oil, and everyone knows how polluting that is; yet, the millions of liters of oil they spilled into the Alaskan sea was the single worst oceanic pollution act, ever. These are just the big names; but almost every corporation that produces something also produces poison as collateral.

So, what’s to be done? The corporations produce things that are essential commodities, and they necessarily produce these by-products, right? So are we going to live without these products, some of which are not just luxuries, but necessities? Is that what I am suggesting?

Certainly not; I have more faith in human intelligence than that. I am confident that every scientific process that creates a product with harmful by-products has an alternative method where that product can be created without those harmful substances. Even if that is not possible in some cases, I am confident in the ability of science to devise methods to render those products harmless, in one way or another. Truth is ... science has the capacity to manufacture consumer products without harming the consumer. However, this capacity is not utilized by corporations, most of the time.

The thing is, these processes cost money, and that money comes from the top-line. Corporations could have stopped polluting the environment only if they spent a little more money on cleaner processes of manufacture. But they don’t want to do that. They use exotic mathematical principles to choose the most optimum manufacturing process and never remember to factor in the pollution quotient. Or perhaps they simply don’t care. Probably. When a group of greedy men come together to make more and more money, they literally turn crazy. They forget they are killing their own children by ruining the world they would be living in.

Corporations resort to a lot of gimmicks these days, when the green earth movements have spread among consumers. These are just advertisements to dupe you. No corporation will violate sound economic principles and move its focus away from profit. They have to be forced to do so.

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