Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Guardian author Ian Dunlop claims times are getting harder for ordinary people because of resource shortages – but completely ignores the negative impacts of green policies.
If business leaders want to regain our trust, they must act on climate risk
Empty rhetoric from corporates is not enough as climate change is accelerating far faster than expected
Business leaders seem astonished that community trust in their activitiesis at an all-time low, trending toward the bottom of the barrel inhabited by politicians. To the corporate leader dedicated to the capitalist, market economy success story of the last 50 years, that attitude is no doubt incomprehensible and downright ungrateful.
But a far more fundamental requirement is ignored, namely that business must lead on really critical issues, particularly the point raised long ago by economist Kenneth Boulding: “Anyone who considers economic growth can continue indefinitely in a finite system is either a madman or an economist”. The constraints Boulding anticipated have now arrived, as burgeoning population and economic growth crash into global biophysical limits which cannot be circumvented.
To the community, these constraints are increasingly obvious as the quality of life for the average person deteriorates in myriad ways. The rhetoric of much-vaunted corporate social responsibility no longer holds water when our supposed leaders are not prepared to address the issues that really count for our survival, let alone prosperity.
If business genuinely wishes to regain trust, it must proactively face up to the challenge posed by climate change and initiate emergency action. Beyond that, it must open up honest debate on a new economic model to replace conventional growth. It is the only way business will be sustainable in the 21st century with a real social licence to operate.
Ian Dunlop was formerly an international oil, gas and coal industry executive, chair of the Australian Coal Association and CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Director
My question – what would be the point of rationing if resources are finite?
If resources really are finite, we might as well party. Rationing delays doomsday but doesn’t stop it from happening. We might as well enjoy ourselves while we can, there is no reason to pointlessly delay the inevitable.
Of course, the reality is resources are not finite in any meaningful sense. Fracking, undersea mining, and in the not too distant future, Asteroid mining, will keep the party rolling indefinitely. Providing we allow capitalists to continue trying to solve our problems, our problems will continue to be solved.
As for Ian Dunlop’s claim that times getting tougher for ordinary people – I agree ordinary people are having a tougher time in many places, but this deterioration in living standards has nothing to do with resource shortages, the deterioration in living standards was the inevitable consequence of policies deliberately imposed by governments.
I’ll let former President Obama explain why he pushed policies which caused hardship for ordinary people.