Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard thought other companies would follow his green example – but so far only “tiny” companies have embraced green ideology the way he has.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard: ‘Denying climate change is evil’
The octogenarian entrepreneur, who prefers gardening to meetings, says capitalism is destroying earth
Fri 10 May 2019 21.26 AEST
Last modified on Sat 11 May 2019 03.15 AEST
“I’d like to see an end to public corporations because we’re not going to revolutionise them, we’re not going to change them,” the self-confessed reluctant businessman told the Guardian.
Not that that has necessarily restricted the plucky Californian brand, which posted sales revenues of more than $1bn last year.
Patagonia is far from perfect, however. By his own admission, the idea of a fully sustainable business or product is impossible: “There is no such thing as sustainability. The best we can do is cause the least amount of harm.”
Chouinard may have his acolytes among eco-conscious consumers, but he doubts mainstream companies are listening to his reforming message. “I used to think that if we could show that being a responsible business is good business, then others would follow. And some do, but they’re tiny little companies. But the public companies, they’re all green-washing. I have no hope that they’re going to change.”
Nor does he hold out much hope for government to force big business to act more responsibly. Politicians are “pawns of corporations” says the man who, together with a coalition of indigenous North American tribes and grassroots groups, is currently suing the Trump administration for attempts to reduce the size of ancestral lands in Utah.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/10/yvon-chouinard-patagonia-founder-denying-climate-change-is-evil
Yvon Chouinard’s rant provides an interesting insight into what has gone wrong with the green movement.
When did greens start demanding the government coerce people into behaving “more responsibly”. When did they start ranting against companies owned by members of the public, as opposed companies owned by people like him?
Can anyone imagine the gentle hippies of the 70s demanding more government coercion and suppression of alternative life choices? Would Yvon Chouinard himself had said such things when he was younger?
Patagonia maintains a blog which details green efforts around the world, such as the long drive to a coal site greens had to endure in their quest against jobs and investment in Northern Queensland.