My son suggested that I should avoid an Earth Day blog entry about “Green” since “da man” would expect me to do it that day. His point being that too much of Green is feigned and we should be environmentally sustainable and exhibit corporate social responsibility 365 days a year. With that said, the week of Earth Day I attended a great conference at the Sutherland Institute that helped evolve my understanding of corporate social responsibility. We talked about the unintended consequences of some behavior that is touted as Green, when in fact the end result has been negative.
My favorite example: On December 18th of 2007, the Associated Press reported “Midwest corn boom expands ‘dead zone’ in Gulf of Mexico.” The same day I read of legislation requiring “six-fold increase of ethanol by 2022.” Of course the volume from the first article was drowned out by the Green PR frenzy around the second. Since then, we have seen more negative impacts from the ethanol craze under the umbrella of “freedom from foreign oil” and the “green” thing to do. Among these is the rapid rise in the price of corn we eat, export, and the livestock that eat it. While there is growing concern about rising meat and other grocery costs, the slowing of corn exports for food is also having significant negative repercussions for underserved populations around the world. The news reports dozens of countries where the impoverished are protesting the life threatening rise in food prices.
So the question of the day: Green at what cost?Share