Green PR Must Take the Long View

The Ethanol EffectEnvironmental extremists do no favors for our planet when they ignore the long term human costs of going Green. There must be a balance of interests. Many felt ‘Gored to death’ by Al’s promotion of green practices while ignoring his own wasteful practices. The ethanol frenzy was rammed through Congress without taking into account the long term effect of diverting corn to fuel and the subsequent doubling of corn prices for the dinner table; neither did it take into account the damage to ocean life in the Gulf of Mexico from the increased runoff into the Mississippi river of fertilizer from our precious Iowa corn fields. The Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) recently implicated environmental energy policy as putting an undue and disproportionate burden on the poor.  

Sustainability by its very definition requires the long view. Successful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Green practices, including Green PR, take into account the triple bottom line of People, Planet, Profits.  Note that people are part of this equation. Yes, it is vital to our long term sustainability as the human race that we do more NOW to protect the planet and its finite resources. Yes, investors must make a profit in our capitalist society to draw in the necessary capital to fund cleantech, alternative energy, and other green innovations. And yes, not only do people deserve clean air to breath and clean water to drink, but we (rich and poor) need to be able to afford groceries for our families, gas for our cars and heating oil in the winter. We also deserve the national security derived from energy independence. 

Government policy related to these issues must take into account the long term effects on People, as well as Planet and Profits to create a truly sustainable future.  The Pickens Plan is an example of how the government should be approaching these issues.  What do you think?

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.


  1. Lyall  October 9, 2008

    sorry john, here’s one more:

    “The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals, but absolutely limited by the state.”

    Professor Kenneth Boulding (1910-1993), University of Colorado at Boulder

  2. Lyall  October 9, 2008


    here’s an example of the humans are the problem world view i was referring to:

  3. Lyall  October 9, 2008


    interesting post. i like the triple bottom line. a quick question would be does one take priority over the other? what I am getting at is: for example, is the health and well being of a human or the spotted owl? I’d be interested to see which you priority you would place above the other. From almost every environmentalist it is planet first, humans last. humans are the problem. our very presence here is the problem, and while i think that you and i are at the end of the day very close philosophically on this, environmental policy is run by the extreme.

    another issue or balance that i think has to be added to the three P’s is the element of freedom. i am reading an interesting book right now written by the president of the czech republic titled: “Blue Planet in Green Shackles–What is endagered: Climate or Freedom?” What is interesting is that the czech republic has actually been better than more eastern european countries in improving environmental factors.

    so to sum what’s more important 1)people or animals and 2) how much freedom are you willing to give up and how up are you to having government tell you what light bulb to buy, what car you will drive, how long you can have the A/C on, how much water you can use each day…that looks like communism and tyranny to me not freedom.


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