Thursday, April 25, 2019

Extinction Rebellion For Capitalism

While being sympathetic to their protests, we have criticised Extincton Rebellion on this blog for being naive in appealing to governments to do something the laws of
capitalist economics means governments cannot ever do.

A letter in the Times expresses the support that certain business interests have of ER. Rather, business interests who are, taking advantage of their naivety.

So people can judge for themselves, here is the text of the letter published in the Times on 22 April under the headline “Business and the climate rebellion”:
Sir, The multimillion-pound costs that the Extinction Rebellion protests have imposed on business are regrettable, as is the inconvenience to Londoners. But future costs imposed on our economies by the climate emergency will be many orders of magnitude greater.
Contrary to belief, there is business support for the Extinction Rebellion (XR) agenda. Hard pressure drives change, but even the most committed businesses will need time to respond. We welcome the news that Extinction Rebellion is evolving a new platform, XR Business, to engage business leaders, investors and advisers. To drive things forward, the idea is to convene a meeting of XR activists and experts with business leaders and influencers. Most businesses were not designed in the context of the developing climate emergency. Hence we must urgently redesign entire industries and businesses, using science-based targets. To kickstart the process, businesses should make a declaration that we face a climate emergency and organise a session at a full board meeting to consider the case for urgent action. We will encourage the senior management teams of which we are part to do likewise.

Bevis Watts, managing director, Triodos Bank UK; Christopher Davis, chief sustainability officer, The Body Shop International; Seb Beloe, partner, WHEB Asset Management; Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever; Sir Tim Smit, founder, Eden Project; John Elkington, co-founder, Volans Ventures. Plus a further 17 signatories


Anonymous said...

How is the Socialist Party's foray into 'ethical' investing faring?
Green, lest we forget, is the colour of the dollar bill. Vaneigem.

ajohnstone said...

Attend our annual conference this weekend and find out. The committee responsible will be making a report and will be available for any questions.

Anonymous said...

Good answer. What was the gloss put on it? 'Clawing back ( ahem ) some of the surplus value'. It will only take some slick chancer in a hand-made shirt to come along and the SP could end up on the ash-heap of history. Maybe it should?

ajohnstone said...

There is a case for being poor.

After all when you have a lot of assets then you have more to lose, so you tend towards "conservatism" in case financial punitive measures are taken. Who sues something that has nothing?

It may even encourage more activism such as raising funds.