Matthew Henry John Bartlett

+64 27 211 3455
email me

Tuesday 23 September, 02008

Contributions to Global Warming: Historic Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion, 1900-1999

by Matthew Bartlett @ 2:28 pm

[via WorldChanging]

And a cracker little quote from Bill English, telling it like it is:

Don’t fall for the word sustainability – what the hell does that mean? You’ve got to make money if you’re going to stay in business.

[from the 5 Aug 2008 Herald, via gblog]

6 responses to “Contributions to Global Warming: Historic Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion, 1900-1999”

  1. Ben Hoyt says:

    What does “sustainability” mean, though? At least in the sense that businesses use it? I’ve heard plenty of businesses throw around the term, but usually as a please-the-press buzzword … they’re still gonna try to make as much money as possible.

    It’s puzzling to me how the Desire for Survival of non-religious politicians and business people extends down so many generations. Besides — at least from their perspective — can’t we just live and let live, and presume any n-greats-grandchildren will have figured out how to terraform Mars well before earth’s resources run out? :-)

  2. Matthew Bartlett says:

    It is true that sustainability is a fuzzy term. But there are succinct definitions, e.g. “leaving the world better than we found it” or “understanding the human economy as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the planetary economy”. It is no fuzzier than ‘stewardship’ or ‘community’. The difficulty (but not impossibility) is applying it to particular business situations. In my field, one thing sustainability means is choosing where I can FSC-certified paper, though it usually costs more.

    What is B.E. rejecting when he rejects the S word? What alternative vision does he propose?

    Businesses are not wholly evil (except Monsanto). They are captured to a greater or lesser degree by worship of money, but what drives them is usually more complex than that, and involves some measure of what reformed theologians would call the cultural mandate – to develop the latent potentials of creation.

  3. richie_f says:

    I think it’s slightly mischievous to take the Bill English quote away from its context. Mr English was talking about the NZ tourism strategy, which itself talks about the tourism industry contributing to a sustainable economy.

  4. Matthew Bartlett says:

    You could be right. I wondered about that, but couldn’t think of a context that would render the comment innocuous.

  5. Matthew Bartlett says:

    Thanks Lynton. Funny to recognise some of the faces and names.

Leave a Reply