The Church Of Business
By Bill Henderson

11 March, 2007

Richard Dawkins absolutely hammers religion and especially the American Taliban in his best selling book THE GOD DELUSION. These dinosaur leaders of Christian fundamentalism in America aren't 'christian' in their bigotry and militarism; some are working hard to set up a fundamentalist fascist state; and their obsession with sin, sin, sin, keeps a lot of minds in the gutter when life - and life and death issues - shines brightly outside the cave.

Dawkins is pitbull relentless; he is devastatingly funny, especially if you have been raised in religion; and he does not hold back his punches even though he has the utmost sympathy and respect for those to whom religion, though a delusion, has been the central guiding light of their lives. Religion is a source of great evil in our society.

A good read; a broadside against some truly scary bad guys - but why doesn't someone of Dawkins' skill and clout take on The Church of Business which is doing it's best to march humanity over the cliff of self-extinction as we speak? Why doesn't somebody of like skill take the gloves off and detail how The Church of Business controls our governments and our media and is presently cynically planning the containment of emission reduction and every other needed environmental initiative that might mean salvation for humanity but might entail modest change to business as usual?

If greenhouse gas emissions from our global business as usual are not reduced substantially - by 90% by 2030 in the emerging consensus - human induced climate change will raise mean global temperature by more than two degrees from pre-industrial times. Which could lead to the release of presently safely sequestered carbon bombs and other positive feedback or runaway climate change. Each additional degree of warming increases the probability of runaway climate change. We may have already put enough carbon from fossil fuels into the carbon cycle, given multi-decade time lags, to push the Earth's climate into a new regime where man and virtually everything we now recognize as nature will become extinct. We urgently need substantial emission reduction and as quick a change to a post-carbon economy as possible.

Right now your national business organizations, your manufacturing, mining or chemical industry associations, Chamber of Commerces, CEO clubs and other business lobbying organizations are planning environmental containment strategies similar to the disinformation war that the tobacco industry waged against cancer agencies and government. Disinformation campaigns which were in turn used as a template by the major energy companies and their lobbying organizations to wrongfoot citizens and governments globally about the reality and danger of climate change over the past several decades.

If you could gain access to their meetings, minutes and e-mails (as happened over time to both the previous tobacco and climate change denial campaigns) you would find little concern about how climate change is already severely impacting people today. You would not find the degree of concern about runaway climate change that these supposed leaders in our communities should have as we approach or even threaten to cross over a threshold of potential human extinction.

What you would find is planning (plotting) first and foremost to frustrate and contain any emission reduction strategies that might negatively impact business as usual today. Their goal is to contain needed environmental change and protect their business opportunity in the future from even minor percentage point business dislocation.

After several decades of lobbying governments and misinforming general publics about climate change, the national business organizations have been quick off the mark on this latest high tide of environmental concern. They are setting up lobbying groups with names, websites and branding hoping to convince the public that they are aware and leading in the fight against climate change. But, as we might find out too late if we wait for the leaked documents and e-mails, it is abundantly clear that these new industry lobbying groups are trying to position themselves and business in general so that they can define the agenda. Their interest is making sure that only the types of emission reduction goals and programs that will fit into continuing business as usual will even make it into policy consideration..

Instead of realistic appraisal of the dangers and wide debate about mitigation strategies, instead of well thought out and practical planning to make a transition to a post carbon economy as fast as possible, instead of fair, tax-shifting carbon taxes or other such innovative programs, instead of stringent and enlightened self-regulation where 90% reduction by 2030 might be achievable, we are going to get more fudges like voluntary reductions, 'intensity' targets and gimmicks like free light-bulbs (as if widespread personal carbon reduction was possible within continuing business as usual).

Instead of rapidly organizing to fight the battle of our lives we are going to dither and fritter away our last chance.

These lobbying groups have large budgets, access to media and every layer of government. We will fail in this crucial turnaround decade because The Church of Business is totally pre-occupied with the economy now and so controls our socio-economy that even proper understanding and debate about our predicament and the full range of possible solution is heretical, not to be even thought about. The supreme doctrine of The Church of Business is that the economy is more important than anything else. Period.

Religion is, to me if not to Dr. Dawkins, not completely evil. The parish, the congregation, the church has been home to the vast majority of humanity through the ages. The majority of believers are good people, if sometimes confused or mis-educated

Business too isn't all bad. This wonderful fortunate world we live in owes much of it's existence to business - Big, now global, Business and street vendor level business. Most business people aren't bad guys. But today The Church of Business is selfishly and ignorantly threatening life, creation, on our small blue planet. Such unbelievably evil. Such unevolved consciousness.

Isn't the first necessary step in protecting against the worst dangers of climate change the destruction of The Church of Business?


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