We’ve made some headway with the inclusion of businesses at Rio+20, but one of the general problems in the green/environmental/climate change/whatever you want to call it movement is that it has been framed - for the most part – as business versus environment. In reality, if we are going to make any difference, sustainable ideas have to be understood, communicated, and implemented with “people, planet, and profit” in mind. People do not want to give up their modern lives and the developing world sure doesn’t want to stay poor and without electricity/clean water/food or any modern conveniences.
Businesses, on the other hand, won’t survive without natural resources to power everything and from which the products and technology they sell are built. And all of this won’t matter if we don’t have clean air, water, and a balance with nature, because eventually – if it were to get bad enough – we won’t be around.
This is a crucial discussion and movement; one with potentially the fate of civilization at its core. But most people do not care, understand, or want to think about it in those extreme, scary, “extermination” type terms. If we were actually in a crisis and the world were coming to an end, then people would care, understand, act. But by that point it would be too late. So the approach needs to be going cleaner and greener in order to reap savings, increase profit, improve PR. It may be selfish but humans are selfish, and the economic and social systems we have set up will only really respond to that type of incentive.