Feed on

There is no canard more tired than the “people not profits” chants that permeate throughout college campuses. Here is the latest promotion of this evil idea:

We’ll leave you with only one thought among many today. So, if profits and the planet are mortal enemies, then you would expect that the world’s least profitable organization, the United States Government, which runs the largest annual operating loss in the history of Western Civilization (this is true …), in other words, makes the least profits possible on Earth, should have an environmental record that makes the entire world green with envy.

Of course the opposite is the case. The US Department of Defense is probably the world’s largest polluter, government owned utilities have managed to get themselves exempted from its own environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act kills species, and so on it goes. And let’s widen the scope to examine the environmental record in countries where profits are low and non-existent. Is the air cleaner and the water cleaner and litter less prevalent in poor countries around the world? Do people live longer?

It’s not surprising that my campus promotes this stuff – it sounds good. Imagine what they’d be promoting if they understood the way that profits and property promote resource conservation and environmental cleanliness – lowering tuition so that families had more income to spend themselves; using prices around campus to motivate behavior instead of sloganeering and putting stickers and posters all over the place — who would ever want to live in that world?

7 Responses to “Weekend Ponderance: Profit versus the Planet (and people) Edition”

  1. mark says:

    i feel like submitting something just to really piss them off…anyone with me?

  2. chuck martel says:

    What’s a “just and sustainable economy”? Maybe we should stop trying to eradicate mosquitoes. Aren’t the insects themselves, and their larvae, a source of nourishment for other insects and higher animals like fish, amphibians, birds and bats? Or maybe there is no such thing as “higher” in the animal kingdom. Maybe the world would be better off if all organisms were on a more or less equal footing. Wouldn’t that be more just than what we have now, the exploitation of the less aggressive by the supposedly superior. These guys think so: http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2009/02/planzefreund-view.html

    • Harry says:

      Great link, Chuck. You are an insightful guy, maybe as good as Rizzo, and I read every post carefully.

      However, in a grouchy mood you criticized my use of the phrase “baby calves” and accused me of being a bad writer, potentially starting a food fight where I mix the Milksaver with the colostrum and the calf starter and fork it around. I can take the bad writer part, but not the part about baby calves that I had helped being born and fed thousands of times. I went for twenty years without losing a single one, except for one born with hydroencephalophy. See below.

      This is not to say I am any wiser than the Esteemed Wintercow, or any of his wise, brave, and learned contributors to his blog. Including Chuck, who brightens my day often.

  3. Harry says:

    Does anyone teach writing any more? This is just awful. I give it a D just because I am a charitable Christmas mood. If I were running the U of R, I would be worried less about my personal carbon footprint than whether my students were loose in reasoning, morals, bowels, etc. I would explain it away by defending academic freedom, and announcing the end of obeisance to PC.

    • wintercow20 says:

      Wait to you see the “greatest hits” collection I have been putting together from the writing around campus. It’s sure to be a hit when we highlight it in our next marketing video. Of course, this makes me mean and indolent presumably because all I do is complain. I’ll let my actions speak, my enrollments have been falling not only because i am a bad teacher, and not only because my grades are lower than others, because basically all my students do is write, write, write, write … and they hate it. Tell me again why I don’t just offer multiple-guess evaluations and be done with it?

      • Harry says:

        You could make part of the tests, at least a vocabulary part, multiple choice. Start with homeopathic on the next quiz.

      • jb says:

        WC, if you seriously have the courage (and I do not doubt it) to gather and explose samples of bad writing from around the campus, please let me know when it becomes available. I failed to properly screen certain people for basic literacy before hiring them; I am now effectively saddled with redoing people’s work for them. It is a total drain on my productivity. These are people with graduate degrees who should not have graduated from high school. It would do less damage to the economy if we had higher high school drop out rates (at least in the government schools), rather than pretending that these kids have acquired any useful skills or knowledge by granting them a diploma. They are lying to employers, and it costs dearly.

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