Greenbiz had a piece yesterday with this headline, “Consumers Say Business Should Take Leading Role in Fighting Climate Change.” Drawing on several recent polls, the Greenbiz staff wrote,
Consumers believe businesses should bear the heaviest load of the burden to address climate change and while companies acknowledge the problem, they haven’t done as much as they could to address it, say two recent studies.
This is a classic case of shifting the burden, failing to see where the real roots of the problem lie. Unsustainability is a systems consequence and comes from failures in the whole system. Consumers are as much part of the breakdown as are firms. Pointing fingers is a sign of misunderstanding the situation. It is true that companies can always do better and even take a leadership stance. But without demand from consumers they would not be producing anything. If we are to convert unsustainable conditions to a state that can promote sustainability every sector has to examine and accept its contribution and take action. Pogo had it right when he said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”