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Chapter 6

ENVS 2300 Chapter 6: Chapter 6 Textbook summary Speech- Environment and Politics


Department
Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENVS 2300
Professor
Nick Garside
Chapter
6

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Chapter 6 - Environment and Politics (Doyle and McEarchern)
This chapter emphasizes the role of transnational corporations during the rise of
environmental concern around the globe. Corporations typically have one thing in mind,
which is profit and this problematic considering that we’re gearing ourselves towards a
more environmentally friendly era. So there is a sort of disconnect and conflict of interest
between many corporations and environmental movements. In order for corporations to
succeed and maximize profit, they often exploit and use mass amounts of resources to
continue operating. It really depends on the type of business, but typically, businesses that
started 20, 30, 40 years ago are conducting business in the same manner as before, which
is often a business model that doesn’t accommodate for environmental issues in today’s
current situation, but also alternatively, there are businesses that have adapted to a new
environmental business model. The situation is a little more complicated than most
people originally anticipate because corporations are often involved with governments
whether they’re dealing with incentives, or joint operations and this makes it that much
more difficult to create a business environment that is environmentally friendly, and still
incorporates a capitalist attitude in today’s society. For example, at the World Trade
Organization, companies or corporations often support elected members domestically so
that they can reflect the businesses interest in front of other members of the state and
other states. So ultimately, there is an imbalance and a bit of capitalist influence when
dealing with global problems pertaining to the environment. So this chapter basically
explains the different ways in which businesses run and deal with environmental concern
today.
Rejecting environmental concerns
People typically reject the idea of a concern for the environment at all and claim
that these concerns are more theoretical and invented.
When activists attack transnational corporations, the companies often reject the
concern and direct the focus onto the positive outcomes of the event. An example
would be when Shell was operating in Nigeria and managed to steer the focus on
the fact that they were improving the Nigerian economy, despite creating heavy
pollution in the region.
Theme of utility: gain the ultimate satisfaction/greatness for all. The idea of utility
ultimately takes priority over environmental concerns. If we can get something
out of mining and polluting the environment, we tend to classify it as a justified
reason to continue.
Accommodating environmental concerns
Factoring in the environmental aspects of conducting business. Considering the
environment when producing goods/services that are eventually turned into profit.
Using a method that supports sustainable development. Companies take more of a
pragmatic approach when dealing with environmental concerns around business
development.
This approach does not suggest that companies completely alter their original
business plans, but rather only consider the environment.
Environmental Business
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