And in breaking news, I’m starting to wonder about the
distinction between ‘the economy’ and ‘the environment.’
As acting Director of Information Resources and Lists of
Stuff at Thumbcorp, I find myself more and more
inclined to file all matters relating to both topics under
the one heading—Economy. Ever since it came into
vogue in the 1970s the use of the word ‘environment’ has
irritated me; like many words with a once-specific and
limited meaning it has come to cover a multitude of sins.
The worst consequence of using it is the mental
compartmentalization thereby abetted, especially in the
minds of people who wish to maintain and indeed glorify
the capitalist status quo. So long as ‘the environment’ can
be contained as something discrete and negotiable, like
the balance of payments or a departmental budget, it
cannot disturb orthodox thinking; nature may be red in
tooth and claw but, this way, it’s declawed.
In fact, the economy is the environment is the economy.
I may have said this before. Whenever you see the word
‘environmental’ try replacing it with ‘economic’ and see
what happens. You might be surprised how little difference
there is between the two. For instance, the New Zealand
Herald’s editorial of 3 September on the emissions trading
scheme concludes: ‘New Zealand should be in the vanguard
of environmental improvement.’ See what I mean?