11 October 2006

I listened to the CEO of my company expound his synoptic vision for the next 20 years. It was quite impressive, really, though I could not help but wonder whether he had really thought out his plan. Is it right that total recycling be a value? A goal toward which we ought to strive? It is not so clear.

The problem is not that reusing old materials is a bad idea. It is not. It is, rather, that it locates the good in the wrong spot. Impacting the environment as little as possible is what we want. We do not want to extract more energy than we need. But recycling is notorious for paradoxically requiring vast amounts amount of energy. And no one wants that.

The answer is not, then, running a company whose recycle rates are through the roof. The answer is trying not to generate garments that we do not really require. But you cannot say that. You are the CEO. And we all know the real goal: $$.