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Topic: Industry is Not the Enemy

Dear Dr. Parrish,

I would like to thank you for your defense of industry, (GSA Today, v. 19, no. 6, p. 11–12), especially big industry, in spite of the fact that I, personally, was never particularly happy working for large companies.

I would like to add to your comments that it takes two to tango. We would not have environmental problems associated with mining and energy production on the scale that we do if the demand were not there, and the demand is us, every single last one of us.

We demand low-cost goods and low-cost energy, and we happily buy ever larger houses and cars and ever more things to go in them. We travel more and more. We also have powerful institutions and incentives to keep the population growing and, hence, increasing demand.

These actions lead inevitably to larger and larger holes in the ground in more and more sensitive places. If we each paid as much attention to reducing our footprint on the planet as many of us do to “saving” this and that aspect of nature, nature could take care of itself and our civilization would last a lot longer. Those who criticize industry’s environmental damage should look in the mirror.

Thank you,
John Berry, John Berry Associates

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