David Stiller in his book Wounding the West: Montana, Mining and the Environment: "American businesses exist to make money for their owners; it is the modus operandi of American capitalism. A corollary to the money-making process is not spending it needlessly... Successful businesses differentiate between those expenses necessary to stay in business and those more pensively characterized as 'moral obligations.' Difficulties or reluctance to understand and accept this distinction underscores much of the tension between advocates of broadly mandated environmental programs and the business community."
Stiller was quoted in Jared Diamond's Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed.
Jared Diamond is trying to get the world to see that it really isn't about moral obligations or money making but long term survival.
New Orleanians get it. Now.
This is why the fight to repair the damage to our coast is so critical. It is about long term survival. This is why our mayor calls New Orleans the canary in the coal mine. In 2005 the whole world saw just how threatened the canary could be. This is why our mayor should begin to use the term I have used for New Orleans since Katrina: "America's Petri Dish". Petri Dishes are used in biology/medicine/science to selectively study issues or problems and to selectively grow potential solutions.