Continuing on from my last post, The Consumption Engineer, I now have an ethical question in my mind.
On the one hand, I believe it is wrong to manipulate people in any way, and that we should always have freedom of choice.
But on the other hand… Maybe Public Relations (PR) can do for sustainability what it at first did for consumerism? Maybe there are lessons to be learned here about how to mobilize public opinion and create real change. Maybe all environmentalism needs to be adopted by the majority is a sexy make-over and some good PR? I’m really not joking. I think it could be done. Obviously one or two pretty posters wouldn’t cut it, but with a full-blown effort I think skilled PR could promote what one of my lecturers calls ‘The New Environmental Paradigm’.
But is this just as bad as what Edward Bernays did?
I personally don’t think so, but perhaps that’s just because environmentalism is my personal mindset. Of course I like it. But is this taking away people’s free choice?
Contrarily, should people have free choice to trash the planet? Isn’t that taking away the choice from future generations, not to mention all other species?
There are a lot of questions flying around my mind on this subject. If you have any thoughts on the matter please share below..