Cliff Diving

Christopher Hayes

The most compelling person in the documentary The Corporation is Ray C Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Interface Carpet, the single largest carpet manufacturer in the world. After reading Paul Hawken's The Ecology of Commerce he underwent a radical personal conversion and realized that his entire company's methods and processes were completely unsustainable. He has committed to moving Interface to a zero environmental footprint and over the last several years has already succeeded in reducing the company's footprint by 30%. In the film he talks about how industrialized civilization as we know it is like a man in a primitive flying machine who launches himself off a cliff. He thinks that he's flying because he can feel the wind rushing past and the awesome thrill of being airborne, but actually he is plummeting at a terrible speed and will eventually meet his demise. The Earth's resources, says Anderson are the incredibly high cliff from which we've jumped, and though we think we're making progress, but with our thoroughly unsustainable methods that burn through these resources we're really just headed for a massive crash. From today's Times: Global Oil Demand Expected to Exceed Forecasts, Report Says Demand will continue to grow while supply remains essentially constant. There's only so much longer this can continue.

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Christopher Hayes is the host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. He is an editor at large at the Nation and a former senior editor of In These Times.
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