After being accused of lying in the 1980 comedy classic the Blues Brothers, Elwood Blues tells his brother Jake that it “Wasn’t lies, it was just… bullsh*t”. Fast forward 25 years and what was a funny, slightly crass (and somewhat dubious) distinction, took on an altogether more profound meaning when Princeton University Philosopher Harry Frankfurt released his 2005 book On Bullsh*t.
Frankfurt argued that “bullsh*t is speech intended to persuade without regard for truth”.
“While a liar cares about the truth and attempts to hide it; the bullsh*tter doesn’t care if what they say is true or false, but rather only cares whether their listener is persuaded.”
Elwood Blues was more right than he knew.
In matters of sustainability, greenwash is a form of bullsh*t. At its most sinister, it is trying to persuade with green tokenism from a fundamentally unsustainable core, but mostly it is less conscious with elements of truth intertwined. As the gr…