As if Walmart wasn’t hated enough, now an endangered forest in Florida is facing demolition so that not only a Walmart can be built, but also a Chik-fil-A, an LA Fitness center, a Chili’s and around 900 apartments.
Because as we all know, greed is all that really matters to most of these companies.
“About 88 acres of rockland, a globally imperiled habitat containing a menagerie of plants, animals and insects found no place else, was sold this month by the University of Miami to a Palm Beach County developer. To secure permission for the 158,000-square-foot box store, plus an LA Fitness center, Chik-fil-A and Chili’s restaurants and about 900 apartments, the university and the developer, Ram, agreed to set aside 40 acres for a preserve.”
It’s just… sad.
But this is the world we continue to create as we allow greed to become the only thing that matters. A world where “because I can make money” matters more than doing what’s right.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge businesses for making money. But businesses can make money while still acting ethically. Though “ethical business practices” don’t really seem to exist for many companies anymore.
For a company like Walmart, all that matters is money. Sure, they donate millions every year. But the main reason they do that is for public relations and tax write-offs. They comply by certain health and safety standards. Because if they didn’t, they’d face massive fines for breaking the law.
I honestly believe companies like Walmart (and I’ve actually worked for the company) would get away with practically anything they possibly could as long as it benefitted their profits and they wouldn’t get in trouble for doing it.
In my 3+ years working for the company I rarely saw anything passed down from Home Office that showed a real appreciation for employees. Sure, they did little hollow gestures to act as if they cared, you know – for moral purposes. But they were so cheap and generic it was obvious these gestures were meant to seem like they cared, when they obviously didn’t.
I remember during a week where they announced massive cuts to hourly employees (people went from 30-35 hours per week to 8-12) they did an “employee lunch.” Because nothing says “we care” quite like slashing a person’s income by more than half but being “so kind” as to feed them one afternoon with cheap nachos and hotdogs.
Though these corporations aren’t the only ones to blame. The University of Miami should be ashamed of themselves as well for selling this plot of land. Especially to a company they knew would destroy it.
And while some might dismiss this as just “a bunch of trees, fungus and bugs,” by doing so they would only be showing their ignorance as to how our environment works. Every eco-system has its purpose. The more we destroy, the more irreparable damage we do, the more of this planet we’ll never be able to get back.
But maybe these companies are just getting while the getting’s good. Because if Republicans continue to have their way, and we don’t do something fairly quickly to combat climate change, in the fairly near future much of Florida’s going to be under water anyway.
Though I get the feeling when that starts happening, and their profits start getting impacted by climate change, then many of these companies will start caring a heck of a lot more about taking care of our environment.
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