Are ecologists and big capital one and the same?

In France’s Revue des Deux Mondes, Max Falque questions the unnatural coalition between environmental activists and big business that supports environmental regulation. He quotes the analysis of Bruce Yandle in his famous article “On Bootlegers and Baptists”. The American economist drew a parallel with the de facto alliance between criminals and righteous leagues to close businesses on Sundays, as explained by Falque:

The environmentalists play the role of the Baptists who, for moral reasons, support Sunday closing laws. Today, instead of closing liquor stores, these “environmental Baptists” want to ban carbon emissions. […] With specific government subsidies to companies for clean technology development and a seat at the regulators’ table, the “environmental smugglers” are acting like the bootleggers of yesteryear.

Faced with this distressing picture of green collusion capitalism, the task is immense:

To face this new deadly religion, intellectual and political mobilization is the best, if not the only, insurance. What remains to be imagined is a new environmental policy that is realistic, effective, independent of big business and the extremism of media and ecologists. Vast programme. Denouncing the system is no guarantee of reform, but it is nevertheless legitimate to ask who benefits from certain environmental regulations. […] What will be their real impact or their possible perverse effects on the protection and management of environmental resources?

Max Falque, Revue des Deux Mondes, « Écolos, grand capital… même combat ? », February 2020 [single article, full issue].