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The Environmental Capitalist by Carl Hall

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CHAPTER 3.

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In 17th-century naval battles it was the custom to aim cannon fire at an opponent’s mast to try and disable it. If all of a ship’s masts were broken, the captain usually had no alternative but to surrender. But if the captain decided to fight on, this was marked by hoisting the ship’s flag – or colours – on the remnants of the ship’s rigging, otherwise known as nailing your colours to the mast. Today, this phrase has come to mean stating outright what you think and believe and damning the consequences. It does not happen enough.

So let me nail my colours to the mast. Environmental and resource issues are the greatest challenge of our ...

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