On the Need for a 'Unified Theory'
Either side, business or ecologists, should not necessarily presume that to establish the ground rules is to predetermine the outcome. The only thing being suggested is to formally, openly, and explicitly state the rules of the game by which each side would be in agreement with, as well as its principles. Does this sound 'bad'? Consider the alternatives.
Should we let outcome only be determined by the uncertainty of political battles in the Legislature or as a result of the whim of a President or maximum political leader who may or may not have the appropriate sensibility or intelligence? The most superficial consideration of many political bodies in recent history (the United States or Puerto Rico) dictates that this would not be a wise choice. While in some instances fortuna will favor 'our' side (be it 'ecology' or 'business'), in other instances, the outcome might be the opposite, as recent events in Puerto Rico demonstrate. There are wise congresses and political leaders, just as there are unwise congresses and political leaders. The weight of 'ideological' or 'political' biases will randomly tilt the scale to either side. It is certainly the case that we do not want to leave it up to blind fate given that too much is at stake.
Should we let the outcome be determined by individuals acting independently on behalf of their self interest--of individuals who might be completely ignorant of the current environmental issues facing the entire world or the existing environmental state of the nation? Clearly this would be foolish as well, given what has unfortunately happened in Haiti over the last century. The Haitian government, for complex and multiple reasons (civil strife, political instability, corruption, colonialism, what have you) tragically left planning to the hands of each person, resulting in both private and common plots of land becoming barren as the inevitable outcome of uncertain economic battles. The government's implicit laissez-faire 'policies' left a vast desert where immense and majestic forests used to stand. This is certainly not the way to go either.
Should we let the outcome be determined only by capitalist corporations? Certainly, we do not want that also, as these would likely act in much the same manner as Haitian individuals when left to their own devices, as any socialist thinker would point out. The powerful dynamics of capitalism, as they now stand, would ultimately drive human behavior to 'bad' outcomes. This was demonstrated by the progressive movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. Had it not been for Teddy Roosevelt's 'progressive' and 'anti-capitalist' approach to establishing forests, John Muir (Sierra Club founder) would have had little to write about. (This is a cynical mischaracterization on my part. Actually, the two men and Gifford Pinchot closely collaborated in establishing what is now recognized as successful national forest policy, placing severe restrictions on what corporations could or could not do. While this policy worked for the most part, poor administrators have mangled its original intent.)
Whatever way you look at it, it is in the interest of neither side to merely leave these issues to random forces, either those of blind fate, the use of force, or the uncertain outcome of chance in the political process. True planning means that the most solidly scientific theory/schema has to be established that will embody the basic principles agreed to by all sides involved.
If we do not do this now, when there is relative 'calm' and within a reasonable amount of 'pressure' for results--not too much as in Haiti but not too little as in China--it is unlikely that we will not be able to do so in the future. If things are bad now, they can always get much worse later, thereby likely placing in jeopardy any chance of a potentially harmonious outcome.