“(The) ‘elephant in the room’ is the public’s increasing mistrust in society’s public and private sector institutions. Without trust there is disengagement and cynicism. People opting out with an ‘all is lost’ attitude. Contrary to current myths, the public ‘gets’ sustainability, but is fearful. [They] don’t trust those in power to do the right thing; don’t believe they can make a difference.”
I don't think this lack of trust is accidental. While not a conspiracy theorist by nature, it's clear that mistrust is a valuable commodity to certain players in the business world. Mistrust begets policy paralysis, which destroy's government's ability to implement regulations, which leaves the corporate community free to do whatever its invisible hand fancies.