Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Pro-Growth Environmentalist

The anti-capitalism overtones to much of the environmental movement have turned me off for a number of years. As an advocate for free markets, economic growth, and technology, I thoroughly enjoyed this Wired article on the "next green revolution". I definitely believe that if we are to achieve any of our environmental goals, we need to start to embrace markets and businesses, allowing for the kind of innovation that has fueled a few hundred years of unprecedented economic growth in the western world. Some key sentences:

With climate change hard upon us, a new green movement is taking shape, one that embraces environmentalism's concerns but rejects its worn-out answers. Technology can be a font of endlessly creative solutions. Business can be a vehicle for change. Prosperity can help us build the kind of world we want. Scientific exploration, innovative design, and cultural evolution are the most powerful tools we have. Entrepreneurial zeal and market forces, guided by sustainable policies, can propel the world into a bright green future.

Americans trash the planet not because we're evil, but because the industrial systems we've devised leave no other choice. Our ranch houses and high-rises, factories and farms, freeways and power plants were conceived before we had a clue how the planet works. They're primitive inventions designed by people who didn't fully grasp the consequences of their actions.

And now that we've getting some of these things figured out, we can use our technology to lessen our impact on the planet and create a more sustainable world, without having to give up the standard of living that we know and love.

Definitely read the whole thing.


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