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Want to Save the Planet? Hope for a Prolonged Financial Crisis



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Wall Street is in chaos, and the U.S. economy may be entering a prolonged recession that could drag down the rest of the world with it. So why isn’t everyone celebrating?

 

Finally, the slow growth our green gurus have been demanding for decades is at our doorstep.

Writing in 1976, iconic climatologist Stephen Schneider pleaded for “today’s governmental leaders (to) pursue policies that enhance the stability of the future, recognizing that this may be accomplished only by an immediate economic sacrifice (my emphasis) that is politically risky.”

 

In the late 1980s, Amory and L. Hunter Lovins wrote that it is necessary to sacrifice wealth so as “to win an even richer prize – minimizing unexpected and disastrous consequences that can arise when the causal structure of a real system turns out to be quantitatively different than expected.”

 

In 1992’s Earth in the Balance, the Goracle himself decried the “insatiable consumption, its dogma, and the mechanisms by which ever more resources are obtained. The new ideology of consumption collapses individuals into the desire for what they consume, even as it fosters the assumption that we are separate from the earth. It is this strange and destructive way of thinking about our relationship to the physical world that is our real enemy.”

 

Now Thomas Friedman, in his new bestseller Hot, Flat, and Crowded, hopes that China will “slow down growth in the name of cleaning up the economy.”

 

At last – thanks to the mortgage meltdown – America’s malaise will break the world’s growth addiction so that we can take on what Barack Obama calls “the defining moment for our nation”: Global warming.

Feel better now?



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