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Now I’m really scared…Financial meltdown foreshadows sustainability crisis

September 20, 2008

I’d been a disappointed proponent of allowing capital markets to place a value on sustainability.  I naively believed that anticipation of rising energy costs and emissions controls would drive investment in alternatives.

Today, it’s obvious that our market system is so greed driven that it can’t plan a quarter ahead let alone build something with returns over several years.  To compond problems, our government is handing out “get of out jail free” cards to Wall Street that further absolve of fatal lacks of strategic sustainable  thinking.

I mostly agree with the Government’s actions but think that we’re entering a era of required external oversight to ensure sustainable business practices. 

If you carry this thinking just a little farther, it’s obvious that the markets are never going to be able to foster sustainable technologies and practices without similar external (governmental) pressure.  I still think that economic incentives are the right approach for changing individual behavior, but short-term profit and entrenched interestes (oil & gas, etc) create too much pressure for the market figure this out alone.

While I would like to see less government involvement, we have to demand legislation that creates “artificial” incentives for sustainablity (alternative energy, recycling, and conservation).   This is our wake up call: the mortgage meltdown is a paper loss because the homes still exist – sustainablity is about real assets being lost forever.

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One comment

  1. […] position.  Unfortunately the news was completely eclipsed by the Wall Street meltdown (see my post: Now I’m really scared…Financial meltdown foreshadows sustainability crisis).  (more images >> Jalopnik)The Volt’s got the right design components to be a […]



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