A new article in The Nation says much the same thing that Lester Brown did to elephant, recently—that in order to keep the world running properly, we’ll actually have to invest in sustainable, renewable energy—making it the bargain of a century in 2008.
Excerpt: “There’s always a bull market somewhere,” goes the old Wall Street saw, and it’s a principle that Washington needs to keep firmly in mind as it contemplates its trillion-dollar financial bailout. Today, that bull market is in green investing, which includes everything from wind and solar power to forest conservation.
Since 2001, the wind industry has grown 339 percent; the solar industry has grown a whopping 579 percent; both are projected to continue their blockbuster double-digit annual growth into the foreseeable future. In contrast, the Dow Jones average has climbed just 2 percent during the same period, and is only barely hanging on at those levels because of the artificial boost produced by talk of the bailout.
Instead of shoveling good money after bad, Congress should put its money into developing this booming green economy even further.
Truly green companies aren’t just providing returns to investors. They’re also an employment engine that is offsetting the job losses related to the high price of oil and the housing collapse. Tens of thousands of people are today employed making wind turbines, installing solar panels and making American cars more efficient. But those jobs could be only a very small beginning compared to what is possible.
A recent report report by the Center for American Progress estimates that investing just $100 billion in the green economy (one-seventh the amount contemplated in the administration’s proposed Wall Street bailout) would create 2 million new jobs, with a significant percentage of those coming in the struggling manufacturing and construction sectors. In contrast, investing that much money in the financial services sector would generate just 1.1...for more.