Why Don’t We Take the Green Economy Seriously?

I tend to appreciate Thomas Friedman’s take on things. I especially appreciate this recent article about the state of our green economy in the NY Times. Here’s an excerpt from the bottom of the article:

“O.K., so you don’t believe global warming is real. I do, but let’s assume it’s not. Here is what is indisputable: The world is on track to add another 2.5 billion people by 2050, and many will be aspiring to live American-like, high-energy lifestyles. In such a world, renewable energy — where the variable cost of your fuel, sun or wind, is zero — will be in huge demand.

China now understands that. It no longer believes it can pollute its way to prosperity because it would choke to death. That is the most important shift in the world in the last 18 months. China has decided that clean-tech is going to be the next great global industry and is now creating a massive domestic market for solar and wind, which will give it a great export platform.”

I try not to be frustrated by the fact that America is so behind in seeing the future of green industries. But it’s incredibly frustrating. Not only is it an ethically good choice (seriously- who can have disdain for supporting renewable energy?!) but it’s also the kind of sizeable untapped market that should make even the most die-hard capitalist drool. Instead, we have a nation filled with creative entrepreneurs like Applied Materials who have to move their brilliant new products (not to mention their factories) to other countries because we are not interested.

What in the world are we waiting for?

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