Utne Blogs > Environment

Going Green Won’t End the Recession

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Environment, green, technology, economy, Foreign Policy,

People shouldn’t count on the emerging green economy to pull the world out of recession, Matthew E. Kahn writes for Foreign Policy. The recession is about the bursting housing bubbles, overleveraged banking sectors, and other problems that won’t be solved with solar panels. Cap-and-trade systems and renewable energy sources are important for environmental reasons, but Kahn cold throws water on the green technology as economic panacea ideal. “Anti-carbon regulations will simultaneously create and destroy jobs,” Kahn writes, but “a little creative destruction will likely be a good thing.”

dave gardner
4/30/2009 12:09:52 PM

While it may not help sell the world on going green, it is good to see some honest, logical commentary about this whole "green jobs" business. It's just a fact of life that economic growth conflicts with environmental sustainability. Kahn is right - REPLACING polluting jobs with green jobs is an important part of the sustainability equation. Just adding green jobs gives us a false sense of security that we are growing our economy without increasing our footprint. That is just not the case. There are 3 long-term solutions that go hand-in hand (focusing on only one will not do the trick): 1. Get unhooked from our addiction to perpetual economic growth. Slow down, work less, consume less, have more fun. Walk the dog, play with the kids, read a book. 2. Stabilize and eventually reduce our population. 3. Implement conservation and cleaner energy solutions. Dave Gardner Producing the documentary, Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity http://www.growthbusters.com