Joined: Feb. 2008
|Quote (Falk Macara @ April 24 2008,19:29)|
|The generation of massive financial profits at the expense of the environment, the very systems we require for our ongoing existance, is not driven by evil companes, evil CEO's or evil board members. It's driven by the people who consume -- and demand to consume more of -- the output of these firms, and hang the costs of the externalities generated.|
This is absolutely true. However it doesn't mean nothing can be done. We cannot escape some impact at this point, but we can potentially affect how severe it is.
People cried bloody murder about limiting CFCs (unsurprisingly, many of the same people now say it's to expensive to do anything about AGW) but we did, and we are almost certainly better off for it, despite the costs. The cost of having no ozone layer would ultimately have been much greater.
This brings me to my big beef with the "all regulation is bad, let the market handle it" crowd (which overlaps very strongly with GW denial and it's lesser forms of "oh it's too expensive to do anything" and "oh maybe GW is a good thing".) Markets are inherently short sighted in this kind of situation. If you can make a product for $1 by polluting a lot, or $2 without polluting much, someone is going to go for the $1 method. Even if others want to do it clean (and there's plenty of decent, honest people in industry) they will have trouble competing. Never mind that it will eventually cost society as a whole $3 per item to clean up the resulting mess.