Environmental Defense Fund Director´s New Book Argues The Capitalist Green Case

March 13, 2008 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

earthseqkwe.jpgThe director of the Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, and Miriam Horn, a journalist, have just published Earth, The Sequel, a book that´s a tad more optimistic than most environmental publications. The writers argue the case for capitalism as the driving factor that will get us out of the mess we´re in.

The subtitle of Krupp and Horn´s book reads The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming and this isn´t misleading. The authors have a firm belief that a creativity campaign by the government can lead to a shift to cleaner energy. “What we are waiting for is the government to pull the trigger and unleash a cascade of creativity and innovation,” they say.

Krupp has been instrumental in the quite successful acid rain reduction plan (part of the clean air act) in the 1990s. He believes that currently, first-mover advantages are to be had in capping carbon emissions and proposes a legal limit to slash 20% from current emission levels by 2020 and up to 80 percent by 2050.

The first mover advantage is all tied up with developing good technology. Krupp and Horn say that by going first, the US stands a chance to export, rather than import, the cleanest and best technology. “The real question is, do we want to import clean tech from Germany, Japan, and China or export it to the rest of the world?”, Krupp is quoted as saying in an interview with Wired.com. That sounds attractive and it´s possibly one of the more believable claims that science might bail us out; you´d expect business plans to evolve from this.

If you read the daily news articles outlining scientific discoveries you´ll agree that there is no lack of really groundbreaking scientific work. Perhaps Krupp has a point in saying that the leading edge technology will also provide leading edge competitive strength. But would it be naive to think that the greed element won´t take over our battle to cool the real elements?

What is certain is that there are a number of pleasant surprises in the book. One reviewer on Amazon comments; “I follow environmental and energy issues closely, but a lot in here was new to me. I had no idea that solar technology is getting so sophisticated. And people are finding so many ways to make energy — from algae and plants, from wind, from waste. Imagining a world without oil and coal is a lot easier for me after reading this.”

Even if you don´t believe in the free market theories of the writers, the book is going to inform you about things you didn´t know. Issues like those outlined in Krupp´s book are going to be a major part of the public agenda in the next few years no doubt, so to get a close insight into the mind of a man who knows the ropes is valuable.

All of the runners up in the Presidential races have made firm pledges to environmental matters and Americans don´t know any better than to approach the new challenge in ways that won´t be anything other than capitalist anyway.

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Entry filed under: Green Concepts Explained, Green Health, Product Reviews, The Planet's Resources. Tags: , , .

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