2007 According to Michael Graham Richard: Here's a Plan
This is the last post of the 2007 series. Thank you for reading. The other posts in this series can be found here. The first one with an explanation of what this is about is here.
Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada
I think that 2007 needs to be the year when the pace of the transition to a green future accelerates. We need something to super-charge the process, just like the Internet revolution came much faster because of all the over-investments in fiber-optics and infrastructure caused by the dot-com bubble. I sincerely wish that the catalyst would be a positive event, but there are also chances that it could be something catastrophic like a super-Katrina or a new alarming scientific discovery. Lets not wait for a cataclysm and start now. The good thing is that we have all the technologies and tools, and many things that would assuredly quicken the pace of change are also known:
Correct distortions in the market -- Remove subsidies to fossil fuels, take into account that ecosystems are very valuable on many levels (including economic) even when untouched by humans, and start adding environmental costs to the price of many things (f.ex. coal, suburbs) instead of "externalizing" them and have society as a whole and future generations pick up the bill.
Green fiscal reform -- Move taxes from "goods" (payroll, revenue, investments) to "bads" (pollution, toxins, greenhouse gases). This can be done in a revenue neutral way so that taxes are not higher. It would finally align what is beneficial environmentally with what is beneficial financially.
Green Earth Project -- Create something like the Apollo or Manhattan project for clean technologies. This would cost less than a mid-sized war and change the course of the future in a positive way.
But all of these can only happen with support from the general population: Politicians won't move without it, and corporations won't either. That's why it's so important to make sustainability mainstream and reach that tipping point. That's what we're trying to do at TreeHugger.com, and everybody's invited to join us in this world-changing task. May 2007 be the year. Spread the word!
The above was first published on WorldChanging
A few things I'd like to hear more about in 2007:
We also need a much stronger focus on efficiency in general (with energy and materials). It's not as sexy as other things, but it should be at the top of the priority list. When someone wants to convert their house to solar or wind power, the first thing that they are told is "to make is as efficient as possible first", and that's what we need to do on a global scale. The Rocky Mountain Institute has tons of stuff about efficiency (see this video of Amory Lovins about oil & hypercars).