2007 According to Nick Aster: Pragmatism


The other posts in this series can be found here. The first one with an explanation of what this is about is here.
Nick Aster, San Francsco, USA

So what does 2007 hold for the environment? Let's be pragmatic - it's going to be a very good year for green building technologies, green home products, as well as renewable energy and massive corporate scale "greening" all of which needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and much of which will be utter greenwash.That's not necessarily a bad thing (as Hunter Lovins says, hypocrisy is the first sign of real change), but we definitely need to stay on our toes lest environmentalism find itself labeled as just another fad that will pass on when people get bored and displeased by obviously fluffy marketing campaigns and let their cynicism get the best of them. It's going to take some effort from those in the know to make sure this doesn't happen.

First, a little cynicism about corporations is healthy. But I hope to see the opening of better dialogs between the public (especially the activist public) and decision makers at the corporate level. Once activists see corporations as made up of human beings who are not so different from themselves, and once corporate leaders see the quest for a healthy environment as a chance to grow and profit, will we start to see real changes in the ways that companies are run and how they arrive at decisions concerning environmental matters. If and when this happens on a meaningful scale, then real progress will have been made - not just in terms of environment, but in terms of corporate ethics in general. It's a real trend that I hope to see ramp up this year.

Second, green building will continue to be all the rage. In particular, large scale corporate offices being designed and redesigned for better efficiency and productivity. Home projects too are likely to remain popular as people seek to rid homes of toxics and general waste, as well as to lower their utility bills with greater efficiency. Still, not a whole lot stands to change in this regard if the cost of green remodeling does not come down.

Third, acceptance of the facts of global warming will finally become more or less universal. What will remain, however, will be disagreements about just how much (if anything) we can and should do to reverse the trends. Hopefully, the shouting from both "sides" of the issue will calm down the "doom and gloom" vs. "head in the sand" debate and turn it into something that actually useful, practical and tangible.

And as for our little website here, I hope to see it grow and become more and more entrenched in the mainstream! Thanks readers and thanks team!

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