Now we’ve all heard the oil industry and the coal industry and their indentured servants in the political process telling us that global climate stability is a luxury that we can’t afford. That we have to choose now between economic prosperity on the one hand and environmental protection on the other. And that is a false choice.
In 100% of the situations, good environmental policy is identical to good economic policy – if we want to measure our economy, and this is how we ought to be measuring it, based upon how it produces jobs and the dignity of jobs over the generations, how it preserves the values of the assets of our community and how it averts the catastrophe of global warming.
If, on the other hand, we want to do what they’ve been urging us to do on Capitol Hill which is to treat the planet as if it were a business in liquidation, convert our natural resources to cash as quickly as possible, have a few years of pollution based prosperity, we can generate an instantaneous cash flow and the illusion of a prosperous economy. But our children are going to pay for our joyride with denuded landscapes, with poor health, with huge cleanup costs and with climate chaos which is going to amplify over time and that they will never be able to pay.