Thursday, February 16, 2012

Seeking Sustainable Capitalism (#capitalism #sustainability)

I've never been a big fan of Al Gore, and I don't know whether his specific attempts to change policy will be effective.  At the least, however, I like that he's pushing the conversation about positive ways to make capitalism a sustainable system.

To state the obvious, making capitalism sustainable is not likely to be popular among wealthy people who remain wealthy through unsustainable business practices.  But the fact is that in order for positive change to really occur, it has to be pushed by the wealthy and politically powerful, and those who exploit unsustainable practices will eventually either have to be turned, perhaps via compassion for future generations, or politically defeated.

The following article, in addition to its brief, vague description of what Gore and investment fund manager David Blood are trying to accomplish, mentions how sustainability in business became an unpopular political priority (except perhaps among the Occupy movement) after the financial collapse of 2008.  I've found myself lamenting this very fact multiple times over the last 3.5 years, wondering how it could again become possible to push for sustainability in capitalism during what's likely to be a long economic downturn, considering that any idea people may construe as a potential hindrance to economic growth is destined for failure during these difficult times.  The fact remains, from an environmental perspective at the least, we do things everyday that hurt our planet while existing, sustainable technologies are overpriced and underused.  Perhaps what Gore and Blood are doing now will lead to positive change as the economy (hopefully) improves.

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