- Greg Worden
- Camden, ME
- United States
Entrepreneur and Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Business, Worden Associates
Are environmentalists bad for sustainability? How can we collectively create a vision for the future?
In their book, Breakthrough, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger argue that the language of environmentalism is inherently negative. We have to stop doing what we're doing, use less, do without, don't. For instance, we have to stop driving big comfortable, capable SUVs in favor of Priuses. Or we have to stop building on that land and conserve instead.
Clearly environmentalism has been important for the world. Did we really want to see Cleveland's rivers burn? It used to be said in Maine that we could tell which kind of paper was being made that day by the color of the river. The pollutants were dumped directly into the rivers that ran directly into the prime salmon fisheries of the East Coast. Now, those fisheries are gone.
But Nordhaus and Shellenberger go on to say that perhaps that negativism has run its course. Now, we need a collective, positivist vision of the future. What can we accomplish when we combine environmentalism, science, technology, and business together? What does that future look like? Is it Star Trek where we have incredible new technologies such as nuclear fusion (check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmIHD6P3rdo) and therefore protect the Earth and each other? Or is it simply doing less with less and going backward to an agrarian lifestyle?
What do you think? Are environmentalists bad for a future vision of sustainability?
How can we collectively create a future vision?