Tangled up in Green Blues

I guess Time Magazine is the gorilla canary in our national coal mine. So they, of course, sit right on the curve and ask the question on this day before election, will green progress be stalled by the bad economy?

Let me be as clear about this is as possible, as clear as we all should be: Yes, if all green progress means is a new investment trend. The trend is over before it started, in effect, if it is one that must wait for proper allocation of capital and can be overtaken by events like a stock market crash or a credit crunch. Green, as it were, can and will be pushed to the backseat.

But because the long term condition underlying these events is the inherently unsustainable path on which they have been built, actions taken in the service of Green – that is, sustainability – must overturn this construct. Underlying factors of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and the resulting resource shortages are not going to be put on hold until we can deal with them. They are the events by which economies and societies are being overtaken. We’re just still choosing to see them through the prism of market factors and predictive indices. Green is a word that’s been made into a label, that some of us may think will, given sufficient time, be able to trickle down to and effect great change in the way we live.

We will have missed a great opportunity to change, not least by shunning the mother of invention, if we continue to think this.