The Economics of Green

The Economics of Green
by Michael Szul on 2008-04-23 10:31:15
tags: earth day, ecology

Since yesterday was Earth Day, I wanted to bring up a few points about ecology and the “green” movement for people to ponder.

First, as I pointed out in a previous article on the The Morality of Ecology, Aldo Leopold stated in his essay entitled “Round River”:

As for diversity, what remains of our native flora and fauna remains only because agriculture has not got around to destroying it. The present ideal of agriculture is clean farming; clean farming means a food chain aimed solely at economic profit and purged of all non-conforming links. (p. 199).

Our current ecological thought is still too piecemeal and mechanistic. As a result, our “views of nature are resulting in us tampering with the natural ecosystem in an attempt to fatten wallets and make life better for humanity. In the process, we are stream lining diversity to make it more economically friendly rather than ecologically.”

I made the above statement in the aforementioned article. Aldo Leopold viewed the agricultural movement at the time as not necessarily being environmentally friendly, as much as it was being economically friendly; and, I fear, that with the current “green” movement we're doing much the same. We aren't necessarily doing things for the Earth's sake. We're doing them because being “green” is a catchy new hip thing to do - so people are running out and buying green products that cost twice as much as normal products, and are still being ignorant towards a more ecological friendly lifestyle. Meanwhile, supposed “green” companies, or companies touting “green” products are simply trying to capitalize on a fad to take advantage of the market and fatten their profits. They're starting to realize that people will pay more to be “green,” and they're exploiting this.

So in honor of yesterday's celebration of Earth Day, take a look at what you're doing to truly be green, and not necessarily what you're buying.