Friday, November 30, 2007

Hot stocks

Investments in green technology are increasing. Seems like good news - a sign that our markets are responding to $3/gallon gasoline and the warnings of the Nobel-prizewinning IPCC. But what are we to make of the fact that investments in security and weapons industries are also increasing, and at a much faster rate? Naomi Klein has an idea in an essay in today's Guardian:
"There are two distinct business models that can respond to our climate and energy crisis. We can develop policies and technologies to get us off this disastrous course. Or we can develop policies and technologies to protect us from those we have enraged through resource wars and displaced through climate change, while simultaneously shielding ourselves from the worst of both war and weather."
And so, professional money-movers like Douglas Lloyd of Venture Business Research "see this [defense and weapons industries] as a more attractive sector, as many do, than clean energy."

For all of our reverence for the free market and its "invisible hand", people often forget that these markets are man-made, and they function according to rules we make. Just as the market needed new rules and frameworks to respond to huge monopolies at the turn of the last century, the market needs new frameworks (like a global commodity price on carbon emissions) to respond to the global climate crisis now.

If we can't accomplish that, we might as well follow the venture capitalists' example and trade our rooftop solar panels for rooftop artillery batteries.

2 comments:

pjfinn said...

Yeah, trusting our fate to the 'free-market' always seems to work out well doesn't it? Great work on the green home photo.

Brown said...

Just FYI, Paul Krugman's column in today's NYT is about precisely just how poorly we've constructed those markets over the last 2 decades, and just what that means for those who hope to exploit (or survive) them.