Optimistic Take on Economics and Climate Change

We’ve just seen the first big win in the fight to stabilise the world’s climate

Green Futures has an interview with Lester Brown and Brown has a neat take on the current state of the human relationship with how we use the environment.

Sound business sense, says Brown. “Unlike the Texan oil fields, there’s no way they’re going to deplete the wind! So when you build the infrastructure – the wind farms, the transmission lines and so on – you’re basically there for the long haul. Sure you’ll have to replace parts from time to time, but once it’s there, it can last as long as the Earth itself.”

And once you make that decisive shift to renewables, he adds, you start benefiting from all kinds of positive feedback loops. “For example, in the US, we use [a huge amount of] freight fuel to transport coal. If you phase out coal, you have a dramatic drop in diesel fuel use, and an associated fall in carbon emissions. It’s the same with water. If you have wind farms in place of thermal power plants (whether coal, gas or nuclear), water demand drops precipitously.”

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