The Open Secret of the Dirty Economy

Author: Gladwyn d'Souza | Category: Business & Economy | Environment & Nature | Date: 02-21-2020

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What is the opposite of the Green New Deal? The dirty polluting economy we take for granted-

It’s impossible to renounce the fossil fuel world. The road we travel on, the vegetables delivered on that road, the equipment used to farm the vegetables and transport the workers, the light switch we flip to flood our rooms with light, the plate we eat on, the shoes and clothes we wear- all belong to the fossil fuel economy. Last week I went to buy a pair of shoes. There were no all leather shoes at the store anymore- though they too would have been transported to the store with fossil fuels. Instead fossil fuels had penetrated the shoes themselves with man made soles, liners and tops. There were more faux leather shoes for sale that mixed leather with man made components. It’s almost impossible to find all cotton clothes as fossil fuel based nylons and stretch materials make up a some or all the components of what we wear today.

The goods and services of the “general economy” are the dirty polluting economy that creates and maintains climate change. It’s effect is directly measured in the Keeling Curve which is currently around 415 ppm of CO2. The Keeling curve naturally is reflect by the stock market! This is because the general economy is the extractive economy of fossil fuels though oddly we cherish the former and deplore the latter. The better we do in the economy the larger our carbon footprint. It takes money to buy and burn fossil fuels after all. Naturally our per capita income and green house gas footprints are among the largest in the world.

The worst aspects of the fossil fuels economy such as flying and eating meat require tremendous infrastructure and government bureaucracies to maintain. Take the expansion of the airport in San Jose for example. The Environmental Impact Report admits it will make a joke of the San Jose Climate Action Plan but explains that there are NO alternatives to the emissions growth that the expansion represents. Among environmentalist that eat red meat the option is to go for grass fed beef. But 90% of American grass fed beef is imported from countries where tribes are being exterminated so that their rain forests can be torched to grow beef.

These bureaucracies are maintained by our taxes and drive the bond market. Most cities do not have  a sustainability coordinator.  The next time you go to your city to beg for a sustainability coordinator just put that request in perspective. The persons you are talking to are responsible for the emissions that are toasting the planet. They are searching within the dirty polluting budget for scraps of money to begin addressing the problem. Without a restructuring of how public money is spent by a Green New Deal we have the dirty polluting economy of fossil fuels. And the next time someone brags about the environmental stewardship of some department just point them to the unrelenting rise in the Keeling Curve. 

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Comment:

Leo Lin April 4, 2020 12:29 pm
I feel like people should give up their comfort in exchange for a better world because if they do not , it can bring shame upon their family and generally cause people to distrust them. Also, they should invest in some green energy fuel such as solar or a electric cars to not only make the models ... Read more cheaper, but more affordable to everyone not just the rich. If we continue on to use fossil fuel, the world may turn into a nightmarish landscape along with the extinction of many species Less
Rishab Gupta March 9, 2020 2:47 am
As climate change continues to get worse, examining problems like transportation of goods is essential to slowing down the problem. I think it is crazy how practically everything we do, have, and need requires some sort of fossil fuels. The food on your table requires fossil fuels, the clothes you ... Read more are wearing requires fossil fuels, getting to school/work every day requires fossil fuels. I think we take small things like this for granted and don't look to the bigger picture of what is happening to our earth. I feel that there is still hope in reversing the effects of climate change, but change needs to be made quickly and widespread adoption of solutions to the problem is essential. Less
Kylee Kim March 8, 2020 2:04 am
As the amount of carbon dioxide concentration increases, we have to ask ourselves how we can prevent the world from being destroyed by the burning of fossil fuels. Even though it is essential to our economy and our lifestyle, this has to be overlooked soon, otherwise, the burning of these resources ... Read more will directly affect the climate and our ability to live on this planet. Less
Ryan Yang March 1, 2020 5:47 am
It is quite unfortunate that the methods that humans rely on to improve the economy are the factors contributing to climate change. We have grown so used to relying on such methods, and because we naturally prefer to live in comfort and ease, we refuse to give these methods up for the sake of ... Read more reducing changing weather patterns. It is important that the global community unites to pursue new ways of improving the economy before climate change becomes unsolvable. Less
Victor Wan February 27, 2020 10:08 am
As the growing world population becomes more and more dependent on various common items, the costs of transportation, shipment, and production of these items have really lowered the overall sustainability of the world and increased the use of fossil fuels which contribute to air pollution. I think ... Read more the world should come together and improvise methods of slowing down climate change Less
Jake Kim February 26, 2020 9:14 am
I think it's pretty absurd how many of the people who have the ability to make a change don't actually take action. While I can't tell them not to care about money, it would just be logical to prioritize health and life over monetary pleasure. With the current mindset that the ... Read more influential people have, the world is probably going to eat itself away with climate change Less