One of the major reasons environmental issues fail to capture the attention of the public is because economic ideology has conditioned people to believe that our environment and economic system are not intrinsically linked. In the world of economic voodoo, infinite material wealth can be created via market capitalism without ever having to worry about running out of resources. Of course this is completely impossible given we live in a finite system that only functions properly when delicately balanced.
Thankfully, study after study now shows that not only is energy conservation and green tech good for the environment, it is actually good for the economy. How good? According to a new report, we could be saving up to $22tn through smart city technology. From the Guardian:
The Global Commission on Economy and Climate, an independent initiative by former finance ministers and leading research institutions from Britain and six other countries, found climate-smart cities would spur economic growth and a better quality of life – at the same time as cutting carbon pollution.
If national governments back those efforts, the savings on transport, buildings, and waste disposal could reach up to $22tn (£14tn) by 2050, the researchers found. By 2030, those efforts would avoid the equivalent of 3.7 gigatonnes a year – more than India’s current greenhouse gas emissions, the report found.
The notion that a profit based economy and environmental sustainability can co-exist is still up for debate, but if we can dramatically cut CO2 emissions while saving an astonishing amount of money, our governments need to make this happen as fast as humanly possible.