Curt Rosengren ~ Passion Catalyst TM
"Love your work. Change your world."
The idea that there is incredible potential behind the green economy of the future is exciting and hopeful. But the question today still remains, how much potential is there? Part of the answer depends on the choices governments make in supporting, for example, alternative energy. Currently in the US, that's been lacking.
Here's a good article on the issue in BusinessaWeek. Referring to a recent study that projected that "the green economy could produce as many as 40 million jobs and $4.53 trillion in annual revenue by 2030," the article suggests...
Despite the undeniable green momentum, a $4 trillion-plus U.S. green economy is far from likely—even in 22 years—because there simply is no "aggressive, sustained" federal policy. The federal government has failed to create and adequately fund the programs that would make the U.S. a world leader. And that's what the government should be trying to do, for reasons that go far beyond rising carbon levels. The U.S. risks falling way behind other countries in the development of green technologies. On its current course, this country could trade oil dependence for reliance on alternative energy products built by other nations already far ahead of it.
It goes on to talk about the positive developments on state and local level, as well as from the private sector. But...
Silicon Valley didn't become a global tech leader thanks to private equity alone. From the funding of the Arpanet, the granddaddy of the Internet, to research and development tax credits, the federal government helped the technology industry grow. The green economy envisioned by the ASES report will never be realized unless the government takes a similar approach. Despite condemning "America's addiction to oil" and promoting the importance of alternative energies in his State of the Union addresses, President Bush has consistently failed to follow through on his promises to fund for alternative energy research. He's generous with the green rhetoric, just not with actual greenbacks.
"Every robust energy technology has existed because of government support and tax subsidies," says Joel Makower, editor of GreenBiz.com. "But there hasn't been the appetite [in Washington] to do that for clean energies."
And if the federal government doesn't get its act together?
It's not over, but the federal government needs to take meaningful action, matching the bottom-up efforts of state and local governments, activists, and venture capitalists. If it doesn't, it won't just mean jobs lost. Even worse, today's dependence on foreign oil will transform into tomorrow's dependence on foreign alternative energy technologies.