A corporate perspective on global warming and pollution

December 16, 2014 by Joshua
in Nature

I hear people consistently say that if the climate warms the market will correct it. I think they mean that they expect new technologies will help solve the problem and that market forces will lead costs of pollution to drop and so sustainable energy sources will become more affordable.

In a corporate context, “correction” almost always means that some companies or divisions will lose many and some may go bankrupt, but the lean will survive.

I hope the rest doesn’t sound too down. I’m just following a concept I hear a lot. I don’t think people understand what they’re saying when they say it.

I don’t know if people realize that when you talk about the population, the equivalent of a correction would be a population decreasing. If you plan for such a “correction” you could achieve a population decrease by lowering the birth rate. But most economists and business people consider growth essential for the economy, including population growth, so nobody wants to plan the population decreasing, so any correction they envision seems like it would require the birth rate not decreasing.

Maybe the population will level off or decrease on its own. The rate of increase is decreasing, but the population is still increasing, and nothing I’ve heard suggests the rate of leveling correlates with the maximum the planet can sustain comfortably. It happens to be leveling off, but it can still overshoot some limit of sustainability. I don’t know if everybody realizes a market solution to global warming, pollution, and other environmental degradation could involve a lot people dying.

Read my weekly newsletter

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

2 responses on “A corporate perspective on global warming and pollution

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter