Monday, October 27, 2008

Economy + Environment: This decade's environmental fad may be more than just that.


Money tree
Originally uploaded by neil-san
The other day I had a chance encounter with Mr. Bob Cordoza at school. Every chance I get I pick his brain because I never fail to realize something from what he says. Mr. Cordoza is one of the senior principals of Nuvis, he is an ASLA Fellow and I interned with his company two summers ago.

I asked him his thoughts on the economy and asked his advice about my graduate school options. Now we all know that environmentalism is a major trend right now. But, in previous environmentalism fads the "green" movement did not last. Such as in the 60's when it exploded on the scene, the environmentalist movement quickly died down afterwards. While there were still many people lingering around, it was by far a lessened movement. Then there was the hole in the ozone layer that was discovered in 1985 and the movement that followed in the late 80's and early 90's. The reason that didn't last is because everyone thought we fixed the problem, and so "out of sight, out of mind."

This time it is different it's hitting our wallet. While the BIG fad is global warming, there is much more to it this time around. What Mr. Cordoza made clear to me, though the reason was staring me in the face, was that the big difference is that previous trends had little or nothing to do with economic factors. This time the economy is so closely tied with the environment that the "green" push may actually stick around.

Peak oil is effecting nearly everything not just your car and big house like in the movie End of Suburbia. All plastics are made from oil and plastics are in just about EVERY product you own, Fuel and most of the world's energy is from oil, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are from oil. It's not just oil, We are running out of Landfills to throw our trash in, so hauling trash is getting more expensive. Farmers that practice contemporary methods are beginning to feel the pinch of their invasive methods, sterilized soils where nothing grows unless tons of chemicals are pumped into the ground, Monsanto and their legal "ownership of life" as mentioned in The World According to Monsanto

I don't see this environmentalist trend dying down any time soon. Its economic ties are too strong. It will soon force people to practice sustainable methods in their everyday life. I won't be surprised to see more solar panels on homes just for the purpose of saving money. We're already seeing it with people driving more fuel efficient cars. It may take longer for there to be a cost benefit in buying organic food, but food is already becoming more expensive in the regular market, a few things are already cheaper at whole foods and trader joe's.

3 comments:

Mona Hsieh said...

please don't mind what my friend said. he's a bit straight forward but means no harm. by the way, stop writing things that are too difficult for my simple little brain to understand. =P

Mona Hsieh said...

by the way, when are you coming to get your cookie?

Anduhrew said...

right now