Over the past few weeks we have seen communities increasingly turn away from unchecked development and new electricity access, especially from coal burning plants, in the name of preserving clean air and water supplies. Even if it means that short-term economic gain may be traded for a greater quality of life.
For example in two of the reddest of Red States, Alabama and Idaho, we have a number of stories citing how local citizenry are questioning and rejecting new coal burning electricity sources in the name of clean-air and water. Two pieces from the Birmingham News note how high rates of particulate amounts of pollutants in air discourage outside businesses from relocating and increasing investment. For example, where it reports: “According to Randall Johnson, director of the Alabama Surface Mining Commission, both conflicts result from a collision of trends.” These reports stand in contrast to the late 20th century argument that environmental protection impedes business activity and economic opportunity – as John Archibald points to in his column in the Birmingham News.
The New York Times covers Idahoan rejection of greater abundance of electricity, and curiously how such abundances have brought price increases.
One trend that emerges to my mind is that people across the socio-economic spectrum are settling on a common notion: a willingness to accept less extravagant (or perhaps simply more judicious) living in terms of gadgets and electricity, in order to maintain their environs and sustain the eco -systems and -nomies they inherited.
From the Fund-Balance perspective the above calls up three important points:
We must move to encourage new energy sources with fiscal and monetary policy as a nation, not as a discrete set of political parties and factions
New industrial and intellectual capital formation is demanded to power the United States.
And lastly, there is no green-magic bullet, some degree of re-alignment of lifeways in our always on society is required.