Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tackle Risk Early

If the government had stepped in a bailed out foreclosing homeowners, would we be in the credit crisis we are in now? Nicholas Stern, a former British Treasury economist, notes that "inaction on emissions blamed for global warming could cause economic pain equal to the Great Depression."

We are still in a moment when regulation could curb global warming, but not for long. If we think this credit crisis is bad, global warming could be far more economically, as well as environmentally, devastating. Therefore, regulation of carbon, green building laws, etc. cannot get subsumed in short term "cost saving" measures.

An example of this short sighted behavior is being shown in King County, Washington, where $20/month incentives to county officials who bike or walk to work are being threatened. http://sustainable.bizjournals.com/green/King_County_bike-to-work_subsidy_under_fire.html The total cost for the subsidy--$37,000.

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