With the US markets closed today, the financial worlds attention is on the broad sell-off on the Asian and European stock exchanges. With recession fears and worse on the minds of people and policy makers, what will happen to the revived environmental movement as money tightens and investments tank? Here are four broad ways the economic distress could derail global warming initiatives, unless Americans stand strong in their commitment to going green.
1. The Economy Eclipses the Environment in Consumers Share of Mind. Widespread media attention on environmental issues have raised the awareness of climate change in the minds of many consumers. An economic bear market and the media tsunami that would ensue could drive climate change headlines off the front page and spell the end of specials such as CNNs Planet in Peril and NBC/Unis Green is Universal media events.
2. Presidential Politics Turn To Quick Economic Fixes Versus Long Term Green Investments. Mitt Romneys win over John McCain in the Michigan primary has been linked to the formers trashing of the new CAFE standards and McCains support of them. Politicians and their paid handlers will be sure to take note.
3. Fewer Tax Dollars for Green Technology. States and cities expect far lower tax revenues in recessions. The result is fewer dollars for government-sponsored green tech initiatives.
4. Tapped out consumers revert to pre-green ways.Though going green saves money long term, consumers facing maxxed out credit cards and sinking home values could be tempted to delay buying that new energy efficient appliance, or eating more organic foods or upgrading to a more fuel efficient car.
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