4 December, 2007
I am not a big Naomi Klein fan as her books are a bit too black and white and polemic to me but she makes a very valid point in a recent article in The Nation. Looking at investment figures in clean energy (4.2 billion dollars in 2007) and “homeland and security” technologies (over 6 billion) , Klein concludes:
“the really big money is turning away from clean energy technologies and banking instead on gadgets promising to seal wealthy countries and individuals into high-tech fortresses“.
Why are venture capitalists putting their money into these defensive technologies? Naomi Klein has the following answer:
“there are two distinct business models that can respond to our climate and energy crisis. We can develop policies and technologies to get us off this disastrous course. Or we can develop policies and technologies to protect us from those we have enraged through resource wars and displaced through climate change, while simultaneously shielding ourselves from the worst of both war and weather“. And, in conclusion:
“Bush wants to leave our climate crisis to the ingenuity of the market. Well, the market has spoken: it will not take us off this disastrous course. In fact, the smart money is betting that we will stay on it. ”
OK, she might be overdoing her argument once more (a lot of the “homeland security” needs are not the result of the energy/climate chaos but of fundamentalist religion wars and the general fear of “the other”) but it cannot be denied that in the climate debate the policies and solutions are shifting from mitigation to adaptation. But, then again, is that necessarily a bad thing? As I have argued in other posts, we might have to make a collective decision either to redistribute what we exploited from the Earth in the first place, or shield our way of life from others. Which path will our societies take? Maybe the market is not so stupid after all 🙁Author : Willy De Backer