Monday, September 19, 2011

Sleeping Giants.

The Green Economy may be a bandwagon for some, but it doesn’t look like anyone is getting off the wagon anytime soon. Some rightwing fundamentalists want to close EPA’s door and let free enterprise reign and let lassie-faire relive its glory days; but seeing the news about EPA adding Superfund sites for redevelopment and looking at the bickering between industries about electronic recycling, I doubt we would just let everything set back to the time when we can pollute and let someone else’s children suffer for our lack of care and compassion for other’s health and the environment.

I think Bill Clinton said it best on Face the Nation yesterday:

“. . . it's not just in America that the green tech jobs are growing at twice the rate of overall employment. That's true around the world,"

There is also international backlash from the business community for nonparticipations. Recently, ASEAN criticized the Philippine government and businesses for failing to attend the World Business Council’s Thailand Sustainable Development Symposium 2011. I wonder how long it will be before we see news articles about the global community criticizing the U.S. for our lack of participation and motivation.

The global trend is slowly shifting to more Corporate Social Responsibility accounting and it’s time for the U.S. to realize that playing the leader on the world stage doesn’t mean we can be the exception to their rules, but that we have to start playing by the global standards that is emerging.

China made this mistake in the early 1900s. From the 14th Century to almost the conclusion of the 19th Century, China was the fertile and imaginative land of the East. It was the trading capitol of the world and the innovation center for generations of entrepreneurs. China in the late 19th Century and at the beginning of the 20th Century thought itself still the dominate global power and refused to adopt and play by international standards. Foreigners took gunpowder, a Chinese invention, against China, and the Industrial Age took China by surprise. It was not until a war ravaged the Chinese of their pride did the people of China saw incentives to play the global game and emerge as the new socialist market economy of today.

These days, I fear the U.S. is repeating the same vicious cycle of mentality as China once did. We feel that we are on top of the world and other nations ought to play by our politics and economic standards. Increasingly we see a different story. The global Green economy is slowly becoming more sophisticated and better funded that that of the U.S. From the 1st Oman Sustainable Urbanisation Conference 2011 to India’s promise to spend over $70 Billion by 2015 on the Green IT sector, it’s hard to ignore the rest of the world in this rapidly growing industry. If we don’t act soon and immerse ourselves in the sense of urgency, we may wake up one day at the dawn of a new age feeling like China once did, isolated; our pride taken away.

Wake up America.

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