People have proposed two scenerios for the growth of China. The first is that it continues to grow at a massive rate, consuming everything in its path, and producing an ecological catastrophe that will be its demise, and possibly ours too. The second is that China wises up and becomes an unprecidented (sic) leader in “green growth” balancing its economic needs with good health for its people and a clean, healthy environment. This article (WBCSD) gives great hope for the second scenerio.
The conventional wisdom in the U.S. is that “green” and “economy” are two forces in opposition. One goal of environmentalists is to prove that green industry can actually be good for business. The question is whether a free market will reach this conclusion without encouragement from government. I’d like to think it can, but have a feeling that, if it puts its mind to it, China’s monolithic government could bring “green” and “economy” together faster than the free market can do in this country. Free market forces are exactly what have led us into this environmental quagmire in the first place.