Is Green Dead Redux

Readers comment on "Green is Dead!"

Interviews by Maryruth Belsey Priebe. Originally published in January of 2011

In response to our question, is green dead, 67% said no, and 16% said, "just napping." Of the 17% that said yes, reasons cited were fairly evenly divided between the economy, public indifference and congress. 4% thought that a green economy is just irrelevant--a non-starter.

Below we provide excerpts from those who weighed in. Comments fell into three categories: those who felt the urgency of the green economy, those who saw the United States losing out on a vital economic trend, and those who felt that public opinion lagged for a variety of reasons. To see the full originals, scroll down.

Alive and Urgent

  • Pallavi: Become part of the environment as we are meant to be or the corrections and forces of nature will show us in painful and cruel ways where we stand. If we consider ourselves intelligent then it is time we used that intelligence to optimize the resources we have and replenish them NOT diminish them.
  • Netsanet Deneke: Green economy is the only way to safe guard our world. The conventional way of development is like HIV/AIDS that has no immediate response or symptom. Depending on our current act, we can save or destroy our world.
  • sundeep ahuja : If the"green economy" isn't as vibrant as it once was, hopefully it is because the technologies and trends that it gave birth to are now being adopted at scale.
  • Maximo : Let's put a name to the Green Economy. Gravity Buoyancy... The new baby has born!. Let's free America from the foreign oil.

Lost US Opportunity

  • jnistler : But the US government is obviously being paid off by oil, bank and auto interests to not seriously look at leading the USA into the next world economic reality "“ Energy and Water! They figure the Chinese and India will surpass the USA.
  • Eric Balinski: What I find promising in my business is seeing the developing nations recognizing that they can not go down the same path as the current industrialized nations. What is probable for the future is that the current industrialized nations will find themselves less green and less competitive, surpassed by the developing nations adopting faster more green approaches developed within and by the current industrialized nations.
  • Tyler Gage: Where I work in Ecuador, I must the green economy is growing dramatically. Internationally, the Green Economy seems to be working to grow both roots and leaves, and sometimes the growth of the roots seems to go unnoticed.
  • Rob O'Donnell: If the initial '70's era initiatives to build out US sources of electric energy had been continued and supported, we would likely currently have a stronger and more resilient domestic economy, lower defense department budget requirements, lower "true"inflation and even a smaller public sector national health care cost burden (asthma, chronic pulmonary disorder, cancer clusters downwind of power plants, etc.)The private sector (entrepreneurs, VC's/PE's. institutional and retail investors, and corporations ) are, to my eye, the ones leading the transition to a low carbon, more efficient economy. The green economy is happening but everyone mistakenly expects the government to lead (carbon restriction legislation et al.) when history suggests that governments have traditionally been followers rather than leaders of any meaningful change.

Signs of Life

  • Tim Gieseke: As the economy rises from it partially charred remains, the greening aspect will emerge in a far more comprehensive manner. We have been searching (I think unknowingly) for the ecological dimension of the economy. Green is not dead, but alive like winter.
  • Green Bride Guide: Definitely not! This year, when wedding spending was down 25% across the board, green wedding spending was up 4%. [I]t has never been more exciting to be a green company...
  • Peter Behrle: There was a significant positive development this week regarding biofuels. The EPA published their final regs for 2011... By 2022 the blending level will be 36 billion gallons of total biofuels. Progress is being made.
  • Jamal Hamou: All around me I see change in new businesses, organizations and supporters. Of course there is the big shadow of the economy, looming over us all, hogging a lot of the spotlight. This distracts us from seeing what is happening at the local level. There may be a global economic slow down but the local business owners I know are seeing growth in sales and new customers. Green is very much alive!!
  • Mike Manna: Sometimes it not apparent but there is growth, we just need to look for it. I think over the next 5 years we will see growth in the green industry within the USA and therefore growth in our green economy.

Public opinion and the media

  • green diva meg: Green is definitely not dead! In a media coma perhaps. It embodies a new consciousness that will be very hard to shroud. [W]e are rapidly finding out just how simple and worthwhile much of the green effort is "“ whether it is recycling... or shifting the manufacturing standards for an entire dirty industry. No, green is not dead, it is just evolving.
  • Liam Rose: I think when people say "green is dead" it's because it's no longer the hot trend of the moment, but rather being folded into our day-to-day lives in everything around us. "¦ Essentially it is a mind shift that took place and hopefully it's one that won't soon be forgotten.
  • LW: I think "green" has become a tainted term. Unfortunately, corporate green-washing has begotten a great deal of cynicism amongst the consumer base. The problem is, what is ultimately good for the planet is often not a product tweaked, but the obsolescence of the product (or a complete overhaul). Less trickery and green-washing will lead to both a healthier earth and a more confident consumer base.