Eco-Living Magazine

Is Environmentalism Compatible with the Market Economy?

Posted on the 17 July 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Is Environmentalism Compatible with the Market Economy and the American Way?“Rise up, raise your fist and resist, eco-pragmatists!”

Eric and I recently went through all of the posts on 2nd Green Revolution looking for companies and organizations we had mentioned in our write-ups. The aim of this was to create a list of potential advertisers that we can then approach about putting an ad on the site. We’ve tried several different ways to raise revenue for the site, but none have been all that effective. Advertising is probably the most likely approach to work. However, this kind of discussion and thinking always leads to conversations about “selling out” or, more finely, how to balance the non-monetary enjoyment we get from working on the site with figuring out how to get decent revenue so we can hire staff, upgrade our features, and otherwise expand to bring you the best information and experience possible. This train of thought also brings up the fundamental question posed by the title of this piece. One of the realizations we came to while compiling the list of businesses we have mentioned on the site is their sheer number, and that’s acknowledging that we’ve only covered a small fraction thus far. We promote the need for balance between the economic, the environmental, and the social as indicated by the People+Planet+Profit tag line below our logo. But is it possible?  Are we implicitly stoking consumerism, production, pollution and the like through profiling all these businesses? If the business is greener than an incumbent in the industry or a business takes steps to rein in its negative environmental impact, should we celebrate that business, even though doing so may lead to a larger footprint for the company’s operations? I suppose it’s the best alternative out there, in that a larger footprint for a more sustainable company would be small than if that company wasn’t as green.

I guess it comes down to the point that consumption is truly sustainable only if it doesn’t outpace production (from natural systems, not nonrenewable resources). The current economic model is the one we’re stuck with for the time being; it’s the system we have and in order to “fix” it, we have to work within its confines.


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