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These days, you don't have to look too hard to see an American economy that is in trouble. From TV talking heads debating whether or not the recession has arrived to “For Sale” signs sprouting like spring grass, it's clear things are sputtering. Recently, there have been concerns that the slowdown could combine with Wall Street's credit crunch to make it difficult for green technology companies to raise money.
It's certainly something to think about. Green start-ups, like all new companies, generally need a lot of cash. They've got complicated technologies to engineer, production lines to build, and other expensive things on their to-do lists. If there are no loans or investments available to pay these bills, the ideas the world needs so badly are likely to remain on the drawing board.
But let's look at it another way: what if we were to approach green technology as the solution to our current economic difficulties rather than simply accept it as just another casualty? What if we used the green technology sector as the springboard to a resurgent American economy in which employment was high, profits were strong, and our country was once again an environmental and economic leader?
The green wave is coming, because either we go green or become extinct. It really is that simple. The countries that grab the green ring and dedicate themselves to building an economy based on sustainable technologies are going to win. They'll have the products the rest of the world wants. They'll have the good paying, future-proof jobs. They'll accrue the wealth, like OPEC nations today, that will guarantee prosperity. The countries who are content to sit back and let someone else go for the green will be reduced to begging for whatever economic scraps are left.
The deeper our economy sinks, the more we ought to spend funding a green tech Work Projects Administration and an environmental Marshall Plan. That's the easy, logical, best way to get our national finances where they need to be today, and our world where it needs to go tomorrow.