Friday, September 19, 2008

Green Technology, Environmentalism

Green Technology, Environmentalism, and Industrial Innovation

Everything we hear on the news lately is about global warming and how the planet will end in 10 years. The media has been saying this for about 30+ years, although 35 years ago in Time Magazine, the environmentalists argued that we were headed for a global ice age. A lot of this blame and admonishment is placed on America, our use of fossil fuels, and our consumerism that influences manufacturing worldwide.

A lot of the gripes about America and our destruction of the world are unfounded. In fact, most of the evidence I see around me locally indicates the opposite is true; we are improving the environment in which we live and doing much to use green technology and improvements to reduce pollution and reduce our environmental impact.
I think there is a stunning contrast between some “environmentalists” and the real hands-on land-owners and farmers. Some radical idealistic environmentalists want to halt the economy in order to “protect” something they know nothing about, using expensive and unproven far-fetched methodologies, while at the same time not taking any real personal interest in doing anything specific or practical to improve the planet or even their own neighborhood. On the other hand, farmers, land owners, fisherman, and hunters have a vested interest in the land and natural resources. If they do take care of it and nurture it, it won’t be viable for future generations or even for next year’s planting.

Over the years Missouri has seen wildlife populations come to extinction, in the case of wild turkey and white-tailed deer after the Great Depression and leading into the 1950s. With the incredible work of the Missouri Department of Conservation, the extinct turkey population and nearly-extinct white-tailed deer populations have surged to record levels in 2008. Geese are so prevalent now that they can be a problem. In some places, we have to manage deer and geese with targeted hunts because their numbers are getting too large. Missouri also has some of the greatest river systems as well as some incredible natural and man-made lakes. Our state forests are incredible. They are beautiful and well-preserved. I live on a beautiful man-made lake, Lake Tishomingo. The shoreline abounds with abundant fish and wildlife. It is difficult for me to see the end of the world around the corner here in Missouri.

Likewise, my optimistic perspective is the same regarding our economy and industry. Many companies are working hard to use improved manufacturing and automation processes to produce more and spend less in terms of time and resources used. As someone who is a “realistic” environmentalist, I want to protect what we have and do all I can to make our world better.