Monday, July 18, 2016

Guest Blog by Larry Fink: "We are not the rest of the world and the rest of the world is not us"

We are not the rest of the world and the rest of the world is not us.

We set the standards, and the rest of the world's tourists come here to visit our undeveloped national parks and the world's best brains drain here to enjoy the balance we have achieved between growth and development on the one hand and our ability to have safe drinking water, consumer products and food and drugs manufactured in clean and safe work environments with waste emissions treated to safe levels on the other hand.

Algae blooms virtually ceased in the Great Lakes after phosphate was removed from detergents and wastewater treatment plants were required to remove phosphorus using best available treatment technology.

Algae blooms have returned to Lake Erie as a result of farm runoff mismanagement as a consequence of the exemption of farms under the Clean Water Act.

We can adopt fatalism, give up the struggle for enlightened self-restraint, and embrace the inevitable decline in the quality and quantity of our lives as voodoo economics fails to deliver on its promise that we can have our cake and eat it too or we can continue to advance our efforts to use sound science to match growth and development to the solar-powered carrying and assimilation capacities at every scale from the watershed to the world.

We have the scientific knowledge both to define those carrying and assimilation capacities and to meet them with green technological advancement. What we lack is the political will, and that is no accident.

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