The Green Dream concept interests me—easy for Fox News to put down, but it was simply introduced in Congress to inspire imagination. The topic first interested me when, as a fledgling academic in 1977, I studied “zero-growth” economics to see how to make capitalism sustainable. Of course, ZG was unworkable. In a book I almost memorized,”Human Prospect” (1974), Heilbroner wrote: “If by the question, ‘Is there hope for man?’ you are asking…(then he goes through a long diatribe about things that won’t change, eg, capitalism and other immutable human realities)…”Then the answer must be: No, there is no such hope.”
This debate is centuries old, since Malthus at least; but calls for alarm keep getting debunked. The Club of Rome predicted the earth’s natural capacity would be exhausted, but mistakenly identified resource depletion rather than capacity for garbage, so that was debunked, too. By Reagan’s time, it was still easy to laugh at the doomsayers, which he did, and all his followers sing the same tune today. Fox’s Special Report devoted this entire week to debunk Ocasio’s Green New Deal, and to most listeners, Fox makes more sense than she does. (Few listeners understand what socialism might be about, so they find a receptive audience on that editorial strategy, too.)
Even in our lifetimes, we are seeing alarming phenomena. Anyhow, I am trying to conjure up images of a future world when my own Laguna Beach village is inundated. By that time, much of Florida will be too, but in California we can head for the Sierras, or at least up Skyline Drive. So what care I? But there will be huge inflows of refugees not only from islands like Maldives, but from large population centers like Bangladesh. Already we are hostile to refugees, but Trumpian strategies won’t be allowed by civilized countries, so we must help. Heilbroner predicted economic collapse, and once market players get the gist, where are they going to put their money? Trump Towers? Surrounded by security walls? Oh, I get it, our president can see this coming!
Douglas Sikrski, Laguna Beach