Akin to war, humanity is on the precipice of the greatest challenge. That is, existence. The outcome, however, is unknown and continuous. Therefore, every decision even the seemingly innocuous ones have massive ramifications. Further, big questions, such as understanding how governmental institutions and private sector forces ought to allocate seemingly abundant resources like capital or labor are more than challenging. This begs questions like: How should incentives be structured? What behavior ought to be promoted? How do we know if the implementation of certain policies are effective? Why should we solve climate change when initial investments to curb greenhouses will generate more carbon to be released? What is the right balance between saving the world, our fellow humans, and not derigging the economy that would lead to mass unemployment reflective of the Great Depression?
While some questions will remain unanswered, every generation on this planet has the ability to adopt the “Greatest Generation” moniker. But, we must start today. To reiterate, we stress impact over ideology. Pragmatism over rigidity. To elaborate, from famous activists like Julia Hill (defended a California Redwood tree for two years) to corporate leaders like Howard Schultz (former Chairman and CEO of Starbucks from 1986-2000 and 2008-2017) to our beloved parents, every person is a stakeholder in the ecological preservation of our planet. Stereotypes from the ‘conservative climate change denying capitalist’ to the ‘liberal tree hugging environmental-socialist’ are infantile and, either, distractionary or, potentially, detrimental to real progress. Or, in other words, from the arid, dusty battlefields of Afghanistan to aisle seven at Walmart, the individuals and infrastructure of a nation-state ought to incentive ‘Green Economics’. But, how?
Well, in November 2009, the Council on Foreign Relations published a comprehensive report about the “Public Opinion on Global Issues”. Similar to any issue is understanding and accepting that a problem exists -- like the 12 step sequence by Alcohol Anonymous. In particular, the report described the results of various respected polling agencies and concluded the following:
“Perception of Climate Change as a Problem or Threat A majority in every country polled says that global warming is a problem or a threat and that governments should give it a high priority, while only small minorities say it is not a problem. Despite these numbers, people tend to underestimate how much other people are concerned about climate change. While the number of people concerned about climate change has been increasing for some years, recent polls indicate that it may be leveling out.”
-Page 1, Chapter 5a: World Opinion on the Environment
Based upon the Council on Foreign Relations’ findings, the issue is predominately not the lack of awareness.