The inevitable conclusion is that the issue of sustainability will eventually reach and even dominate the American political agenda. It will not be defined by a smaller economy, but a different sort of economy: With more resources devoted to preserving the planet and its productive capacity. There is a paradigm shift underway toward a sustainable, renewable economy. You see it in many cities, communities and in a growing number of corporations. Support for sustainability is more common among young people than old people, and it is as much a cultural and social mindset as it is a political motivation. In fact, at this point, the political force of sustainability is latent rather than manifest. But it is coming. At its core will be a new form of consumerism and new modes of production. Production will be more efficient and renewable. Consumers will resist goods and services that are not sustainable. Our political and regulatory institutions will both lead and follow these new realities. Unfortunately, this will not happen during the presidential election year about to start. But it is in our future.
The final paragraph of Steven Cohen’s current article in the Huffington Post, 'Sustainability, Politics, and Consumerism'. Cohen is the executive director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York City.
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