Op-Ed – 21st Century Cagematch: Cleantech Bulls vs the Climate Bear

bulls vs bears cover

Ever since the 1970’s when the Club of Rome warned of strict limits to economic growth, environmental debate has focused on innovation versus scarcity. On one side, techno-optimists believe innovation can push through any limit – when one thing gets scarce, we’ll replace it with something else. On the other, eco-pessimists point to the unforgiving math of a growing economy (and population) in a finite world – you can’t innovate around the laws of nature.

Catastrophic climate disruption from unchecked carbon emissions is a modern variant of a recurring theme. Today’s techno-optimists argue human ingenuity will bring low-carbon innovations – the ‘Cleantech Bulls’ – to market fast enough to limit climate risk. Modern eco-pessimists believe climate disruption – the “Climate Bear” – threatens economic growth itself, regardless of technological advances in clean energy. We’ve all got a stake in this fight.

Who’s your favourite: Bulls or the Bear?

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