“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children”
07 Nov 2009
In Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column “The Great Disruption”, he quotes Joseph Romm, a physicist, climate expert, and former energy official in the Clinton administration, talking about accelerating economic growth over the past several decades, powered by fossil fuels:
“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children,” said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog climateprogress.org.
We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks – water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land – and not by generating renewable flows.
“You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior,” added Romm. “But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate …’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”