Economic reasons furnish the strongest motives for sustainability, because in the long run (and often in the short run as well) it is much more expensive and difficult to try to fix problems, environmental or otherwise, than to avoid them at the outset.It's a small point in a longer article, but the casual way he drops this is a testament to how ordinary this point ought to be.
Americans learned that lesson from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, when, as a result of government agencies balking for a decade at spending several hundred million dollars to fix New Orleans’s defenses, we suffered hundreds of billions of dollars in damage — not to mention thousands of dead Americans.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Jared Diamond Makes a Useful Analogy
Professor Diamond's essay in the NY Times compares the stupidity of corporations who refuse to spend short-term money on long-term sustainability to the federal government's negligent treatment of New Orleans over many years: