In an interview with Bill Moyers (via Green Inc.), financier George Soros has some things to say about how green investments can pull us out of the current financial crisis (a subject I’ve been hitting repeatedly these last few days):
Here’s the transcript:
BILL MOYERS: So let’s think about those people down at Neely’s Barbecue going home tonight having heard you. What they’ve heard you say is the system is really dysfunctioning right now. It’s out of control. Nobody’s in charge. They’ve heard you express your own worry that in the next three months it could get much, much worse.
And they’ve heard you say that you don’t see much good news immediately on the horizon. So let’s leave them something to think about as they go home. Let them go home and say, “Mr. Soros said here are three things we can do, simply.” One?
GEORGE SOROS: Well, deal with the mortgage problem. Reduce foreclosures. Recapitalize the banks. And then work on a better world order where we work together to resolve problems that confront humanity like global warming. And I think that dealing with global warming will require a lot of investment.
You see, for the last 25 years the world economy, the motor of the world economy that has been driving it was consumption by the American consumer who has been spending more than he has been saving, all right? Than he’s been producing. So that motor is now switched off. It’s finished. It’s run out of — can’t continue. You need a new motor. And we have a big problem. Global warming. It requires big investment. And that could be the motor of the world economy in the years to come.
BILL MOYERS: Putting more money in, building infrastructure, converting to green technology.
GEORGE SOROS: Instead of consuming, building an electricity grid, saving on energy, rewiring the houses, adjusting your lifestyle where energy has got to cost more until it you introduce those new things. So it will be painful. But at least we will survive and not cook.
BILL MOYERS: You’re talking about this being the end of an era and needing to create a whole new paradigm for the economic model of the country, of the world, right?
GEORGE SOROS: Yes.
Soros has hit this theme before.