“The test of a first-rate intelligence,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
If so, then the growth of the green economy — embraced by corporations, heralded by politicians — marks something of an IQ test for the progressive movement. How can we at once celebrate companies that move toward better practices while acknowledging how much farther they need to go?
The signs of change are everywhere. General Electric and BP are ramping up their renewable energy as wind becomes price competitive with coal power. Prominent architects are using recycled and reused materials, and the market for non-residential green building is at $43 billion a year. More than $2 trillion in assets are invested in socially responsible funds. Sales of organically grown food are skyrocketing at 20 percent a year growth. Sustainable living has gone from granola fringe to glossy fashion.
This poses a real dilemma for tho... Read more