An interesting commentary on environmentalism appeared today on Eco World discussing the differences between supply side and demand side environmentalism.
At a time like this, where the momentum to do anything to achieve energy independence dovetails fitfully with the momentum to do anything to reduce CO2 emissions, policymakers pressured by environmentalists may enact sweeping legislation that could completely change our way of life. But there are two ways environmentalists can go to pursue their core values in the 21st century, and they represent very, very different choices. One of the most fundamental areas where these two choices diverge concerns energy and water policy.
A “supply side” environmentalist - for lack of a better term - would argue that the priority should be to achieve energy and water abundance. To do this, for example, they would advocate construction of nuclear powered desalinization plants, as well as pumping stations and aqueducts. They would advocate increased production of fresh water from seawater, and they would advocate distributing this water to restore every depleted aquifer on earth.
A “demand side” environmentalist, by contrast, would argue that conservation of energy and water is the only approach that could possibly make sense. They would argue that it isn’t possible to produce enough energy for everyone at current levels of consumption. They would fight for energy and water rationing, with punitive fines and even criminal penalties for overuse of these resources.
Read the whole article and express your opinions.