A thought in closing for the old year....
The end of the year is a good time to reflect, though one should reflect every so often. This year has been a good one personally as I've accomplished a lot of my goals, despite some setbacks in my professional and personal life, I was able to bounce back. In addition to taking stock about what one did and did not do, it's also a time to ask how did my world view change.
Here in California, there's been a lot of debate about the housing crash that's happened or happening depending on your point of view. One of the myths of the past is that real estate prices only go up, we know now that's not true. It was repeated not as knowledge but as wishful thinking. A few prognosticators said that too many people were not being compensated for what is known as a "risk premium" That is getting returns beyond the norm for taking on more risk.
I'd argue that we are in a similar situation today with the environment and our current lifestyle in that we aren't properly taking into account the risks of our current lifestyle. It's very much akin to the "housing prices can go up" talk of the past few years. Just because we can't prove that things aren't going to get worse does not mean that it won't get worse. Atlanta is struggling with water challenges, something that many once believe could not happen.
So can we properly price for the risk we are taking with our planet. Most of the changes that we can start to implement in the form of "carbon wedges" are good things, such as using more economical forms of transport, more efficient appliances and lighting and eating less meat. These are replacements that once we're done we don't notice. If we are more prudent with our carbon expenditures, the benefit is that we are cleaner and more efficient. And who doesn't want a cleaner more efficient world.
I'm off to ring in the new year, best wishes in the new year and see you in 2008!