The recent economic current events in the global financial markets has prompted a response that is both too late to avert the crisis and does not address the root causes of the problem, which is selfish and greedy behaviour of people who are not held accountable for their actions. This is a worrying situation in its own right, but also points to more serious concerns about the approach of governments around the world in regards to environmental issues.
The bail out of the financial institutions threatened by the economic collapse was effected quickly and the resulting small increase in market performance was virtually instantaneous, though the long term effects of this situation are still far from clear.
These decisions have been made based on the advice of expert economists that have had the trust and ear of both the financial institutions for many years, though governments have been reluctant to act unless forced to do so by dire circumstances.
What hope then do we have for the environment? Despite equally dire warnings of impending troubles with the environment, governments have either been slow to act or have avoided acting to reverse environmental degradation. Will this trend continue until it is blindingly obvious that we are in the middle of a catastrophe? If so, throwing any amount of cash at the problem will not be able to fix it. We are treating the environment as if it can be fixed with a click of the fingers, just in the nick of time as the disaster is looming.
We need to get out of this short sighted, greed centered view of our impact on the planet. We need to take a longer term view of our effects on the planet and adopt clean energy strategies on a global scale with the technology we have available now. We cannot afford to wait until we are either drowning or choking, because by then there will be no way back. If this happens it is we humans that will become extinct.
It is time for governments to do what they are supposed to do: provide for the wellbeing of their people both for now and for the future through well considered long term planning in both the financial and environmental arenas.