Home > Challenges, Environment > Profit Vs. Pollution?

Profit Vs. Pollution?

Alternative EnergyI work for a nonprofit that deals in climate change and environmental issues. The organization  almost always walk the fine line between trying to do something positive, and doing something in its’ own self-interest. Can it ever be both?

Today, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Gore’s Dual Role: Advocate & Investor.” It essentially looked at the crucial role that Al Gore has played in the introduction of green issues, as well as the entire climate change debate, into a more centralized realm.

Essentially, after leaving office and participating in many different environmental activities (founding his own nonprofit, producing An Inconvenient Truth, and many more) Gore has become the public political face of the Environmental Movement in the U.S. He has taken a lot of criticism for this from the right, but ultimately remains a fairly respected figure.

He has, as the article explains, also invested heavily in alternative energy companies, as well as venture capital firms that are awarded government funds for “Green Jobs” grants. Many have felt like this is Gore’s attempt to profit from the very climate change legislation he hopes to help pass through Congress.

In response, Gore explains that he is simply following up with his money what he has already done with his beliefs. He is taking an investor risk now where he took a political one before. Even though he may profit, he is profiting with something that is actually eliminating environmental harm and degradation, as well as leading the U.S. towards a more self-sustaining energy future.

Now, I know that I actually really liked the idea behind this article – because it is important to address the links between private and public sectors. But in personal belief, I am siding with Gore. It is his right as a private citizen to invest, and to invest smartly. Any average citizen that invests in alternative energy at this juncture is most certainly set to make financial profit – and this is something positive that should be celebrated.

Of course he has advantages as a public figure, but I like to see famous people doing good things with their money and their time.

Well done, Al.

Categories: Challenges, Environment
  1. Celso
    November 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    There shouldn’t be a Profit vs. Pollution discussion. We should find way to decrease pollution at the same time making profit. Specially with Global warming. It is amazing how the great investor still did not see the huge profit opportunities that fighting The warming of the world will generate.

    However it is also amazing that the industries that created all these pollution and make profits are the ones that with the pollution profit money will make more profit investing in clean energy and decreasing global warming.

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