Al Gore: We Must Practice ‘Sustainable’ Capitalism

Let me say up front that I am an admirer of Al Gore, despite our manifest political differences. Notwithstanding specious accusations that he claimed to have “invented the Internet” (he didn’t claim that, but he was certainly the political attending physician at its birth), Gore is one of the brightest people to have participated in our government in recent decades. Compare, for example, the man who “beat” him (yeah, right) to become president… yes, Gore is a great deal smarter, though not so capable of betrayal of people who trust him.

After a brief bitter period following the 2000 selection, Gore moved on to other things, some environmentalist in nature, some more a synthesis of fields across his areas of expertise. This is one of those other things: “sustainable” capitalism:

Together with David Blood, senior partner of ‘green’ fund firm Generation Investment Management, the environmental activist has crafted a blueprint for “sustainable capitalism” he wants the financial industry to adopt to support lasting economic growth.

“While we believe that capitalism is fundamentally superior to any other system for organizing economic activity, it is also clear that some of the ways in which it is now practiced do not incorporate sufficient regard for its impact on people, society and the planet,” Gore said.

At a briefing ahead of Thursday’s launch, David Blood said capitalism has been blighted with short-termism and an obsession with instant investment results, which had ramped up market volatility, widened the gap between rich and poor and deflected attention from the deepening climate crisis.

Read the rest. It’s an intriguing idea. And surely it cannot be worse than current practices, which are unmistakably leading us over the cliff in a hurry.

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  • MandT  On Friday February 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Neo -liberal economics is neither conservative nor even Capitalusm. It’s a mutant form of speculation completely divorced from traditional ‘production.’ Comparing Gore to Bush might be best understood as comparing Einstein to an amoeba.

    • Steve  On Friday February 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      MandT, the term “neoliberal” is worst IMHO because it needlessly pollutes the term “liberal,” which is what I used to call myself without a second thought. Now I have to interrupt the flow to add the qualifier “not neo-“. What people like RMoney call “capitalism” is, as you say, little else but a form of gambling, which no one not as “lucky” (i.e., a priori wealthy) as Mittens would consider a valid government strategy.

      I’m content with your comparisons as long as you don’t compare Bush to an amoeba. After all, there’s no reason to insult an amoeba!

  • MandT  On Saturday February 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm


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