“The entryway on Goldman Sachs ’s executive floor is hung with paintings of all the senior partners since the firm’s inception,” says June Breton Fisher . “I took a close look and finally asked, ‘Where’s my grandfather?’”
Effective or not, bailouts somehow seem unjust. Why use taxpayer money to save the companies that actually caused the meltdown, the banks that made the reckless loans, and insurance companies that wrote too many credit- default swaps? More broadly, why save the state and local governments that offered overly generous pensions? Or auto companies too fat and lazy to match foreign competitors? They deserve to suffer the consequences of their behavior.
In the 21st century, burning hydrocarbons is critical to achieving the economic expansion that is needed to support the billions of new people who are projected to inhabit the planet. Yet chasing that growth could throw so much carbon into the atmosphere that it may undermine humanity’s very survival.
TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $7.6 billion Keystone pipeline system, which would take crude from Alberta’s tar sands down through the Midwest and on to Texas and the Gulf Coast refineries, could be scuttled because of concerns about its potential impact on a major aquifer in Nebraska.
For most of the last century, cheap oil powered global economic growth. But in the last decade, the price of oil has quadrupled, and that shift will permanently shackle the growth potential of the world’s economies.
The world economy will face shocks and depressions, punctuated by ever-shorter and weaker recoveries, as long as it relies on outdated fossil fuels, says Jeremy Rifkin, author of “The Third Industrial Revolution.”