The widespread and growing attention paid to environmental sustainability is difficult to ignore.
public-private partnerships Archives - State of the Planet
As our planet becomes more urban, the importance of parks and other public spaces becomes magnified.
It’s popular to believe that the private sector is a paragon of efficiency and that government is simply waste, fraud and abuse, but it is simply not true. It is essential that we focus on building the public-private collaborations that have long made this nation great.
The New York Times reported on a new international agreement that will phase out hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a chemical that is used in refrigerators and air conditioners that is a powerful greenhouse gas. The irony is that HFCs were developed to replace chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, chemicals that caused a hole in our atmosphere’s ozone layer and were banned by the Montreal Protocol of 1987.
What I am betting on is the growing sense of awareness and understanding of environmental issues among the people of the world. It could be that my personal perspective is a little warped. I’ve seen the environmental issue move from the outer fringes to the center of our political agenda.
What we are missing here in the United States is the environmental leadership that we had during the 1970s and 1980s when we showed the world how to grow an economy while building our knowledge of ecosystems and reducing the degree of damage we were inflicting on the natural world. Since 1990, technology has advanced and threats to ecosystems come from new sources.
In the United States, our political process sends us strong signals about what problems and proposals can achieve agenda status. Increased federal support for science and technology will not be easy, but unlike a carbon tax, it is capable of drawing bipartisan support.
In a time when the global economy places us in constant competition with other nations, our inability to forge effective public-private partnerships may well be the greatest long-term threat to America’s economic and political power.