It looks to me like global warming will be the huge economic push that will get the whole economy moving at full steam again. (Pardon the pun.) As the oceans rise, as the land becomes parched, as cities flood, as the populace migrates, enormous opportunities will also open up for companies with enough awareness to see them.
As with World War II, we will have no choice but to deal with the problem. The government will spend money, and taxpayers will fund the expenditure. People will simply have to get truly creative to solve the problems a warmer climate will create.
I don’t know that what we now think of as “green” will be the main focus. I imagine it’ll be a part of it because there will certainly be a desire to slow the process down as much as possible. But being green tends to take vision and sacrifice, and lots of people are too self-involved or unconcerned or uneducated to be willing to participate.
In contrast, money is a great motivator. As is water lapping at your upstairs windows. I think lots of other new industries will emerge:
- New forms of mass transportation will have to be built to deal with relocation.
- New forms of housing will be needed — cheap, insulated, self-contained, probably modular housing systems.
- New forms of farming will be developed, with genetically engineered crops (whether we like it or not) that yield more nutrition with less irrigation.
- Massive new engineering challenges like bridges, pontoon-based structures and levees to protect people from the rising sea.
You get the idea.
People who are thinking ahead will be in a position to capitalize on all this while helping their country, and the world, enormously.
And, with luck, we’ll be part of those innovative solutions.