Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, January 21, 2008
Candidates looking for an integrated economic stimulus package: look no further! Clean energy and green technologies are the wave of the future. Prime alternative energy industries promote “smart,” digitally driven electric-grid technologies; give tax breaks to consumers and producers of innovative technologies; use progressive procurement policies on all government levels (for example, for all hybrid vehicle fleets).
Start a Healthy Cities Program for green buildings, rooftop gardens, walking paths, biking lanes, open space, traffic control and improved public transport — all measures that reduce air pollution, curb the “urban heat island effect” and stimulate industries with low carbon technologies.
With so much market liquidity (paper wealth) shriveling, shifting public and private investments into real wealth makes financial and fiscal sense. A large investment in our common future would create a new clean/green machine for the global economy, and help stabilize the climate.
Paul R. Epstein
Boston, Jan. 14, 2008
The writer, a physician, is associate director, Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.