Home | About | Donate

Economists Said the Market Would Save the Planet. It Didn't


Economists Said the Market Would Save the Planet. It Didn't.

John Feffer

The market was supposed to save the planet.

That, at least, was the argument of many economists grappling with the problem of climate change. As fossil fuels became scarcer, they pointed out, the price of oil and natural gas would go up. And then other options, like solar and wind, would become cheaper, particularly as investment flowed into that sector and drove down the cost of new technologies.

And voila: The invisible hand would gradually turn down the global thermostat.


The inexorable drive for cheap and voluminous energy must also be fully recognized as a drive toward producing polluting energy systems while refusing to pay the actual costs. We must work against this and strive to create energy systems that are not polluting and meet social responsibilities first not last. The free market will never solve this dilemma as it has no such interest.


Whether the market can save the planet or not depends on whether it is democratic or rigged by a few.