An Opinion on Sustainable Markets

It has been apparent for far too long that the condition of the environment has been rapidly deteriorating. Often, an impossibly difficult decision between environmental conservation and human growth has been presented as the only way forward. The creation of sustainably constructed markets fueled by robust, real-time communication and accurate data can help ease that formerly impossibly difficult decision.

A way that we can achieve this aim is by targeting the nearly inevitable problem of deadweight loss (DWL) that often results from deciding between environmental conservation and human growth. DWL is a term used to describe the negative effects from market inefficiency. DWL does no one any favors, and essentially acts as a drag on value, innovation and sustainable growth. There are innumerable ways to target DWL. For example, in energy markets, efficiency gains through the implementation of new technologies can become self-sustaining. In resource markets, waste can become a resource-base achieved through trash mining and recycling. In invasive species markets, the targeted invasive species can be harvested as an input to create value-added finished goods.

The globe is full of opportunities for the creation of immense real value. In many instances, the implementation of markets whose most likely equilibria (econ-speak: markets can have more than one point of equilibrium) result in win-win scenarios (econ-speak: nonzero positive sums) allow for increases in real value by eliminating wasteful DWL while adding more opportunities (econ-speak: potential possibilities) to the economy. The reduction of DWL, coupled with the creation of an expanded set of possibilities, can create massive positive feedback systems that optimize real value functions. These systems are far from perfect as of now; at least beginning wider-spread implementation can provide reasonable ways forward while helping to transform the economy into a sustainable, more humane, and more valuable one. Gaia Endeavors strives to provide environmentally-focused entrepreneurs ideas, a forum for discussion, and links. As such, please help by adding to the conversation and visit/add to the links below.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=deadweight+loss
http://www.eia.gov/consumption/
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/InvasiveSpecies/
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/intensiveprocesses/pdfs/energy_use_loss_opportunities_analysis.pdf
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/science/earth/10fish.html?_r=1
http://www.iisgcp.org/newsroom/archive/102110.html
http://www.miyassushi.com/invasive.html
http://blog.seattlepi.com/environment/2008/08/06/why-mine-landfills-when-you-can-mine-trash/
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_31/b4094036650513.htm
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs060-01/fs060-01.pdf
http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,767178,00.html

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