New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin spoke in Portland on January 17th as the kick-off speaker in Illahee’s 2007 lecture series, Money Talks: Wealth, Politics and the Environment. According to the sponsors, the premise for the lecture series is that:
“The second half of the 20th century saw rapid economic growth coupled with unprecedented human domination of earth’s biological systems. While billions of people saw their living conditions improve, the lion’s share of the benefits accrued to developed nations, and within those nations, to a small percentage of the population. Market economies have driven this wealth creation, but have not solved the problems of massive poverty and environmental degradation.
“Why do free markets and political democracy struggle to provide the mix of economic well being, equity, and environmental amenities that most people desire?”
In fact, free markets do a pretty remarkable job of providing these very things, but a Portland-based environmental group wouldn’t last long admitting that.