Washington University Students for International Collaboration on the Environment

When it comes to economy and environment

Dear readers,

I am Wenqi Yue, the treasure of WUSICE, usually referred to the “Money person”.  I am an undergraduate student in WUSTL majoring in Economics (probably math as well). I hope everyone is as excited as I am about the upcoming conference and ready to crack some tough problems!

One of the goals of WUSICE is built upon the idea of establishing and enhancing the network between universities around the world over environmental issues, and for me, linking environmental to communities’ well-being as well. And yes, for me, that is closely related to the economic issues. I am passionate about exploring new solutions on balancing out economic growth while protecting the environment, which put me in an interesting position, or the in between, when conflicts are formed between environmental preservation and economic development. Communications becomes crucial, and understanding between individuals and countries sometimes the tipping pointing of solving those issues.

If I have to choose a side, I will take myself as a “Breakthrough” supporter, or an happy follower of Michael Shellenberger and Ted Norhaus’s approach towards environmental issues. Economy growth can go hand in hand with environmental protections. Wal-Mart at the top of Fortune 500 list is probably the biggest motivation for package companies to reduce the amount of plastics they use, keep the preservatives to a minimum, etc.

If you are interested in learning more about Breakthrough, please check out www.thebreakthrough.org, and also don’t forget to google about Walmarts’ action on being an environmental friendly company. I am very curious about the feedbacks I would get.


2 responses

  1. Adam

    Hey Wenqi. I’m a big fan of Nordhaus and Shellenberger myself, and feel that any attempt to address climate change without also adequately addressing development needs of the poor is bound to fail. However, I’ve grown skeptical lately that simple investment is the surefire way to proceed. We desperately need increased investment in clean energy technology. But we also need to radically alter our social norms if we are to actually achieve sustainability. I think Break Through tends to ignore this point.

    October 29, 2010 at 12:09 am

    • Wenqi Yue

      Hi Adam,

      I think when it comes to theories, people tend to address the extreme to establish some sort of debate. theories are the foundation of the future practice and what materials to use and how to build the higher structure would be our call.
      “Simple investment” is a tricky phrase– investors are definitely looking more into the environmental friendly agenda companies may have. But few would notice whether there are differences between what was being done and what was being said.
      How to make more real green investment happening? How to make sustainability becomes something beyond the company agenda? Are we implementing the thinking gradually or we are waiting for a tipping point?
      The whole American dream is built upon having a house with gardens and yards.It is built upon three big meals per day. It is built on wheels. Right now we are doing”smaller light bombs, hybrid cars” but not”lesser cars, more public transportation” or “smaller homes without building an entire suburb using farm land”. or should we?

      October 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

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