Everything has it's time. Entrepreneurs are now making environmental friendliness pay off.
After years–in some cases, decades–of searching, businesspeople have finally discovered the existence of a green market. And it is growing, in some sectors phenomenally. Sales of organic foods are increasing 20% a year; the federal government's General Services Administration is requiring all new buildings it authorizes to be energy-efficient; the sale of hybrid cars has cruised from zero to 36,000 in just a few years; and the share of venture capital going to green-energy technologies has tripled since 1999.
This is what I mean when I talk about cultural vs. legislative solutions. Congress can pass laws about the environment all day, but it won't help nearly as much as changing our culture so that people truly care. You can't force electric cars or solar power on people, but if you educate them and give time for the market to arise on it's own, then companies will recognize the opportunity to make money, and fill the void. As more and more companies get involved in the industry, innovation drops prices and improves quality, thus creating more demand for the products. I will concede this – it is sometimes beneficial for the government to make the first move, like requiring the highest standards for those who do business with them. Of course, this can sometimes lead to burdensome regulations, which is why I am for smaller, smarter government, not more oversight and red tape.