Economic growth does not have to come at the expense of the environment. Sustainable technologies are also extremely beneficial to the economy.
For example, the solar industry has employed almost 400,000 people as of 2017. As of 2017, the coal industry is responsible for under 200,000 jobs. (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/25/climate/todays-energy-jobs-are-in-solar-not-coal.html) More modern technologies, such as hybrid and electric vehicles, provide much more opportunity for economic growth (and responsible environmental safety) than all transportation options relying on more polluting vehicles running only the internal combustion engine to burn gas.
The significantly greater long-term, sustained economic benefits are true for every technology that uses renewable energy instead of dirty fossil fuels. The economy grows more, less resources are used, the environment is treated with care and more energy efficient products are developed. Therefore, economic growth only TRULY happens (long-term) with sustainable technologies, which promote both economic growth AND environmental protections. If the economy is booming now mainly due to environmental deregulations which allow coal, oil, gas and petrochemical companies to avoid best environmental practices, how is that not a wash?
Let’s say one person in the community gets wealthy due to loosening constraints on fossil fuel development, while another deals with damage due to the same dereg (say in the case of a mishap in fracking or drilling for fossil fuels when there is dereg allowing for booming business but also causing destruction). (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oklahoma-drilling-blast/five-missing-after-oklahoma-oil-and-gas-drilling-site-explosion)
The costs of damage repair or medical costs due deregulation & increased pollution, less clean water, air, land etc… are increasing as environmental deregulations continue to be given to what should be highly regulated fossil fuel industries. The federal, state & private resources required to deal with those problems offset any economic gain.
Isn’t it better to focus on a sustainable social business model vs. analyzing gains due to increased investment in fossil fuel companies and the stock market? 10% of the richest Americans own 84% of all stocks in the stock market. A much better indication of economic health is the job market. And: