02/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

John Passacantando, Greenpeace Leader, Departing After 8 Years Of Fighting Bush

Grist: While we're hearing people talk about green stimulus and green economy and all of that, you still hear people argue that we can't afford it, that this is not the right time.

Passacantando: For people who say, "We can't afford to do it," I would just say, "Based on what math?" Because you could also have said that we couldn't afford what we've done in the last 10 years. We couldn't afford the population of automobiles on the road to be overly heavy and inefficient. We did it. We couldn't afford to lose 4,000 people and over 100,000 Iraqis to protect oil supplies to the U.S. to drive those overly heavy and inefficient automobiles. We couldn't afford to let the banks make really bad loans, and then package them up, disguise them, and sell them off around the world. We couldn't afford to do any of that, but we did it all, and we're paying for it now. But we don't want to do more of that. So now if you use real math, math that's rooted in ecology, maybe we could do something that we need and that we can afford.

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