I think it was the Canadian novelist and chronicler of the modern condition Douglas Coupland who once explained how he started each day by perusing the papers in the newsagent, in the knowledge that as long as no more than three front pages were covering the same story it had been a pretty good day.
By that reckoning it has been a bloody awful week. There has only been one story in town as everyone tries to get their head round the financial crisis gripping the world's markets. From Meltdown Monday to Woeful Wednesday, the headline writers at least have been enjoying themselves.
In five short days, we have all become more familiar than any of us ever wanted to be with concepts such as derivatives, short selling and moral hazard; while the economics reporters and journalists who are usually confined to a few pages near the sports section have emerged blinking into the light, clearly taking a bit too much pleasure in their new found profile.
One of the more interesting aspects of the whole sorry mess is the sight of everyone desperately casting round for a consensus. In the past 24 hours alone you could find respected commentators who would support any one of these positions, sometimes all at once: It's the speculators fault, it's the lenders fault, it's the regulators fault; the worst of the blood letting has finished, it has only just begun; this is a crisis of capitalism, it illustrates the health of capitalism; the "real economy" will ride out the storm, the "real economy" is in for a full blown depression.
The fact, as one city source told me, is that "no one knows what will happen next".
Thus far today, optimism founded on reports that the US government may step in to buy up bad debt has led to a sizable recovery, but the fear remains that one more unpleasant rumour about a major bank's balance sheet could send the whole edifice tumbling down again.
It is in the face of all this uncertainty that the consistent position adopted by the green business sector is all the more surprising.
There appears to be genuine agreement across clean tech firms, businesses aspiring for sustainability and the carbon markets about how the meltdown will impact them, and what's more they don't seem that worried.
Obviously, it is important not to overstate this upbeat message. Firstly, it appears crass when everyone is now convinced that considerable economic pain is on the way, and secondly no one is pretending that the financial crisis will make anything easier - quite the opposite in fact.
In the short term, large scale renewables and clean tech projects know that accessing credit will be extremely tough, while risky start ups could also suffer as a result of weak investor confidence.
Equally, firms on the edge of bankruptcy will never be able to justify the significant up front capital costs that go with a shift towards a low carbon business model. Such investments may lower operating costs in the long run, but when you are not sure that a long run exists, the case for hoarding what cash you have becomes ever stronger.
And yet optimism remains.
Clean tech investment levels may fall back a little in the wake of the current crisis, but the long term trend for these companies remains good. Two separate reports this week showed record investment levels for clean tech firms in recent months and while no one expects that to continue over the next few months as the tremors from this week take effect there is complete confidence they will bounce back again in the medium term, particularly as clean tech firms begin to scale up and deliver solid returns.
The carbon market, meanwhile, is even expecting to prosper from some of the current problems. Some banks may well pull away from the market as they restructure their trading operations, but others will see in carbon a simpler commodity than the derivatives that got Lehman Brothers and others into so much trouble.
It was also informative to see analysts Point Carbon upgrading its price expectations for carbon credits this week even in spite of a likely drop off in demand.
However, the most interesting potential repercussion of this week's market crisis (or correction, depending on your point of view) is for the environmental performance of the wider economy.
I know I wrote about this earlier in the week, but it is truly remarkable how quickly business leaders and commentators have realised the opportunity the problems in the City and Wall Street now present for the low carbon economy.
As Paul Dickinson of the Carbon Disclosure Project explains, the cause of the current crisis can be found in a failure to properly assess risk and an absence of adequate oversight and regulation. These are the exact same causes of the climate crisis and an increased focus on these concepts can only draw attention to the need for more concerted action on carbon emissions.
Today's letter to the prime minister from the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, underlines the extent to which this realisation has dawned on many business leaders, with them calling explicitly for more environmental regulation and a massive expansion in public sector spending on green projects as part of a coordinated effort to stimulate a flagging economy.
Some of the signatories may not yet live up fully to their own rhetoric on climate change, and it will be interesting to see if they would also support the higher taxes that would be required to pay for increased public sector spending, but the distance between these progressive business leaders and the old school anti-regulation corporate titans is now startling.
Were the government to seize the opportunity presented by this level of corporate backing and tie in a serious package of environmental measures to the raft of financial regulations that are now promised, then just maybe the financial crisis of 2008 will be remembered not as the end of capitalism, but year zero for the low carbon economy.
Right, I'm off to burn me some eucalyptus.
Have a good weekend,
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