Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why Climate Change is the A-Bomb of the 21st Century

I enjoyed this piece -- unusually ponderous for GreenBiz -- as much as it's provocative title:

Whatever is determined in Copenhagen this month, the change has occurred, and is occurring as you read this.

In fact, the change is now as real to markets and to your home, computers and cars as an A-Bomb. In corporate boardrooms I visit, in Washington, D.C., and in each of the foreign mega-cities of this world where I have visited -- from Athens and Istanbul to Canton and Hong Kong -- rising waters are real, and the need for smart industrial mitigation is felt. We live now in a carbon and capital constrained world. To not see the sign for energy diversity is to run into a Mack truck smiling.

It really doesn't matter if this is man-made or naturally occurring.

While most of the coverage on climate policy remains limited by political or corporate spin, a few basic facts remain.
1.    It is good business to conserve energy.

2.    From now on, it is smart corporate strategy to hedge against further escalating costs embedded in an overreliance on fossil fuels.

3.    Regarding your personal life and consumer choices, it makes remarkable sense to be cautious when near an A-bomb or when near the subject of climate change. Do not make grand claims. The answer is efficiency, and learning how to make industrial society more frugal yet thriving.

4.    Ignoring any of these three higher facts explains why I am so pissed off with most of the current coverage. It is as immature as macho uncles fighting over the peas at Thanksgiving dinner.

Climate Change is Just the Beginning of Social Change

Our world has limited resources. Climate change is another reminder, in our lifetime, where we see limitations to unfettered industrial growth. Growth is a good, but smarter growth in terms of efficiency and less waste is what's needed. Leaders give us what we need not just what we want.

We must transfer from the petrochemical treadmill to renewable as fast as we went from the horse and steam to cars and boilers.

I think the part that I enjoyed was how the author states some realities that many of us are aware of, but we rarely hear articulated well.

It doesn't really matter whether whether this is man-made or naturally occurring, because the types of solutions we're talking about here are both important and good for so many often basic reasons.

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