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Stop Going Green

Jan28 2010 // By: RESCUE GREEN // Categories: Sustainability, Economics and Finance No Comments

The headline reads like a manifesto against where you think we should be focused now. What you say? Who is this madman espousing the opposition’s mandate. After all – climate change is a hoax. Well isn’t it? Thousands of scientists creating bogus data and trying to snow Al Gore. Who’s also trying to snow us? The Kyoto Accord (treaty) asked for voluntary reductions in GHG’s. There haven’t been any. Voluntary actions by governments don’t work. But read on there is merit and good reasoning in the following thought pattern. The future calls for bold actions not just making yourself feel good from buying a Prius, or recycling newspapers. Oh wait, yeah, there is no recycling market right now and those dutiful trash separators are outta work.

The following articles suggest major actions, not just single steps. “Think Globally Act locally” is archaic and needs to be thrown out the window, not being in tune with the major actions necessary to really change the climate crisis. We need major C02 legislation putting caps on GHG emissions. Clean burning city buses burning methane (“natural” gas) are still emitting GHG’s. In California utilities are fighting behind the scenes to control (keep control) of emerging renewable energy transmissions.

Paul Hawkin in his 1st treatise on ecology “The Ecology of Commerce” suggested that it was commerce that would shape ecology. Major corporations (worldwide) would be more dependable agents of change than governments. We can see that issue in action today at Copenhagen.

Meanwhile commerce (the green marketplace) is investing heavily in alternative energy strategies. (See “Climate Conspiracy” in this edition). GE’s Jeff Immelt recently said that “US business leaders have succumbed to meanness and greed, and widened the gap between rich and poor.” This admission from a major worldwide corporation as well as a “green” organization is a milestone in corporate governance. Read article here.

You know the “Scientific Imperative”, which means if science can do it, it will. If it is possible to clone a human it will happen because that is what science does. Corporations do what corporations are supposed to do – increase stockholder value. That means turn a profit, increase stock value, and pay dividends. The message from Immelt is subtle but impactful. Corporations need to do more than just turn a profit at any price. The “result justifies the means” consciousness.

His speech asked the following: “What is my responsibility? … Technically, nothing. Financially, nothing. We do not have to care. But we should. It begins by people telling the truth…. At the same time, ethically, leaders do share a common responsibility to narrow the gap between the weak and the strong. I have taken on the challenge to increase manufacturing jobs in the United States. These are the jobs that have created the midwestern middle class for generations. Manufacturing jobs paid for college educations, including mine. They have been cut in half over the past two decades. Many say this is a fool’s mission…”

Does this attitude bespeak of corporations changing their paradigm to one of a positive legacy, improving the planet as they make money, cleaning up their mess as the extract resources?

It’s interesting to note that his speech seems to have been largely ignored by U.S. media – the lead coverage was in the Financial Times. WSJ wrote a story about the speech but did not even mention the comments about greed; the headline was “GE’s Immelt Wants Faster Growth in India.” In other words the business considered his admission as sacrilege.

The next game changer is the smart grid that you’ve been reading about in all its million renditions, but the essence of the smart gird is in the distribution of communications not energy.

By: Jon Dougal

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