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January 30, 2008

Comments

Cervus

What makes you think that the small business isn't concerned with making a big profit, too? One guy with a truck and pool care equipment. A businesswoman who owns her own clothing store. The stakes for making a profit are higher for them, since if their business goes down they can more easily lose their shirts.

Don't blame Bush for policies that date from the Clinton administration. Remember the Byrd-Hagel Resolution? It basically said that the Senate would ratify no climate change treaty without developing nations on board. And it's the Senate that ratifies treaties.

Marcus

Bush can be appropriately criticized for his current stance on the issue, which is indeed to keep his hands off regulating CO2. I don't care about history, it is now that counts.

Sam

I wonder how business views energy independence - getting off foreign oil possibly to lower fuel costs?

Al Fin

There is a difference between energy independence and catastrophic global warming theory, Sam. We could be energy independent from vast new oil, gas, or coal discoveries, for example.

At this time, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. Can you think of a way to falsify CAGW? We have already had almost ten years of statistically flat temperatures. What do we need to falsify the models? 15 years, 20, 25?

Unfalsifiable hypotheses are not science. CAGW is true by definition, it is intuitively obvious, but it is not science (and it is also likely to be wrong).

Jorge

Obviously, if a company alone starts to sacrifice its profits for the sake of preserving the nature, it risks bankruptcy because it would be in disadvantage compared to the others.
That's why governments have to take part on this problem: If the rules aren't equal for all, no company will consider this issue seriously, there's too much to lose for them.
It's not that hard to understand, I think... clearly Bush only cares about his own pocket.

Kit P

I have yet to find anyone who makes AGW a high priority, including Al Gore. The priority of AGW is somewhere after heated swimming pools, hot tubes, and hot showers.

The primary reason AGW is not a high priority with any business is because just about everything else has a higher priority. Most of you take public heath for granted. Treating sewage takes lots of energy. Preventing the spread of cholera has a higher priority than AGW.

When you systematically prioritize environmental impact of doing business, AGW is too small to worry about. Having an adequate energy supply (energy security) is more important than AGW. AGW is more about drama than it is science. The theater majors can explain that.

In any case, it is the policy of the US government to do something about AGW. I want Marcus to explain how regulating ghg in the US is going to have better results than current policy which is the most effective ghg reduction program in the world and is also addressing having an adequate supply.

Big business interest in the US have been debating the best way to regulate ghg but you need to listen carefully. Their goal is not to reduce AGW but ensure that regulations favors their business interests.

The best I can tell people like Marcus are more interested in finding someone to blame than solutions.

Paul Heideman

Sorry, but could someone tell me a time period when more progress has been made (battery research, hybrids, etc.) than in the last five years ? I don't think government policy has much to do with it.

Stephen Boulet

Government policy in the form of tax credits for renewable energy could do quite a bit.

Any thoughts on production vs. investment tax credits for solar thermal?

Stephen

bigTom

For any one business their own impact is small, but if they undertake an expense their competitors don't the consequences could be severe. Thats why governement is needed, to set a level playing field. In some cases, a small environrmentally positive change is deemed worth it, as a cheap form of PR. Real change requires more than just some greenwashing inspired changes by consumer visable companies.

The reality is that while we have a lot of very innovative small companies, the bulk of the economy is not making the changes needed for our economy to survive peak oil, or for significant GHG emmisions reduction. The time to make these adjustments soon enough to avoid severe consequences is running out. Any meaningful regulations would help the above mentioned innovative companies.

Contrary to the denialist propaganda, warming did not stop in 98. 98 had a very large ElNino (which causes warm years), any reasonable fit to the noisy time series of world temperatures shows strong warming -not a plateau. A few people try to cherry pick a few years data to claim otherwise, but this is nothing but distortion, not science.

Jorgie

ECONOMIC BOYCOTT, if possible, all 500 major firms that disregard global warming as a priority!
Please list the 500 companies mentioned in your article & if possible list the companies that are proactively GREEN!
This strategy has worked in the past and can do so again.

Charles Barton

I picked up some very interesting quotes from Tuler Hamilton, a Canadian reporter whose beat includes government and industry responces to global warming issues.

"Governments and industry love to talk about the things they plan to do, perhaps to detract attention away from what they haven't done or aren't doing." - Tyler Hamilton

Quote from the same article: "We're not actually doing very much. We're in a world where there's an enormous amount of talk but very little actual action." - Professor David Keith, University of Calgary

"There's been no shortage of press release." - Tyler Hamilton

Now this is Canada. The truth is that nobody including the "Greens" is yet ready to meet the challenge. The Greens are still more determined to beat back the surge for nuclear power, than to bring global CO2 emissions under control. Tge German Greens actually favor the insane idea of shutting nuclear power plants down and replacing them with coal burning power plants.

Who can blame businesses for ignoring CO2 control issues, when environmentalists sho by their action s that they don't care either.

Marcus

"The primary reason AGW is not a high priority with any business is because just about everything else has a higher priority"

- typical KitP speak. What does it mean? Absolutely nothing.

Just because you have a future discount rate of 100% KitP doesn't mean everyone else does. Also for many people in the world the problems are now not in the future. Just ask the people from Atlanta, the east coast of Australia, Spain and many other places.

The Bush policy is to throw token money at it. This is a pathetic attempt at PR.

Lastly, we've been over policy for regulating AGW and how it would be effective. In effect you've admitted that if it costs more to emit GHGs nuclear would have been chosen over coal.

I quote you again.

"In most parts of the US, coal is still the cheapest new source of base load electricity. This is why generators have been selecting coal project ten to one over nuclear."

John

The priority will shift to clean energy when the bottom falls out. As for now, I, am Chicken Little, sad to say, that may not be the case for long.

Many of us are bound to a Cassandra complex.

Let's make ready, our time is soon, be happy, it's all good in the end.

Have faith in the next generation, they will sweep away the lies of our fathers, and our fathers only knew what they where sold.

Peace ;-)

fjh

Business responds to the cost of energy and the impact of environmental regulations in several ways:

They undertake energy efficiency studies that result in short term savings, i.e. payback in only a few years. I've never seen an energy efficiency study that didn't have some very high up front costs, and a very nebulous long term payback.

They seek to minimize their energy costs in different ways, i.e. switching fuels, compact florescent light bulbs.

They resist global warming 'hysteria' by asking how much will CO2 reduction schemes lower the temperatures over time; how much will it affect my customers' ability to buy my goods/services, and how much will it affect my price for energy. They will demand proof of the 'harm' of global warming before buying into abatement schemes.

If you ran a business you'd resist and evaluate any global warming abatement scheme as carefully as you do any other costly regulation that you may have to comply with.

John

again, I see no reason for business to change, until everything changes.

And it will, and business will, but not until then, be it next week, next year, or ten years from now.

Then bigger the wait, the harder the fall.

fjh

Business changes a lot faster than you realize; industry and association groups are constantly doing future's research and accurate forecasting of costs, demands, and technology.

I'd say Business changes faster than the general population or political activists who 'push' an agenda; while business has a customer interface that is extremely sensitive to changes in service/product demand.

Benny

Want to save the planet? It’s easy. Just figure out how to make money doing it. I believe we have already done so.

Sharp, the people who make LCD TV's, is the largest installer of Solar Power in America. GE is one of the world's largest producer of wind.

Wal Mart has achieved 15% efficiency gains in it's fleet, and is looking for 15% more. It will make existing stores 20% more energy efficient, 30% for new stores.

The green revolution is going to be powered by money, political will, regulations, and more money. Mostly money. You want Manhattan Project spending? It’s here now: Companies today are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to come clean, because of two reasons:

1. It saves them money – conservation through technology.
2. It makes them money – Green sells!

As a side benefit, the more they do, the better the Public Relations. It is a wonderful symmetry. Here is an idea of how much money is already involved.

Venture Capital spending on Green technology has increased by a factor of ten in the last decade:

http://www.data360.org/graph_group.aspx?Graph_Group_Id=369

Here is one network of green technology investment, the Cleantech Network: -
is one network of green technology investment, the Cleantech Network: -

"Our network contains over 8,000 investors, 6,000 companies and 3,500 professional services organizations that specialize in cleantech globally. Included in that number are an elite group of 1,300 affiliate members with over $3 trillion in assets under management."

Yep, that’s Trillion.

http://cleantechnetwork.com/index.cfm? pageSRC=WhoWeAre

The consumer is adding to this toll in growing numbers – 50 million Americans now - have now been labeled with an acronym – Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). We are also Cultural Creatives, apparently:

http://www.lohas.com/about.htm

The Green Revolution is already being powered by Big Business, because it makes sense and it makes money. They are not stupid - they know that fossil fuels are a dead end and that there is huge money to be made in efficiency and alternatives.

This spending powers further technological development. Wal Marts thirst for fuel efficient trucks speeds their development.

The real issue is that folks get too wrapped up in the Global Warming hysteria to notice that the solutions are already on their way; and that folks are often welded to the myth that problems cannot be solved with intervention from Big Government.

Markets are not waiting for Big Government to weigh in. They are reacting already. Markets move at the speed of Money. Governments move at the speed of debate. Don't wait for Washington; just continue to buy green, talk green, write green, and capitalists will line up to sell it to you. They already are.

Kit P

Let me amplify Benny's comment. US industry is building low carbon sources of energy at capacity. Tens years ago if you checked www.greenenergyjobs.com
you would find positions for fund raisers and summer interns. Now there are jobs for building renewable energy projects, lots of them.

Paul F. Dietz

We have already had almost ten years of statistically flat temperatures.

Weather 'noise' in the record is such that this should not be surprising. The ability of short term data to falsify the results from the models is weak, and ten years is still 'short term'. This is why climatologists use longer term data.

Vote daily

Tis simple - vote with your wallet. If you think the environment should be a priority for firms, don't spend your money with firms that don't have such as a priority/taking efforts to lower their footprint on the land.

henrylow

Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

www.onlineuniversalwork.com

Jordan 1

And scientists concerned about climate change believe it will cause more drought in many areas in the future.

cheap nike shox

This was an age of innocence and happiness.God bless you all, and God bless America !

B2B Marketplace

reat Information and post! It is very informative and suggestible for the user of solar energy, May I think it can be beneficial in coming days...

Furniture Stores Burbank

You're right that this isn't surprising, but it's still infuriating!

Auto Lease Los Angeles

This should be at or near the top of the agenda. Big business could actually help but they turn a blind eye, as usual.

Dentist Los Angeles

9 out of 10 do not rate this as a priority? Terrible!

Air Purifiers

I completely agree with you that governments should be imposing limits and regulations on businesses to help with global warming- they need to monitor this as well as be an example for citizens and businesses.

Reversing sensors

Out of 500 only 1 in 10 regarded global warming as a priority? This literally makes me speechless. Are they not aware
of the negative impact we are all having on the world?

SEO Services

I think the scariest thing about this is it was a study of businesses all over the world- not just the US.

Tours of the Vatican

The world revolves around money, unbelievable how greedy people can be.

acting classes los angeles

Even if businesses currently are not thinking about this, I think it would behoove them in the long run to take stock and work towards helping out with this issue, because in the future we will be FORCED to make changes and if they get in on this now they have a chance to turn an even bigger profit.

Microsoft Office 2010

The new President will have to embrace this exact plan if the United States is to avoid economic catastrophe.

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