This morning Barack Hussain Obama became 44th President of the United States before a backdrop of mounting environmental concerns, national security fears, economic instability and a very expectant, demanding and increasingly impatient constituency. Today he humbly called on American and the World’s citizens and to help him. The future of clean technologies of every sector require forward thinking politicians and intelligentsia to wean the public from energy sources that “strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet“.
For numerous reasons, over the last 8 years our executive and legislative branch has resisted claiming an international leadership role as it pertains to sustainable electrical generation, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Going at it alone is not going to be as effective as a concerted global effort. Despite failing to take top marks in any recent international popularity contests this country of immigrants is still seen as a definer of the international world order.
Let us hope that President Obama’s leadership will accelerate the recent trend of American interest in renewables. If he is successful at getting the rest of the world to accept US leadership then perhaps we cab expect to be able to collaborate with other massive consumers of energy to steer away from non-sustainable energy sources.
This article is a continuation of my previous point that the successful assimilation of Clean Technologies in all business sectors hinges on the environment, energy and international collaboration.
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION & LEGISLATION
As discussed previously (I,II,III), the world is increasingly small and without consistent international policies there will be no effective impact. Companies, like electricity, take the path of least resistance – they will seek to produce in states with less stringent guidelines. The CleanTech “industry” is brought together by a need for pragmatic and forward thinking leaders to encourage consumers and companies alike to account for deriving benefits from exploiting unsustainable processes. Alternatively we can wait for severe natural disasters to punish us into submission.
Empirical evidence, as recent as the sharp increase in mileage in the United States following a drop in petrol prices, has shown that the fear of global warming is not an effective mechanism for curbing profligate consumption and production. The continued research and development and eventual implementation of clean technologies will require potentially draconian global legislation that ranges from capping and accounting CO2 emissions, to increasing efficiency standards, to penalizing the production of non-recyclable components, to incentives for mining landfills, to incorporating the true life-cycle costs for the storage and containment of nuclear waste.
Time and time again we have seen that humans can’t change what they don’t measure. Only by implementing these controls through limits or economics will business executives establish new and accurate mechanisms to judge a business’ potential success or failure that includes a “return on energy” or a “return on environmental impact.” Without controls they will skip the environmental sniff test, and the world will suffer the consequences of the pursuit of their self-interest.
So… if, for some crazy reason, President Obama is reading this… i say again “welcome to the center stage, the country and the world are expecting great things from you and your team of 304 million people. Please lead us all wisely.”