Climate Changing Week In Review: With Honda Getting It Right


This week we saw four signs of change that bode well for the world's Climate. All are prefaced by California's previously announced market mechanisms legislation. #1) Texas, already seems up to the challenge posed by mighty California. The race is on. #2) Honda announced a cellulosic ethanol design breakthrough that may result in a very efficient commercial plant as early as 2008. When a major car maker patents a fuel making process, there's business tranformation potential. Dig on it. Honda leads this off with an already great brand image, a long history of commercially successful efficiency innovations, and a record of not protecting the sunk costs of "downstream oil" with dead-end prototypes. In other words, we expect to see them in the winner's circle of a climate stabilized future. Via: Biopact blog. #3) Uncorroborated reports have surfaced that the Bush Adminstration may pull an October Climate Surprise, announcing a major climate change policy initiative. So far the only substantive ideas floating about have to do with a
v..e..r..y __l..o..n..g__r..a..n..g..e goal of staying below an atmospheric C02 max. Probably, it's just wishful thinking turned into political rumor; but, at least we're having fun imagining how the skeptics would respond. Diminishing our excitement about the US getting hip to green, Honda reportedly achieved it's breakthrough via a government/private sector research collaboration: hardly the sort of thing we'd expect in the land of free market utopianism. The upshot: regardless of what US might propose for a policy goal, the designs we'll rely on for planet saving automotive transport are likely to be in Asian patent portfolios. That brings us to the final development. #4) Ford Motor Co. has entered a period of painful transformation brought about by resource-wasting design habits acquired over the last 25 years. Change can make it better. Surprise us with what comes out from under the green roof, please! Some of you might be wondering what possible motive there could be for #3. Well, think about this. The sponsors of a Climate Change bill that has garnered the most attention on Capital Hill are: Senators Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ).

We're less concerned, by the way, with who has a the best ideas for a bill than with getting a serious public discourse underway. There's no time like an election for that.