Eyes On The Road, AutomobileSport, by Ron Dennis, Heikki Kovalainen-Grand Prix Driver
The title of this post exemplifies the many negative media voices we "greens" will be hearing from over the next few months. Echoing the false choice of environment versus economy, warning the incoming Obama administration and Congress to not do anything risky (like race to save the earth), skipping their botox treatments, even, to convince us of how serious they are about economics, they are content with preaching what not to do. Which leads to what?
Having enraged the left wing of his party with several initial high-profile appointments, Mr. Obama is now under pressure to placate this mob. One obvious, if frightening, choice would be to reward them with the energy-and-environment portfolio, turning it over to a team that shares the grass-roots' green agenda.Via:Wall Street Journal, Opinion Potomac Watch, Obama's Environmental Test, The president-elect's picks for his energy and environment team could undo any smart moves so far.
Yes there will eventually (decades from now) be some big losers in a less-carbon-intensive economy. (As if there are no big business losers already.) Paradoxically, there will also be many energy-intensive business winners in an economy that is overall, less carbon intensive, more dependent on renewable and local resources, and more efficient in every way.
What's The Green Tech Paradox?
Wind farms in the Dakotas need energy-intensively produced concrete for the mono-pod turbine foundations.
Wind turbine blades are built in Michigan and Ohio and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania with energy-intensive glass or carbon fiber, polyester resins, epoxy resins, sodium silicate, organic peroxides, and so on. Some segments of the chemical industry know these markets already, and will benefit greatly. Others will not.
And metal, and coating, and wire insulation,...and an endless list of other energy intensively produced products are, paradoxically, needed to make a low carbon economy go forward. They will not be forced out of business by an overly aggressive carbon cap and trade regime. To do so would signal defeat before the race begins.
The point is that monolithic generalizations about permanently preserving traditional synergies between 'energy and American Industry' and environment are not only backward looking, they are steering the rest of us toward the wrong future. And they are condescending.
The historic US industrial economy is like a car coming into a fog shrouded, icy turn at high speed, unsure of what's around the bend. The future economy will be arrived at with caution, focus, and with creative, fast responses to new risks as they appear. In the best winners circle, some of what is now made for us China will come back to being made in the USA, where management systems exist to make sure it's done right: safe; efficient; and clean.
Our president-elect and top level appointees must keep eyes forward, tapping those breaks...yes...and occasionally hitting the accelerator when there's an opening for a lane change. That's no paradox.