Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Climate Change Response on LinkedIn

What are the real reasons U.S. lack on investing in this green industries [renewable energy sectors]?
  • I just want to compare European countries and Asia countries. 
  • The United State of America becomes far behind than their counterparts in this green business or green industries. 
  • For example, Germany produces the world largest solar energy panel for global people to consume. 
  • In addition,PRC could become one of the largest producers of the wind power.
This question above came up on LinkedIn. My first response was a blunt "lack of price on carbon." My second response is to the answers following mine.

@Philip: It's Juan Carlo, no "S," thanks. And I agree, corruption would be a large problem. In the US we can't get our banks to be greed-free, we have to work with the human condition the best we can.

@Patrick: I respectfully disagree - on your stance on carbon markets. Do artificial markets work? Do taxes limit smoking? Set the ceiling high enough and people won't reach it.

And the rest of the world has been on board the Kyoto Protocol (except...). Regarding concerns that growth will shift abroad: we're in an interconnected world, if Europe grows, the US will grow (we're a net importer in everything but live animals). Similarly, harm here is harm abroad. My favorite example is one housing disaster here, is an economic meltdown everywhere.

Imagine instead of homes going bankrupt or banks; it's entire nations. Though, this time it's not because of lack of cash flow, it's because of lack of natural resources (farmable land, drinkable water). There's no such thing as a free lunch, but there could be lunch shortages.

Policy needs to be as interconnected as our economies. California's example is the AB-32 (Assembly Bill 32). One aspect is that we're not to increase pollution; we have a cap. CA has a limit on its coal-fired power; when we don't have enough electricity we buy from Nevada's coal-fired plants. That's a net increase in pollution, but at least policy is successful.

A similar problem is for the world. If only one nations limited carbon emissions, there would be no point, other countries are allowed to pollute the same air. Similarly if all nations but one limit carbon emissions, there would be no point. It's the same planet, same air, same atmosphere.

I'm actually working on it the American Policy portion of the Climate Change Policy Series at Justmeans (dot) com. Click on editorials. From biodiversity (Teeb report) to National Security (weak allies abroad is a weak US) to disease control (increased climate creates new mutations of diseases), the US has incentive to pay the entirety of the Climate Change mitigation. Why not just pay some?

@Justin: Whoa. I vote bottom-up and top-down approaches; we can't wait for the world market to crash and yet we can't move quickly without our large organizations and their money.

@Goran: I vote you as most usefully using your time, great work!

@Stephanie: Checkout Justmeans (dot) com, there's a lot of people there that think the way you do, practical, but they all have a hand at trying to better the world, think social/intelligent/green/corporate utility.

@All: Cheers!

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