(Page 2 of 3)
American firms have been making steady progress in reducing GHG emissions relative to the nation’s economic growth. Overall emissions have grown by 16 percent from 1990 to 2005, while the U.S. economy has grown 55 percent over the same period.
Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner jet, unveiled last July, is selling briskly due in part to its environmental and fuel efficiency features. It is the world’s first large commercial airplane made mostly of lightweight carbon-fiber composites and a lot less aluminum. Quieter on takeoffs and landings, it uses 20 percent less fuel and carbon than any previous commercial jet and consumes about one gallon of fuel, per seat, per 100 miles of travel. According to Boeing, this is less than a typical sedan and a half to a third that of an SUV.
Even the publishing world is getting into the environmental game. In 2006 Random House announced its intention to increase its use of recycled paper tenfold. Recently, Simon & Schuster announced plans to eliminate the use of paper with fiber from endangered and old-growth forest areas. By 2012 the company wants at least 10 percent of its purchased paper to be derived from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FCS), a third party which verifies sustainable forestry practices in the field.
Thomas Nelson, Inc., has published a Bible consisting of only recycled and FCS-approved paper.
Coca-Cola Co., a business in which water supply and quality are of paramount concern, has articulated its goal to become “water neutral” through water recycling, reuse and treatment. It is donating $20 million to the World Wildlife Fund to assist the company in its water conservation efforts in seven major river basins around the world and to verify the program’s progress.
The Wall Street Journal (June 6, 2007) quoted E. Neville Isdell, the company’s chair and chief executive, as saying that while the water efficiency program could well produce savings, the company’s goals are primarily about preserving goodwill. “If we do not act responsibly, society will not give us the social license to continue to operate,” said Mr. Isdell.
Over the previous five years, Coca-Cola cut its water usage to 2.5 liters for every liter of final product, down from 3.1 liters.
ENTREPRENEURS AND VENTURE CAPITALISTS are starting to move into the environment in a very big way. In the first nine months of 2007 alone, U.S. venture capital firms invested a record $2.6 billion in clean technology — a 46 percent jump compared to the $1.8 billion invested in all of 2006.
The Economist of March 1 ran a story entitled, “From geeks to greens,” which described how executives are switching from the computer industry to clean-technology firms. The article described how several high-flying executives shifted toward greenery. Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, is now chairman of Tesla Motors, an electric-car start-up.
Evidently, there are elements in common between solar panels and microchips. An early successful venture in the new green world is SunPower, a solar-energy firm spun out of Cypress Semiconductor. As of March its stock market value was nearly $6 billion.
Making money and creating incentives for environmentally friendly behavior is a theme running through many corporate initiatives. Coca-Cola recently invested $2 million in a startup called RecycleBank, with hopes of “turning trash into cash.”
RecycleBank was the brainchild of Ron Gonen, its thirty-something chief executive who came up with the idea while studying for an MBA at Columbia.
Basically, RecycleBank signs up customers who receive a special container embedded with a computer chip. According to Fortune magazine’s Marc Gunther, “every time the recycling truck comes for a pickup, it records the weight of the bin and transmits it wirelessly to an online account. Homeowners accrue up to $35 worth of credits a month based on the amount of recycling they do.”
These credits can be turned into coupons redeemable at more than 300 retailers including Starbucks, Whole Foods and Rite Aid.
“So the homeowners save money, cities save money as disposal costs go down and Recycle Bank wins by collecting a share of the cities savings,” says Gunther.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?