Be vocal. Vote wisely. Start now.
As a young man Paul Ruzycki dreamed of being a sailor and was ecstatic when he finally landed a job on one of the big ships on the Great Lakes. But he was horrified when his captain ordered him to dump garbage and toxins overboard. Paul refused and was fired. He later joined a GreenPeace ship and for the past couple of decades has fought courageously against those who unconscionably exploit and destroy our earth and waterways.
This year Paul Ruzycki, Alexandre Paul of Montreal and 28 other crew members were arrested following a peaceful protest near a Russian oil rig in the North Sea. They were jailed for months and later confined to St. Petersberg facing a ‘Hooliganism’charge, that could have seen them sentenced to 7 years in prison. (Two members of an all-girl pop band are now doing 2 years under the same law for making fun of Putin and the church).
Thanks to Audrey Depault with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and also to Mike Schreiner of the Green Party of Ontario for helping GreenPeace to mobilize public support to try to get them both (and 28 others) home to their families for Christmas. Reports say charges have now been dropped and Alex will be home tomorrow and Paul a couple of days later.
PREDICTIONS FOR 2014 & BEYOND
Shareholders will demand future-readiness
Shareholders will demand that executive teams begin listening to their insurance companies and consultants regarding fuel costs, wacky weather and the Carbon Bubble that will burst and create obsolete business models. Without a climate change corporate strategy and an exit strategy from carbon-based fuels, many companies are vulnerable to quickly becoming dinosaurs. Everything happens faster in the stock market these days. You can lose value overnight that took years to build. Shareholders will demand strategic readiness to prevent this.
Natural gas denial will end
Energy companies are still pretending that they can cut fracking costs enough to justify the low cost of natural gas; but shareholders will soon catch on and say,“These wells are overhyped and drying up early. They’re hurting profits.” Acceptance will take place quietly because the whole reason for the magical fracking boom was that Washington and T. Boone Pickens needed a PR program to wipe the smirk off the faces of OPEC, and rationalize a cutback on Middle East war budgets; while creating the badly needed time window for the shift to renewables. As natural gas prices and other carbon fuels rise to reflect reality; solar, wind, geo, biomass and district solutions will enjoy even more explosive growth.
Longer-term corporate view
New corporate strategies will be accompanied by changes to executive compensation, which will begin to move away from the mirage of very short-term achievement bonuses. Boards of Directors will begin to look at 5 and 10-year strategies again. Companies with a lot of brick and mortar facilities will be forced to look at the costs of carbon fuels vs. renewables over the medium term. They will be pleasantly surprised to find they can save a great deal of money with relatively minor capital reallocations towards clean tech in building systems.
Walmart and big courier companies are laughing all the way to the bank with clean tech
With all the courier companies already saving loads of cash on greener fleets and the Walmarts and Empire State Buildings of the world saving a ton on building energy, it will no longer be possible to create doubt and rail against the future with any credibility. There will still be thousands of career climate-denier lobbyists in the four denier countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia); but fossil fuel companies who want to have a future will be forced to start eliminating these lobbyist careers, investing less in BS propaganda, and more in strategic readiness.
Insurance companies will put the hammer down on companies ignoring the Carbon Bubble
As more companies acknowledge that fuel costs and wacky weather are just too dangerous, we will move towards a tipping point. Like they did with corporate health programs, insurance companies will take advantage of the timing and try to recover their losses on weather events, by further penalizing those who refuse to add a climate change strategy to their corporate strategies.
After share values are pummelled and silver-haired executive teams are embarrassed for their irrational energy and insurance costs, they will be forced to retire or incorporate climate change strategy. They will hire more young people to move their building energy systems and transport fleets towards clean tech.
Investors will complete the shift to clean tech
The investment shift towards clean tech has been undeniable. It hiccupped a bit recently with the last gasp of the climate damage denier lobbyists cranking up the fake science, and with the natural gas sham storyline. Once the truth manifests itself, investors will wake up and realize that the more future-oriented among them like Vesta, GE, and Tesla-Toyota have already made loads of cash. They will have no choice but to invest in the future too, rather than in the past.
More and bigger class action lawsuits against unethical corps
Those who peddle carbon, unhealthy food (and tobacco in the East), will face tougher and better-organized foes, that will sue them into the stone-age for the havoc they are wreaking on the planet and our health. With the rise of the internet there is no place to hide.
Bigger governments will finally catch up
Follow the money. Where corporations and investors go, national and regional governments eventually follow at a politically safe distance. They will acknowledge that corps and big pension plans have now joined local governments, small businesses and private citizens; who are all way ahead of the bigger governments on climate change solutions. Bigger governments will finally enact simple polluters-pay legislation, and/or continue to level the playing field between fossil fuels and renewables when it comes to government strategic investment and incentives.
Citizens must ramp up their support for future-readiness
The shift will not be completed if we don’t keep up the pressure. Remember it’s not someone else’s problem. It’s up to each of us as individuals to make the world a better place. Thankfully it’s not that hard and it’s not as complicated as some would have you believe. You can take that from me. I’ve spent the past dozen years studying world-wide clean tech viability and renewables economics, and publishing detailed technical articles on both, in respected journals.
7 Ways We Make the World Green in 2014
Click here to learn the 7 simple things you can do to make the world a better place next year and beyond. Make it a resolution to save money now and improve the lives of your children and grandchildren. And have a Happy and Green 2014.
It’s not difficult and it’s not complicated. Let’s not be confused about how to solve climate change. We need governments to act. We don’t need better inventions. We’ve already got most of the tech we’ll need. We don’t need complex laws either. Just some honesty.
1. Governments: Forget all the crap and trade, carbon credit mumbo jumbo. It’s very simple. Polluters pay. They’re destroying our home. They must pay. Tell government leaders they’ll pay too (in the next election) if they don’t tackle this now. Be vocal. Vote wisely. Start now.
2. Conservation in Buildings: Save a lot of money by insulating your building to the max. Google “passive house” and learn the truth about heating & cooling. You don’t even need a furnace, or air conditioning.
3. Heating & Cooling in Buildings: Install solar tech, geothermal, distict heating & cooling. Insist that banks and utilities finance it. They work for you. Tell governments to either stop giving your tax dollars to fossil fuel companies, or give more to you for clean tech. They also work for you.
4. Energy: Tell your governments to move away from fossil fuel based electricity generation. Quit wasting vast quantities of public money on highly dangerous nuke budget overruns. We can build a cheaper, clean energy solar farm in 24 months, instead of 16 years. Stop whining about windmills. Oil spills are uglier. This is the new reality!
5. Transportation: Stop making excuses and buy an electric car. Put two panels on your garage roof to power it. You’ll save thousands every year on gas. These vehicles are no more problematic than any car. Don’t believe the crap you read.
6. Public Transit: It’s easy to understand that a train carries a lot more people with less energy than a bunch of cars congested together. Transit investment should be near the top of your city’s priority list. Insanely, it’s not. Why not?
7. Business: Do you know what is the fastest growing business in the world? Duh, It’s clean tech. Make money. Click here. Is your pension plan investing in clean tech? What’s the world’s biggest looming financial risk for businesses? Insurers say, not planning for climate change.
Don’t be confused. Recycling and cycling and organic food are all great. Lots of emerging inventions will become helpful. But serious change demands action now on the 7 items above.
The weather has gone completely wacky. The North Pole and Greenland are melting. Glaciers that feed rivers for hundreds of millions of us are vapourizing. What’s complicated about this? Wake up! It’s time to get serious about climate change. It’s time to act. Take individual responsibility. It’s not someone else’s problem.
Be vocal. Vote wisely. Start now.
I read about a hydrogen bus program in Whistler being scrapped by the city there. I personally think this is one of those technologies where the hype has sometimes outpaced the reality. I’m not close enough to the technology to say whether development has been too slow, but it seems like many years of waiting for the breakthrough, despite loads of money. In this case they studied the buses for several years, didn’t get the hydrogen network promised and had to ship it in, creating a 300% cost compared to diesel. They also had plenty of breakdowns. Pretty bad execution for a new tech demo; but the worst, by far, is the comment reportedly made by Eric Denhoff, president of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association to the Globe and Mail.
Instead of quietly accepting that they were given a decent chance to show off their advances, instead of acknowledging they screwed up, instead of quietly valuing the the lessons they learned; he lashed out against his partners with rhetoric. This is not the way to advance change and it gives environmentalists a bad name. The city is struggling and they simply can’t continue to spend triple the budget. Lots of environmental initiatives are highly cost effective. We should expect a preference for these and just a dabbling in the more risky ones. Denhoff should expect the same, be thankful for what he got and be quiet.
You can read what he should NOT have said here: