Showing posts with label Delusions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delusions. Show all posts

Thursday, January 20, 2011

They Ain't Listening Either

A while back, I wrote a piece about how the military is ignoring the anaphylaxis of climate change skeptics and pursuing a core strategy of going green. To keep up with all the latest and greatest at the DoD and their green endeavors, check out this link. Pretty cool, huh? Man, they've got a lot going on there!

A recent column in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune shows that there is another segment of our society that isn't listening to the climate change skeptics either: Business.

Problem is, for the skeptics -- business leaders didn't get the memo.Business isn't waiting for politicians to act. Sustainability has moved from the tributaries of society into the mainstream of commerce. CEOs "have a number of stakeholders that are pushing them in this direction," says B. Andrew Brown, partner and regulatory affairs department head at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. "Customers, investors, employees, even banks and insurance companies." 

Management is learning that an embrace of sustainability is a rich strategy in an intensely competitive global economy. It offers another approach to risk management (just ask Mattel's management about the cost of recalling millions of toys manufactured in China and tainted with toxic lead paint).It's also a way to lower costs and boost efficiency.

Many of my regular readers know that I spend a fair amount of time ripping the business community. I have to admit that this article was a welcome surprise and is, without a doubt, another example of my happiness (dare I say glee?) at being wrong. So who are these companies embracing this new core strategy?

Take Wal-Mart, the controversial retail giant. Five years ago, then chief executive Lee Scott launched Sustainability 360 with three major goals: Using 100 percent renewable energy, creating zero waste and selling sustainable products. With 2005 as its baseline, for instance, a Sustainability 360 goal was to hike fleet fuel efficiency by 25 percent by October 2008. It rose 38 percent instead, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 200,000 tons a year and saving the firm more than $200 million a year. That's real money, even for a behemoth like Wal-Mart.

I've never been a fan of Wal Mart but you have to give them props for this. Wow.

Who else?

Sustainability is a driver of innovation within companies like Dow Chemical and General Electric, creating new markets and profit centers. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are betting big with an eye toward earning a payoff from clean-tech innovations.

Global investment in clean energy of all kinds rose from $46 billion in 2004 to $200 billion in 2010.

As I have been saying all along, there's a lot of money to be made in green tech and it looks like we have a lot of private businesses paying attention.

The best part about all of this, though, is how the free market is actually leading the way. The article's overall tone is that business isn't going to wait for government to come up with a solution. Honestly, they'll be waiting a long time as long as the current form of the GOP is around although it is pretty hilarious to see that not admitting fault/winning the argument trumps making money with them and their supporters. I guess I was wrong about money being the most important thing to them. Clearly, it's pride.

So that's two things I'm wrong about. Seriously stunning.....:)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Unhijacking The Founding Fathers

Usually I put up a Bill Maher final New Rule without comment but this one needs a second audio track. How about we start with...It's about time someone did this!

For too long, conservatives and libertarians have cloaked themselves in the founding fathers and the Constitution. Much like they interpret the Bible (my way or a lake of hellfire for you), their view of the formation of this country is filled with delusions. Maher points out one of these when he describes Glenn Beck's propensity to dress up like Thomas Paine. In fact, if you want to know how close Glenn Beck is to playing with his own poo, read his 'version' of Common Sense. As I mentioned the other day, events that took place in the latter half of the 18th century have an historical context. Paine's Common Sense was written from the point of view of someone taxed by a monarch. Barack Obama is not King George III. This is going to be one of my new mantras, b to the w.

The other thing that Bill points out in this commentary is yet another sad (and tragic) making of a myth. Take a look at the photo at left. Somehow this image is historically accurate for a large segment of our country. There are a couple of my regular readers who have said as much in comments. The image here is so far from reality that I can't help but call it for what it is.

It's a child's fairy tale.

Many of you will jump to the conclusion that I am being mean or snarky. Quite the contrary. That's Maher's job. Mine is one of profound frustration and great sadness. The founding fathers were products of the Age of Enlightenment and the big ones (Washington, Paine, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Madison, Monroe) were Deists. Paine and Jefferson believed in the teachings of the morality of Christ and did not believe that he was holy nor resurrected. But somehow, through a very sad delusion, they were conservative and would've tarred and feathered any liberal or progressive. This is a sad perception that honestly causes so many problems that they are too numerous to list here.

Maher has some pretty great quotes from our founding fathers in this clip that more or less prove that, if they were around today, it's pretty clear that Sarah Palin would be accusing them of blood libel.