EnerChange – a Microcosm
EnerChange is proud to be on the side of making progress against the ravages of climate change by helping nonprofit organizations save money by saving energy. Our impact, however, is minuscule in light of the actual challenge we face. Since 2006, following Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, we have determined to help drive energy efficiency which remains the single biggest opportunity to short-term advances in response to the accelerating specter of global change based on the warming of our planet. In support of “the glass is half full”, we are determined to continue the pursuit of our mission. Two recent articles demonstrate the way in which the climate discussion has progressed in recent years.
Turning the Corner from Denial
Early on, the climate change dialogue was plagued by misinformation spread by uninformed science deniers. Fortunately, consensus regarding the current state of climate change has reached its highest level of agreement. Though vestiges of the non-believer viewpoint still persist, and despite the absence of top down support in America, we seem to have turned a corner during the past few years. Articulating the convincing facts, Scott St. George, a physical geographer at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said citing papers he authored in Nature and Nature Geoscience, “The familiar maxim that the climate is always changing is certainly true,” “But even when we push our perspective to the earliest days of the Roman Empire, we cannot discern any event that is remotely equivalent — either in degree or extent — to the warming over the last few decades.”
Respect for the Change Pioneers
The most visionary contributors to the climate conversation recently are those who move beyond the debate to the solutions. Chief among these visionaries is Paul Hawken – also one of the fearless pioneers in sustainability. His most recent extraordinary contribution – Drawdown – identifies the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming. This incredible work is based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world. Forbes, last week, quotes Dr. Jonathan Foley, now executive director of Project Drawdown, “This (climate change) may be the single biggest business opportunity in human history.” Before you dismiss this as mere hyperbole, please listen to the totality of Foley’s message.
Focusing on Business Opportunities
From Forbes, “He says we must look past the familiar solar and wind renewables that dominate the discussion about climate change solutions—not that they don’t work—simply because we need more than that.
Foley highlights five areas that make up 90% of climate change drivers:
- Food, land use and forestry
In each of these areas there are opportunities for investors, businesses and entrepreneurs. Trillions will be spent and invested to reinvent the global economy to operate more sustainably.”
Drawdown, in and of itself is a magnificent achievement. Following through however, by converting solutions to economic opportunities is without question, the key to emerging victorious in the greatest challenge Planet Earth has ever faced.