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Makower on the Green Business Bubble: There isn’t one

| Friday May 4th, 2007 | 1 Comment

earth_bubble.jpgHaving been thinking about “Green” for a long time, I’ve been very concerned lately about the idea that we’re in the midst of a bubble in terms of public awareness of environmental issues. If I were Alan Greenspan I might be calling for a ‘cooling of an overheated economy’ – the fear is that people are jumping on this bandwagon without much of a clue and that if any number of things, like a crash in oil prices, were to happen then interest would evaporate like just another fad…
But when you look specifically at the greening of business, you get a much different story, with a much rosier future:


Joel Makower’s excellent piece the other day sums it up: Green Business, as a public interest, may have appeared seemingly overnight in the media, but the principals and practice behind it have been decades in the making. Makower points out ten important points, summed up by: “The environment is now being seen increasingly as a potential value-add, not merely a cost to be minimized.”
And, I might add – doing things “greener” will be even more critical in the developing world as resource availability (including fresh water) becomes more of an issue. The US has barely begin to have the problems that are already plaguing India and China. If companies from those regions learn to do things in vastly cleaner and more efficient ways, where does that leave the of the US?


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  • http://www.densityinvestments.com Wyatt Brown

    - As posted on Joel Makower’s “Two Steps Forward”-
    There certainly is money to be made in survival!
    Do-gooders aside, smart capital flows like water or electricity, down the most efficient and logical path. This is the financial opportunity presented by a green-centric economy.
    More thoughts-
    A huge part of sustainable or green business viability is the notion that there is financial opportunity. However, the systems that much of industry employs in operation are in many ways not built to handle green objectives, efficiently.
    Fortune Magazine’s, July, 2004 print had a front cover titled “America, the 97-Pound Weakling”. This article focused on America’s lack of powerful intellectual resources.
    The article implies (and I am inclined to agree)that we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we are, as a nation, the crème de la crème of global industrial and intellectual prowess.
    Intellectual resources are what drive resource and product development and efficiency. Efficiency is the backbone of greenness, and so on…
    This is where I see the biggest weakness being in newly emerging green markets. There is a lack of intellectual capital, in relation to well-meaning people and business. Without the intellectual capital to ‘make it happen’, humans may not catch up with our out of control consumption and degradation!
    Finally, it is difficult to expect that developing nations, like China and India will help lead the way, when their citizens live in conditions that most Americans can’t even imagine. These nations may solve aspects of basic needs sustainability, but not American-style, frivolous consumer sustainability.
    What is the formula and roadmap?
    Where will the brain-capital come from?
    Who is willing to give up what, so that others can survive?
    Will we be able to answer these questions, fast enough to secure our future as a species?
    Thoughts?