Even by itself, each one of these three statistics is enough to bring deep fear to any socially and environmentally conscious person:
1. Of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, 16 are in China
2. The Chinese automobile market is expected to be bigger than the U.S. market by 2025. Some 74 million Chinese families can now afford to buy cars.
3. Every month, China must build enough urban infrastructures to accommodate a city the size of Houston in order to absorb the 300 million rural Chinese who will move to cities in the next 15 years.
These figures come from an article featured in the San Francisco Chronicle on November 13 highlighting Governor Schwarzenegger’s trip there. Apparently the abovementioned statistics and their implications were not lost to the governor. In addition to making speeches at disability and Special Olympics conferences, he promoted California clean technologies for China’s problems. Aside from the heavy dose of celebrity marketing, the Governor used well documented social cause marketing strategies to not only pitch California’s green products, but to make a veiled political statement on human rights as well.
Could hurricane Katrina be a classic case of “Blowback” to the Bush Administration’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol? From a marketing standpoint it is, and we see the President’s advisors and PR people working overtime to re-brand and market him as the strong leader amid disaster. The results of this effort we will have to wait and see.
Corporate America though appears to not want to wait and see in regards to climate change. And it’s doing so for good reasons.