DEAD EARTH SOCIETY
Imagine my surprise to see this Letter from the Editor in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review:
Our planet is warming. We're making that happen. The effects will be global, generally bad, and in some ways catastrophic. These are incontrovertible facts.
I see. I never saw HBR as being in the business of incontrovertible facts, particularly with respect to science. I guess I wasn't reading it right.
It's interesting to look back through old issues of HBR and see that this esteemed publication is still just a flavor-of-the-month, quick-read, fad-driven mag like any other. Most of its articles have had no lasting value, and many have totally missed the mark when you look at them again with the benefit of today's knowledge of then-future trends and events.
Further down the page, I see where he's going with this.
While doing nothing about climate change puts businesses and populations in great peril, there are fortunes to be made and fortunes to be saved by those who take steps to prevent and mitigate it.
At least that appeals to profit motive (ours and his), the genius of America and the root of its success. That's better than what I'm hearing from some of the '08 political campaigns, that we should address global warming for the good of the world even if it cools the US economy. That's just stupid. If we can create in global warming a new market for the US economy, then now you've got my attention.
I'm uncomfortable with the "war against global warming" language that I'm hearing. We're at war against real enemies, but some would have me refocus on a feel-good war against a phantom enemy. And since those making the argument don't trust business to solve the problem, that leaves only Big Government to do the job.
Ultimately, you will create the theory and practice of business's response to climate change as you try, with respect to this enormous and complex challenge, to do what good business leaders do: Be the best leaders you can, see the future and plan for it, solve tough problems, and invest your resources in what really works.
And what would that be, perchance? That's a long sentence that says nothing. What works is spending your money on people, stuff, and services. Maybe I'm too shortsighted, too practical, or unable to think outside the box, but I don't see what Mr. Businessman can and should do with this year's budget to take advantage of the fact that temperatures have been trending up on planet earth. Do you?