Tuesday, 7 April 2009


The Credit Crunch has taken the Climate Crisis off the front pages. We pick up a sense of inevitability about it all, even in places like the New Scientist. For a while it looked like public opinion, awareness and sentiment might just contribute to a more organized lobby aiming to slash carbon emissions.

In the corporate world, Big Green Projects are getting axed in favour of Cost-Cutting programmes. On the one hand, I can understand why. Green and sustainability initiatives can, on the face if it, seem like luxurious nice-to-haves when stacked up against projects which will drive up revenues, save costs and minimise expenditure. However, a longer look at the business cases for those green projects often reveals that they also talk directly to the bottom line by ultimately reducing energy and wastage costs, albeit over a slightly longer timeframe. Companies facing in-year budget challenges, with landords demanding upfront rents etc, etc simply can't wait... or so they think.

This psychology is echoed globally as quick fix remedies push longer term strategies off the agenda. Climate Control becomes someone else's problem, as we read more and more about the potential fixes available through geo-engineering, including capturing CO2 and sinking it below the oceans, seeding the same seas with iron filings, and spraying the clouds to reflect the sun's rays.

These geofix strategies have some merit but carry great risks. These are risks we may need to accept as we look increasingly unlikely to get our own house in order.

[An update with links later...]

Geolocate this post.

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1 comment:

Caleb Storkey said...

Thanks Tim for this post- couldn't agree more. It's all about the quick fixes which I think is going to cause us further problems downstream.