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Where in the world is the global warming solution?

The power to change the world is STILL in the consumer's hands

Neal Dikeman
Neal Dikeman is a founding Partner at Jane Capital Partners LLC, advising the technology and venture arms of multi-national energy companies in cleantech. While at Jane Capital, he has cofounded superconducting technology company SC Power Systems, Inc. (now Zenergy Power plc), and wireless technology startup WaiterPad POS Systems, and he is currently involved in launching a new venture in carbon credits. Dikeman edits and writes the Cleantech Blog, where he has written extensively on biofuels, solar, and global warming.
Neal Dikeman
2 min read

Where in the world is the global warming solution? Well, as usual, it still rests with us, the consumer.

When we care enough to vote with our ballot AND our wallet, industry and government follow.

Food for thought:

On us -

Cars - I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we have oodles of pretty hybrids on the road. But the payback on a hybrid is about 9 to 11 years for the average diver (longer than the automakers say the "rated life" of the car is). Not a pretty picture. But if we all simply bought our next car 1 car size smaller (a Civic instead of an Accord) - we'd save thousands up front AND hundreds per year on our gas bill. Which sounds smarter and greener?

Houses - It's 90 degrees outside today. I came home at 4 pm. I had mistakenly left all my curtains open. The house was 92 F. I promptly closed them - and have been running my AC for the last hour and half, just to knock 8 degrees off in one room. Generally 10-20% of our utility bill can be cut, not by technology, but just by paying attention. Are we?

On industry -

- Pepsi just recently announced they were taking their US operations green and carbon free - and bought enough green power to back that up.

- General Motors is in the process of rolling out a hybrid version of every Saturn make they have.

- Dell has launched a campaign to let consumers plant a tree to offset the carbon emissions from a computer they buy.

- BP, one of the world's largest energy companies, had a higher market share in world solar production than it does in world oil production.

Why? Because they think we, their customer, cares.

Global warming solutions are not an area where our traditional environmental model - having regulators beat up on companies whom we blame for selling us the products we ask for - will work. We as consumers need to be a part of this solution. Stop complaining it's industry's fault. It's not. Vote with your wallets, and your feet.

Next week, why China and the US hold the future of global warming in our hands.