Friday, June 24, 2005

Is CO2 a Pollutant?

I read in Investor's Business Daily opinion piece entitled "The Gashouse Gang" this morning. According to this, the increase in CO2 concentration is good for the planet. They quote studies from The University of Missouri that the Antarctic ice sheet gained mass between 1992 and 2003. Of course, if you read a bit more about the study, they are noncommital on the issue of climate change and global warming (one in the same, depending on what media source you believe). There is an opinion voiced in the press release that the gain in mass may be attributable to an increase in precipitation brought on by the aforementioned climate warming, I mean global change, I don't know what I mean.

The article does go on to say that the increase in CO2, according to research scientist Sherwood Isdo, enables plants to develop more extensive root masses to absorb nutrients more efficiently. Sure, taking the CO2 from a power plant and pumping it into greenhouses will yield lots of tomatoes, but what happens long term?

From a business perspective, I am a proponent of the increase in efficiency the regulation of CO2 emissions will cause. Industrial processes are woefully inefficient. Figures I read in Natural Capitalism indicate an overall production efficiency, counting energy production, transportation, manufacturing, etc. on the order of 1-2%. What! How is that acceptable? The fact is that resources will become more scarce, why not use them more effectively and intelligently? "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

I suppose industrial behavior mirrors personal behavior and vice versa. We could eat healthy food to help maintain our bodies, but instead we'll indulge and then wonder why our teeth are stained and our pants don't fit. Fortunately, savvy marketers have created products to address these personal issues.

Which marketers will create demand for products and services to increase resource efficiency?

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