Of Comets and Carbon

What do the horseless carriage, the iPod, and global warming have in common? Once thought fads or fantasy, it turns out that all three are here to stay.

It also turns out that each is more connected to the other than is apparent at first glance, especially when viewed through the lens of 21st century business. In the coming weeks, this blog will take readers on a journey of connecting the dots, from emerging technologies to evolving environmental ethics. I’ll share some insights as I travel the world - - working with inventors, investors, and political visionaries - - offering provocative and profitable ways to shape the future of our planet and our economies.

Corporate social responsibility ("CSR"), especially when it comes to the environment, offers that rare intersection of doing well and doing good at the same time. But environmental CSR (call it "e-CSR") will be defined in new ways, even with a new language. Growing concern (and regulation) of greenhouse gases, for example, will result in a trillion dollar carbon market within a decade, creating a new global currency that anyone can trade for a profit.

Climate change will collide with dwindling natural resources to democratize the energy that powers our economies, redefining the haves and have-nots almost overnight. Think about it - - oil, uranium, even coal are in short supply and are controlled by the few, while the sun, wind, moving water, and things that grow are available, unfettered , to every human being on earth. Helping people master the technologies that convert those resources to something useful will fundamentally change our economic and political landscapes, like heat and pressure turn carbon into diamonds (hmmm...that has a familiar ring!). e-CSR at its best - - what’s good for the environment and its people is also very good for the bottom line.

On his last day in office, British Prime Minister Tony Blair told me that only the most sustainable businesses will survive and thrive in the 21st century. They will define our future on this planet. We’ve got a comet by the tail, so let’s use this blog to understand and enjoy the ride.

Terry Tamminen • terry.tamminen@gmail.comwww.terrytamminen.comwww.pegasusinvestors.com

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  • Dennis Sayer

    Environmental - Corporate Social Responsibility? Not unless they have to. We must have environmental laws and an agency with a strong enforcement arm willing to back the laws up. Generally speaking, businesses will do what is required by law and then make it look like they did it because they wanted to.

    I do not fully understand the carbon market. Could it be abused to the point that making carbon could increase someone’s wealth?

  • Subhashish Acharya

    Terry ,
    Thank you for the post.

    First, let me recommend you for thinking out of the box.What you have cited has a huge value in the days to come, and due to the very nature of businesses and economies today ,there will definitely be a paradigm shift from ones happening today.

    Terry , I also would like to add that , most companies in the world suffer from something called an Executable Vision problem. let me define that a bit.

    While speaking to a couple of honchos in the Financial Services vertical I find that people have myopic vision to strategy. Thanks to the Wall street people who only think profit IS the main motto. Given such a world in place , where business only think 3 to 6 months down the lane , people are bogged down under the Thick of thin things.

    Very few think of Sustainable initiatives. Had that happened, why is there so much recession around? Why is just a bunch of profit making statistics enough to define the indices of growth?

    The point is, many understand sustainability. But few know how to EXECUTE to create sustainability. Thats what i define as an Executable Vision problem.

    The result is : everyone knows its important , but no one wants to address it because it takes investment , time and responsibility.

    The key word is responsibility , because sustainability is built on faith and leadership. With CEOs roles becoming so transitory and ephimeral , there is a need to develop a new breed of professionals to guide them to a better practice and a better opportunity. My Gut says ; no ones propounded them about the opportunities in the world to come , should one take up sustainability as a Motto. Education and supplemented vision will make a huge difference.

    What are your thoughts on them?
    Pls suggest.