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Ten years hence

Green is the "New Black" But Will it Stay in Style?

April 11, 2008

On April 11, 2008, Anne Thompson, chief environmental correspondent for NBC News, presented, "Green is the 'New Black,' But Will it Stay in Style?" which contained the following excerpts:

  • Climate change and global warming, subjects once discussed mostly in the scientific community, are now popular topics of public discussion, signaling a much greater awareness of the issues and their importance. Even automotive manufacturers now center much of their PR on offering "gas-free or gas-friendly" autos and trucks, a significant change in attitude from even four years ago when the Toyota Prius was first introduced.
  • The new focus on green technologies presents a tremendous opportunity to re-imagine how business is done.
  • There are several energy sources that may provide energy to power America in the next 10 years, such as solar, wind and wave technology. Each has promise, but also many downsides, so there isn't an obvious answer as to which ones will alleviate the dependency on fossil-fuels.
  • Half our electricity comes from coal-fired plants, but coal-fired power is the single biggest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions in the country. Carbon capture and sequestration are technologies that are 20 years and billions of dollars away from being widely employable.
  • Nuclear power remains very controversial within the "green" community. Some believe we should not further develop nuclear plants due to safety reasons; others point to European countries who rely heavily on nuclear power and proclaim it a safe technology.
  • Water shortages are expected to be greatly exacerbated in the coming years. In Africa, an estimated 75 million to 250 million people could suffer an even greater water shortage than they do presently.
  • The United Nations and many countries believe that climate change is not just an issue for scientists, but one of international security due to the potential of unrest provoked by water and food shortages.
  • Carbon offsets, which allow a company to pay for carbon emissions above allowed levels, do not help the global warming situation if they allow businesses to pollute more.
  • Conservation is crucial to environmentalism. We cannot buy our way to a better planet.
  • In times of economic downturns, businesses typically cut green initiatives. But applying pressure in the other direction is that soon there will be limits or taxes placed on carbon dioxide emissions, so the market or government will come into play at some point.

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