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Lincoln Bleveans's picture
Executive Director -- Sustainability & Energy Management Stanford University

Global Energy, Water, and Sustainability Executive | Thought Leader, Speaker, and Writer | Strategy, Planning, Project Development, Operations, M&A, and Transformation | Team Builder...

  • Member since 2014
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  • Aug 24, 2021

We humans have measured ourselves and our world -- the human equation, so to speak -- in much the same way for thousands of years.  Well, climate changes everything, starting with the human equation. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 24, 2021

That’s Wall Street, but Main Street is also transforming. Consumers are demanding action and accountability, not just press releases. Employees (and potential employees) too. More and more, these same considerations are informing decisions in the boardroom and in the grocery aisle. Unverifiable assertions are not going to cut it: I predict that hell will have no fury like a consumer whose climate trust is betrayed.

I love this, Lincoln-- thanks for sharing! The energy wonks have worried about greenwashing for a while, all happening right in the open, but I think you're right that there's going to be a major incident of a brand/company/government who becomes the poster child for this after a particularly egregious event that will get raked over the coals for it. Will be interesting to see what it takes to get to that point, though. 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 25, 2021

"250 years after the Industrial Revolution, we must again change the human equation. Our personal, business, and policy decisions must solve not just for dollars and cents but for the new and urgent variable of GHG impact as well. What gets measured gets managed, as Peter Drucker said, although “manage” is far too tame a verb for what our world requires. For example, in the corporate arena, venerable metrics like earnings per share can find equal billing — and pricing power — with impact per share..."

Lincoln, I think you're making things far more complicated than they need to be. It all comes down to one simple truth. As a solution, it's frightfully simple:

We need to stop extracting oil, coal, and methane from the ground and burning it for our energy needs - as soon as possible.

Just because it's simple, doesn't mean it will be easy. But that is the only possible solution - there are no "net-zero" or "carbon-neutral" workarounds, no being more economical with fossil fuels, no more substituting cleaner fossil fuels. Our goal must be no fossil fuels - none - and there are no shortcuts.

Identifying the problem is the first step, and we've already taken it. That's the good news. The bad news is that the goal of the world's largest industry - profiting on the sale of those fossil fuels - runs head-on into ours. The world's largest industry spends $billions every year (a drop in the proverbial bucket), attempting to convince us their goal is ours - through advertising campaigns, lobbyists, and "research-for-hire".

For example, I understand Stanford has a Precourt Institute of Energy, founded by a generous gift from alumnus Jay Precourt. Precourt's career has been dedicated to helping some of world's biggest companies profit from the sale of fossil fuel.
I don't know if your association with Stanford has anything to do with the Institute, but is it your impression that's why academics at Precourt have funded a Natural Gas Initiative, dedicated to extending the life of methane extraction for as long as possible?

Lincoln Bleveans's picture
Thank Lincoln for the Post!
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