Our work on light bulbs wasn't an arbitrary mandate. We didn't just pick a standard out of the air, or look for a catchy sounding standard like 25 by 2025 not based in science or feasibility. Instead, we worked with both industry and environmental groups to come up with a standard that made sense and was doable.
The industrial processes in use today were developed at a time when no one had to consider what the environmental impact was. Who cared? But making ecological concerns matter to a company's bottom line will help it do the research and development that will reinvent everything we buy.
There's a rising tide of environmental awareness and activism among consumers that's going to continue to swell in the 21st century. Smart companies will get ahead of that wave and ride it to success and prosperity. Those that don't are headed for a wipeout.
Liberals in Congress have spent the past three decades pandering to environmental extremists. The policies they have put in place are in large part responsible for the energy crunch we are seeing today. We have not built a refinery in this country for 30 years.
It's coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It's not just climate change; it's sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.
We have no reason to think that climate change is harmful if you look at the world as a whole. Most places, in fact, are better off being warmer than being colder. And historically, the really bad times for the environment and for people have been the cold periods rather than the warm periods.
Moreover, the practical recommendations deduced from ecological principles threaten the vested interests of commerce; it is hardly surprising that the financial and political power created by these investments should be used sometimes to suppress environmental impact studies.
Of the 55 refineries closed in America in the last 10 years, they were all closed for economic reasons, mostly oil company mergers. Not a single one was closed for environmental purposes or objections.
We are a retailer - we are a merchant. That is our business. But we look for places to make a positive difference. There is such a thing as a double bottom line, whether it is the wage increase or what we do with environmental sustainability to limit waste.
I decided that now is the time to start doing the things that really interest me and I find important. It was in the 10 years of the MacArthur grant that I began working on my first book... and I began putting more work into environmental history.