Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg certainly used his voice in an awesome way this week, by giving $50 million of his own money to advocate internationally to replace filthy coal with cleaner energy. This is in addition to $165 million he has given previously, and expands his U.S.-based efforts to the rest of the world.
“The money will support grassroots campaigns, research on the health impacts of coal and legal action against coal plants that are breaking pollution rules,” according to a piece this week in the Guardian.
Killing heavily-polluting coal is one of the two or three highest-payoff global warming solutions anyway. It has become more urgent, as every year we go further into the climate crisis.
Bloomberg is no flaming lefty, but has the hard pragmatism of many business leaders (and a surprising number of leading corporations)… in effect, nowadays many like him lean conservative but are nevertheless very strong on fighting climate change.
Why? Because the goal of a business is to make money now and in the future. Pretty simple. And the “… in the future” part means great business leaders sense risk on the horizon, and lead their companies and nations to deal with it. They don’t walk around denying risk, they address it head on.
We can stand with him: Each of us can do our part using our own voices:
1) Advocate to our state and regional governments to set high standards for clean energy by utility companies they regulate… the movement is called “renewable portfolio standards.” The movement is very far along in many regions, while not even started in others.
2) As well, speak out to keep the pressure on utility companies as shareholders and vocal, interested members of the public: Retire coal as an electricity source and replace it with large-scale wind and solar farms, plus natural gas (it has half the carbon footprint of filthy coal and serves as a temporary brid ge fuel on our way to more wind and solar). Remember, most of the cold, hard business case driving coal’s current decline is due to market cost, not government regulation: Coal costs more per kilowatt of electricity than cleaner energy sources. Write to your utility company and let them know you expect the cheapest and cleanest energy going forward, and that coal fails both tests.
3) Ask friends and family to use their voices by talking socially, so we all know: Clean, non-coal sources are already cheaper (natural gas and wind) or becoming cheaper (solar) quickly. That protects the scarce family cash in each of our wallets, a reminder friends and family are very open to.
4) Also, with friends and family make the ethical and moral case, as all of the world’s major faiths have: It is obviously immoral to pollute, because it hurts the weakest among us worst and it hurts them first.
Create buzz, save the planet, and stand in common cause with business leaders like Michael Bloomberg.
Photo credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images. The Guardian article is by environmental editor Damian Carrington.
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Not sure how to start saving the planet (civilization, really)? Start by always remembering that “Hope is a renewable resource.”
Then, our practical answer becomes “Deeply know the personal Superpowers” we all bring to the game of life:
3) To save the planet, USE OUR VOICES and take advocacy seriously! Never miss a vote and never, ever stop influencing your government and all businesses locally, at the state level, and at the national level. As well, set a solid example for all around you to see. Jawbone to others about what we need to do, and influence them as peers. Finally, have an annual cash donations program. All of these are ways we can use our voices.
Stay focussed: Lead the way with substantive global warming solutions. (Far from being a bummer, this is actually a fun trend for each of us to be part of… get energized!) Our kids and their kids will be proud of us.
And in all cases and at all times, cast aside the learned-helplessness that infects so much of modern life… the time is now for climate change solutions. Never give up.
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