Archive for January, 2010

How to move Investment Capital to Sustainable Technologies

Upon reviewing an article from the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) and based on studies from the (IEA) International Energy Agency on the needs for energy in global development, one issue became crystal clear; that without investors feeling the need to move their funds toward Sustainable Technologies and Sustainable companies, there would be insufficient capital to keep up with growing global energy demand. While this causes a major problem for “developing” countries, it also causes a major challenge to move towards sustainable energy in “developed” countries. Note that I have added the quotes because, in a world that is being injured by much of the development we have experienced, one may question the long term efficacy of the whole notion of “development” as we currently know it. The term “Developed” in the fullness of time will more likely be something like “mature” and mature has a very different implication. What mature country would continue to destroy it’s own environment? Well, that’s a different topic so let’s move on.

In a quote from the report the author states that “Today private sector investments constitute the largest share (86%) of global investment flows and are expected to be essential to addressing climate change. A large additional flow of tens of billions of dollars will also be needed for adaptation.”

One of the most effective means of a government to weild it’s financial power is to influence the direction of Private Investment Capital. Rather than trying to “be” the investor as in many of the current government incentive scheme’s which directly invest, wouldn’t it be possible to take a different approach? » Continue reading “How to move Investment Capital to Sustainable Technologies”

Comments off

Thoughts on Creating a Sustainable Capitalism

An interesting news item made me ponder on the how optimum the current market is for creating and acting on new ideas.

The news item was about Canadian research on obesity and how the researcher was regarding obesity as an auto-immune disease which impacts T-cell production by reducing the so-called “Good” T-cells and increasing the “Bad” T-cells. The researcher indicated that already they had found ways of normalizing T-cell production in mice and that potential treatments for humans are on the horizon, the implication of which would be a potential for reducing obesity, type 2-diabetes, and the plethora of diseases associated with obesity.

From a health perspective, such a discovery has amazing potential for reducing the costs of health-care, especially in developed countries where obesity is prevalent. But that same discovery could be devastating for the long term and potentially even short term profits of drug companies that have invested billions in research for treating symptoms.

At this point, it is a hypothetical problem but leads to the old question: Do drug companies hide cures, do oil companies buy up technologies up like cold fusion, do auto companies crush electric cars to protect current investments? Do large multinationals buy up threatening new technologies in order to protect their original investments in outdated technologies at the peril of greater human interests?  What does or should a top executive pay the most attention to when they make decisions: personal reward, company profits, shareholder dividends, their own sense of power to make decisions, building a legacy or ethics?

Asked the opposite way: Can we make a better system of economics for propagating new ideas which uses profit potential in different ways? Can we create incentives in our economic system that would consistantly encourage executives to make decisions based on any one of the above motivations and still come up with the same decision, ideally the one that benefits human society the most?

» Continue reading “Thoughts on Creating a Sustainable Capitalism”

Comments off