While countries around the world agree to partake in clean energy solutions, the United States government has made the startling decision to remove itself from global climate change and environmental sustainability efforts. Many of the recent administration changes have rolled back Obama-era policies positioned at reducing environmental carcinogens and pollution, combating the ever-increasing (and real) threat to our climate, and placing trust in fossil fuels and energy methods that have no promise of long-term significance. The plans are, at best, short-sighted.
Here are the facts.
97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is occurring. And you guessed it. The cause is human activity.
There are detrimental impacts of climate change. And we’re just starting to see them.
Climate change and global warming can be stopped. But we have to start now.
We know how to mitigate and adapt. We have the tools: renewables.
The Job Myth
The government is basing their position on economic and job opportunities. We can absolutely be on board with that. If it made sense. Promises to create more coal jobs remain unfulfilled. Pipeline and drilling efforts remain blocked in litigation. Although, how these jobs are best for worker, consumer, or environmental health is an entirely different story. The reality is that jobs are coming from technology. Not from non-sustainable industries.
Around 50,000 individuals are working in the coal industry. There are over 250,000 employed by the US solar energy industry. In the last decade, solar has grown at an annual rate of over 50%. Cities across the country are adapting their own environmental policies in the absence of national and international ones. Faced with increasing extreme weather events, cities are investing in the sustainable infrastructure in terms of agriculture and clean drinking water, power and electricity sources, temperature increases, and disaster mitigation.
Solar is just one option. Most involve sunlight in some fashion – billions of years old, it’s not going anywhere. But others, like wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass sources are just barely being scratched. Learning how to use these sources correctly, cost-effectively, and getting them mainstream offers unlimited possibility for future job positions.
Another big myth to renewable energy consumption is cost. In fact, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70% over the last decade. Imagine what the industry could do with government-backing, media involvement, and consumer adoption.
Now take Tesla as a fantastic experiment in consumer advocacy and the power and influence of the oil industry. Even through tremendous amounts of exaggerated, negative publicity, Tesla has managed to not only create a sustainable automobile, they’ve managed to create one that has high value and adoption by the average consumer. With the recent release of their Model 3, they’ve also seen to create at a price point that rivals (and often beats) the average of most automobile makers in America. Again, imagine how the industry could change with support.
The reality is that all change has to start somewhere. The most effective way to make a change is to support the companies changing the world for good. In our environmental portfolio, we’ve identified companies that profit from fossil fuels and non-sustainable practices. You won’t find them. Instead, you’ll find technology-driven and fast-growing companies with a mission to not only succeed in their industry but environmental efforts as well.
Want to learn more about impact investing and how you use your money for good? Get in touch.