Thoughts on Green Businesses

If we’re going to make a successful transition to a sustainable economy it’s going to take a lot of things.
Cynics are right that green “virtue signaling” isn’t going to get the job done.
Sitting on the sidelines criticizing isn’t going to do it either.

We’re going to need the more affordable Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt and more so many people can afford an EV. Trucks and buses too.
We’re going to need more solar and wind so we aren’t just charging batteries with coal. Hydro, Nuclear, Geothermal, and maybe Tidal too. And energy storage because some of these sources are intermittent.

We’ll need:
* More walkable cities and towns
* Better public transit 
* Increased Energy efficiency
* Sustainable food systems 
* Sharing economy
* Changes in our consumerist expectations. (Buy a new widget every 1 or 2 years and throw the old widget in the closet or trash)

I expect we’ll need geo-engineering too, with the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere today.

Uncritical techno-optimism will not get us there, but returning to ancient practices isn’t going to support 7 billion people. The solutions will be a mix of high tech and low tech, and we need to collect data and use that evidence to see what works and what doesn’t.

I’m not sure how this is all going to come about. A lot of people like “business as usual”; a lot of others want change but don’t know where to start.

So I say congrats to Elon Musk for tackling a few of these problems and actually doing something. It’s not perfect but it moves us forward and we can learn from the efforts so far. If his companies can pull in some government subsidies I don’t mind too much, I’d prefer it to some of the more counterproductive subsidies.

In the United States the current administration is obviously not going to lead the transition to sustainability. So I’m putting some hope in green companies that help us transition while making money.

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