[From News from Natural Logic, Oct 2010]
You may not have seen this study from the German military think tank has analyzed how “peak oil” might change the global economy.
According to Spiegel Online:
The study… uses sometimes-dramatic language to depict the consequences of an irreversible depletion of raw materials. It warns of shifts in the global balance of power, of the formation of new relationships based on interdependency, of a decline in importance of the western industrial nations, of the “total collapse of the markets” and of serious political and economic crises.
A defense department’s response is, not surprisingly, defensive. But Germany is not alone. The US Department of Defense has declared a major commitment to renewable energy, for deeply practical reasons, and Navy Secretary Ray Maybus has set a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for the Navy and Marines of 50% by 2020 — higher than even the most aggressive state RPS program.
Companies are taking bold action too.
The Carbon Disclosure Project, for example, reports that more than 90% of the global 500 see business opportunities in climate change prevention, mitigation and adaptation.
The World Business Council on Sustainable Development convened 29 “old line manufacturing companies” to construct a 2050 plan for planetary success that details “what we must have” and “what we must not have” by 2050. Many of the companies recognized, in the words of Weyerhauser’s Robert Ewing, that “energy and environmental futures are an important part of our business model — and that if we don’t deal with those issues well, we may not be around.”
The Vision 2050 project offers a bold a specific vision, organized around the very simple but challenging question of “who must do what, by when?”
What attention is your organization giving to these issues?
Have you undertaken a disciplined effort to consider the potential impact on your business of drastic changes in business as usual — from peak oil and climate to “merely” rising oil prices and supply chain disruptions?
If you haven’t, you should — or prepare for shareholder suits for dereliction of fiduciary duty.
How does your long-range strategy address a world in which China spends 12x the US on renewable energy in absolute spending, and more than 35x in proportion to GDP, while the US drifts without a coherent energy policy? Is your company waiting for policy and regulations, or going after the markets of the future?
Don’t ignore “low risk” possibilities with high impact consequences. Your contingency planning could — as it often does for our clients — uncover near term, “no regrets” benefits.
Because if you’re not careful, you might end up where you’re headed.