Environmental News Nugget: April 10, 2012

By Austin Stahl | as506610@ohiou.edu | @AustinStahl24

We now have more information available to us than ever before, and businesses of the future will have to shift supply chains to meet our demands should we choose to harness this power. Read on to learn about the new technologies available to us and how businesses are changing in the face of such advances. Lastly, policies on climate change might not really cost that much. Considering the repercussions of failing to take action, why wait?

1. “Betting on Technology to Help Turn Consumers Green”
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/betting_on_technology_to_help_turn_consumers_green/2513/

Transparency in the marketplace is leading to increased power for the consumer, as some businesses and nonprofits are providing information that was previously only available to businesses. Consumers can now use technology to find out how the products they buy are produced, looking at the amount of resources used to make them and also taking into account potential health hazards and social issues like fair wages and child labor.

2. “Business needs to learn to see separate challenges as part of the whole”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/business-work-more-like-nature

Speaking of environmental and social issues, businesses are starting to see the need for change as well. Check out how economies of scale can be supplemented by economies of scope: “interlinking relationships, open resource and information flows that facilitate improvements in innovation, collaboration and resilience.” According to this author, businesses of the future won’t just be focusing on minimizing their negative externalities, but creating positive value for the environment and society as a whole, not just the economy. I for one am excited for these changes to take place.

3. “Stopping Climate Change Is Much Cheaper Than You Think”
http://motherjones.com/environment/2012/04/climate-action-cheap-david-kennedy

To quote the article, “A 2009 survey of 289 of the world’s top economists with expertise on climate change found broad consensus that the benefits of action outweighed the cost.” So if even the economists are calling for action, what are we waiting for?

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