Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day - Concern for Climate Change

Living in the States sometimes is a different facet altogether especially if one has lived around traffic jams and honking sounds and seen dark evening clouds filled with gaseous pollution, indeed a reflection of a life amid excessive urbanization. I remember as a student how concerned I was of mankind’s notorious affects on Mother Nature through chemical and industrial pollution, fossil fuel emissions and deforestation for commercialization. Today as a mother my concerns for climate change are deeper and double. I would never want my toddler to learn that tall buildings or racing cars or even frozen meals are much better than simply sowing a seed, planting trees or preserving the life around. Our children are our future and to rear them in a safe environment we need to change our present so that these kids enjoy a greener globe. This concern is my voice for climate change in the 21st century.

In my view times ahead are going to be tougher and our acclimatization to change today with a new state of mind can help us through transitions. Automation and technology have already influenced us over the past few years by making our lives easier through push button services and plastic money. So far so good but somehow the thought of a convenient lifestyle also conveys a perceived message. An easy way of life perhaps has incited mankind to crucify nature day in and day out. Blog action day on Climate Change conveys the need to actualize on our ideas now and capitalize on the resources available today to us in order to save our souls from environmental threats in the near future.

The issue of global warming as we all know is diverse ranging from food to travel to business and politics, as each has been a contributor in its own specific way over the past decades. Talking about the role of business and industry seems significant to me as any organization is bounded by corporate social responsibility, of which continued efforts to minimizing future risks to a healthy environment are utmost important. Toyota’s hybrid cars indeed are a good illustration here. It shows the organization’s strategic initiatives to green living. Not only is it motivating us to be climate friendly but also reducing our dependency on our Middle East counterparts.

Climate change therefore is just not an ethical issue anymore but a forefront corporate initiative that shows an organization’s strategic leadership and vision. To name a few Statoil (Oil & Natural gas), Whole Foods Market (Retail), MTR Corp (transportation), Unilever (Household goods), and Sharp (Electronics) are pioneers who have successfully adapted their business mission to a green world. Their green initiatives are a benchmark for many budding businesses, proving that climate change today is more than just a policy framework or state regulation but a business intervention as well. The road to climate change however still has binding concerns ahead with industries such as Marine, hydropower, tourism and insurance as most vulnerable to change. This perhaps is the root to a burgeoning question that faces most business around the globe, ‘mitigate climate risks vs. adapting to climate change’.

In my view a better strategy perhaps would be to minimize risks through adaptation rather than spend million dollars on research and development to mitigate climate risks. Any change suggests creativity and orientation to future. More importantly it encourages us to adopt and adapt, just like we did when buying hybrid cars or saying no to plastic bags or saving cans for recycling. Taking a clue from change as a mighty word here, I am inspired to adapt. In my view the adaptation strategy shall enhance business flexibility. It however shall be a long-term investment with a longer pay back period than any man made portfolio. It still seems better than spending our savings reserved for our future generations on mitigating risks that may or may not yield desired and timely results. In my view, any corporate decision, as also decisions in our daily life have an opportunity cost to it. Businesses in the US, as also around the globe need to weigh this opportunity cost to come to terms with Nature.

With some thoughts shared for a cause that needs action now, I feel pressured for our future generations. The responsibility of climate change is ours as we have contributed a lot in different ways to the nature. I hope that our global village sustains its green wealth so that our little one’s can swing in nature’s arm and bud into its bountiful charm. Climate change should therefore be of significance for a global leader like United States so that its pledge today is a vow for the rest of the world tomorrow.

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