Big Green, ecology isn't just hippies living in methane powered VWs anymore

VW micro bus Great photo by kesselring

It looks like Big Blue (IBM) stepped aboard the green bandwagon, welcome Big Green! It still amazes me that arguments against ecology in the U.S. (particularly by certain A.M. talk radio hosts) quickly drift into disparaging sensible environmentalism by using the "environmental wacko" meme. If environmentalism is wacky, then I guess we're in good company with other wackos such as IBM and General Electric. When did environmentalism become so boring? I sure hope I won't have to wear a blue suit, white shirt and red necktie in order to save the earth.

UPDATE:As a counter balance to my "IBM dresscode history" link, here is a link to the history of Sun's CEO and his ponytail. I don't see anything about a VW microbus.

Comments:

Brian,
"I guess that leaves me and you to save the planet!":-)
Termed 'Project HP',

Posted by William Walling on October 05, 2007 at 02:10 PM GMT+00:00 #

Folks don't like change, and definitely don't like change that shifts cash flow from their pocket into someone elses. IBM is big into green, as it saves them money, my guess is GE has a similar point of view.

I was in an IBM facilities power plant a few years ago... and the usage at the time was somewhere around 18MW. As demand would head towards 20MW, they would get really concerned, and a bit more than that, if on site co generation couldn't meet the peak loads, they would start selective black outs. Peak demand fees are a huge expense. Any large business is going to become increasingly sensitive to ecology, once their costs go up exponentially.

Even in the small town I live in, we have co generation capability. Partly due to DHS funding, but more so, a cost benefit analysis of the cities peak demand might well have paid for co gen capability in and of itself. For a town of 2000 folks, our usage should be pretty low, yet our largest business is cold storage, and if they loose power, it can become catastrophic very fast, but on hot days, peak demand was costing a fortune.

Posted by Ron on October 05, 2007 at 11:33 PM GMT+00:00 #

Ron,

I think you hit the nail on the head, people don't like change. There is also the fact that many "green" technologies installed during the 1970s oil crisis were scames. That explains why so many American baby-boomers are allergic to anything that reminds them of the magnetic fuel enhancers and solar hot water heaters of the 1970s. (Several friends and relatives removed solar heaters in the 1990s because the electricity to run the pump cost more than the panels saved in generated heat.)

But it seems that during the mid-1990s SE Wisconsin electricity shortage caused by the shutdown of three nuclear power plants along western Lake Michigan, I heard that utilities were paying as much as 50 cents/kwhr for cogeneration. Photovoltaic would have been cost-competitive. In fact some commonwealth edison customers discovered that natural gas home generators could be powered for less than they were paying the utility at least before long-term generator maintenance is calculated.

Posted by bnitz on October 07, 2007 at 02:36 AM GMT+00:00 #

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