2GreenEnergy.com Bringing Together Clean Energy Investors with the Strongest Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities 2016-07-31T03:16:09Z http://www.2greenenergy.com/feed/atom/ http://www.2greenenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/favicon-1.png craigshields <![CDATA[When Is It a Good Idea to Argue Against the Run-of-the-Mill, Garden-Variety Ignoramus?]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61263 2016-07-31T03:16:09Z 2016-07-31T01:03:01Z ]]> When Is It a Good Idea to Argue Against the Run-of-the-Mill, Garden-Variety Ignoramus?Frequent commenter (when will I find a new descriptor?) MarcoPolo writes: Trump knows his audience will hear what they want to hear. His best publicists are his enemies. The more vitriolic and outraged they become, the more likable he seems.

He’s correct that attacking Trump makes him stronger, at least in the sense that it causes his supporters to dig their heels in deeper. If I were advising Hillary Clinton, I’d encourage her to be quite urbane about the whole thing and let the American people make the choice that suits them best. Insulting other people’s intelligence really isn’t a good idea, either pragmatically or morally.

I told my kids this when they were very young: around here, a) we get plenty of vitamins in our diets, and b) we don’t argue with crazy or stupid people. It only suggests that somehow, you’re on the same level. Also, you might get beaten up; these kinds of people easily resort to violence, because it’s the only thing they have in their favor.  Don’t play their game.

craigshields <![CDATA[The Effect of Raising One’s Voice]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61251 2016-07-30T21:04:03Z 2016-07-30T18:33:23Z ]]> The Effect of Raising One's VoiceRe: my post on Bill McKibben speaking about the U.S. presidential election, frequent gainsayer MarcoPolo writes:  Advocates like Mckibben may get cheers from the “converted” but many Democrats will stay away from the polls because they don’t like his rhetoric. His continual bitter rants against Donald Trump only increase Trump’s popularity with his followers, increase his stature, and focus media attention on Trump.

Two points:

To his credit, McKibben doesn’t go out of his way to attack Trump.  He apparently believes, and I think he’s right, that Trump is in the process of doing lethal damage to his candidacy with his own mouth.  Without any vitriol, McKibben reports that Trump is a climate change denier and a supporter of coal. Both are completely true, but there is no need for anger; the positions generate their own anger among anyone with any intelligence and decency.

 In your comment above and in many other places you suggest that protest, generally, is destructive to its own cause.  Here, you’re simply incorrect.  You’re a student of history; just look at every point of our civilization’s progress in the last 800 years starting with the Magna Carta, the formation of the US (and thus the US Constitution), abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, the diminution of child labor and inhumane working conditions, and, today, the upholding of the rights of young black men not to be executed by the police. Every single one came about because large groups of people (which began as small groups or individuals) said, “Enough.”

I’m reminded of what Henry Kissinger said not too long ago: “If it weren’t for the protest of the common American to the war in Vietnam, we’d still be there.”  Powerful stuff, IMO.

craigshields <![CDATA[Presidential Candidates on Climate Change]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61249 2016-07-29T23:48:58Z 2016-07-29T23:48:58Z ]]> Presidential Candidates on Climate ChangeHere’s a little exchange on Twitter that I thought might bring readers a Friday afternoon chuckle:

A guy writes: Something that shouldn’t need saying but apparently does: @HillaryClinton’s climate plan is better than @realDonaldTrump’s.

…..to which my colleague Stephen Lacey of GreenTechMedia (pictured) responds, Wait. Trump has a plan?


craigshields <![CDATA[What’s a Rational Course Toward Environmental Sustainability?]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61247 2016-07-31T00:07:53Z 2016-07-29T18:30:59Z ]]> What's a Rational Course Toward Environmental Sustainability?Frequent commenter MarcoPolo writes about the urgency with which I propose to tackle our environmental problems:

There are two methods of addressing any crisis:

1) Cry doom, despair, calamitous disaster! Rush out and fling yourself upon your horse and ride madly off in all directions at once. Or:

2) Carefully analyze the exact nature and realistic potential of the crisis, determine a rational strategy and response, and set to work implementing a practical resolution, being careful to cultivate as much diverse support as possible.

I realize the second method might seem boring and conventional.

No one is recommending panic over rationality here. The problem is that you and I have two different viewpoints on what constitutes rationality. Given what our scientists are telling us, we need to expedite the process of turning around our horrific approach to our environment, and I personally take that very seriously. Such change will happen only through exerting pressure on the top players in the public and private sector.

No pressure, no progress.  No progress, no more inhabitable planet.

craigshields <![CDATA[If It’s Good Enough for Bill McKibben…]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61242 2016-07-29T18:14:58Z 2016-07-29T17:55:46Z ]]> If It’s Good Enough for Bill McKibben…

Here are legendary environmentalist Bill McKibben’s thoughts on the upcoming U.S. elections.  Worth noting, along with his contempt for Donald Trump, is his relatively sanguine perspective on the Democratic platform.

Obviously, he was rooting for Bernie, but absent a Sanders’ presidency, he’s happy to report that the current approach to climate change mitigation is more positive and progressive than it’s ever been in the past.  In particular, he approves of the key criterion we now use to make our decisions on energy: If it’s bad for the climate, we’re not doing it.

The watch-word for the next four years: hard work; we need to keep up the pressure on the U.S. government to ratchet up the ferocity of its commitment to phase out fossil fuels.

I can’t say that I’m proud to be an American every minute of every day, but this is the type of stuff that makes my chest swell.

craigshields <![CDATA[Understanding U.S. Oil Imports]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61238 2016-07-29T16:46:51Z 2016-07-29T16:43:03Z ]]> Understanding U.S. Oil ImportsThose interested in “following the money” when it comes to energy and the environment will be interested in this animated global map, which visualizes 20 years of US oil import data (in 20 seconds), collected import data from the US Energy Information Administration (1996-2015).  And here’s an accompanying report on the subject.

Notice anything interesting about Russia?



craigshields <![CDATA[Speaking of Sustainability]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61231 2016-07-29T16:21:45Z 2016-07-29T16:19:05Z ]]> Speaking of SustainabilityWhen I was asked to speak at the MIT Enterprise Forum on “green business” a couple of months ago, I took my usual tack in such situations, i.e., getting my audience to examine its thinking on the larger issues associated with the sustainability of our civilization. I like to make this the ultimate whirlwind tour, blasting through dozens of different ways of viewing the problem and contemplating realistic solutions.  Here are a few bullets:

• Given what we know about anthropology, is humankind up to the task of fashioning our society in such a way that future generations will not be born into a toxic, resource-depleted environment?

• Is capitalism compatible with sustainability?

• What role do our large corporations play in creating a sustainable civilization? How does that mesh with our responsibilities as consumers?

• What will it take to make environmentalism a powerful social trend?

• Is it technologically feasible to decarbonize our energy mix?

• What do we need to know about the production and consumption of red meat?

• What can we learn by looking at sustainability through the lens of moral philosophy?

• How is the chemistry and structure of our brains a determiner on our outlook on sustainability?

I’m a fairly decent public speaker, but I know I’m not Winston Churchill—and thus I try to make up for whatever shortcoming I have as an orator with content that I think will engage the audience.  It’s a challenge I accept with relish.



craigshields <![CDATA[Evidence of Climate Change Is Getting Quite Intense]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61223 2016-07-31T00:16:36Z 2016-07-28T21:45:12Z ]]> Evidence of Climate Change Is Getting Quite IntenseTwo locations in the Middle East topped 129 degrees F today, setting a record, and reminding us of what’s in store for us if we don’t aggressively take action to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gasses.

My request: Look at the pic here and ask yourself: “Am I OK with this?”

craigshields <![CDATA[Marketing Can Be Shameless, and the Products It Promotes Can Be Harmful]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61218 2016-07-31T00:30:04Z 2016-07-28T20:18:12Z ]]> Marketing Can Be Shameless, and the Products It Promotes Can Be HarmfulI’ve been chatting with an old friend who, like me, had a long career in marketing; she became a VP at Grey Advertising.  She told me about her experience at a practice round for the PGA Championship (that starts today at Baltusrol in New Jersey).

She writes:  The event producers decided to close down the entry nearest to the clubhouse, so that the “walk” to get to the clubhouse (or near the leaderboard and the historic 4th hole and 17th/ 18th hole convergence) was CLEARLY designed for marketing purposes…meaning EVERY AND ANY money grubbing divergence along an approximately four-mile walk (imagine the aged and elder golf enthusiasts’ travails). Horrifying. I intend to post vociferously on PGA’s website the shamelessness of this event, contrasted to the supreme tourney of all, The Masters.

I responded:

You and I see essentially the same thing. I had a wonderful career getting people to want to buy B2B products: mostly IT and communications hardware and services, but also a range of everything else under the sun in the B2B space: industrial products of all possible description. But even then I saw how creating demand for “stuff” really doesn’t make the world a better place–and, as we’re seeing now, is resulting in the mass meltdown of our environment, and the exploitation of many of the people in the supply chain.  Have you come across Annie Leonard and the “Story of Stuff?”

Here’s a good example: When Philips Electronics wanted to launch its LCD projectors in the U.S., they hired us to generate demand—which we did in spades (20K qualified sales leads the first year).  At the time there were no fewer than 36 competitors; Philips became the 37th.  Our client gained market share, and was very happy with our work, but …. is the world a better place because Philips took some business away from Texas Instruments, Sony, Panasonic and 33 others?  Not really.

Of course, in the B2C space we have actual harm being inflicted. Consider fast food, clothes made with child/slave labor, pharmaceuticals specifically not meant to cure disease, but only to hook the patient into a lifetime addiction of addressing the symptoms. We also have credit cards designed to entice and then rip off low-end customers, health insurance plans crafted to fleece healthy customers while denying care to sick ones, and cars and appliances made to fall apart.

This all leads up to my favorite, the fossil fuel boys, who knew 35 years ago that their business model (extracting the last molecule of petroleum out of the ground and burning it) would cause catastrophic climate change, not to mention ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, profound lung damage, etc. Here you have obscenely wealthy people trying to multiply their net worth by knowingly and calculatingly destroying our planet. I often write, “If you don’t call that evil, it’s hard to know what you could possibly be reserving that word to describe.”

Not to sound self-righteous, but this is what I love about my career today.  I only take on clients whose products improve the quality of environment and the living things that reside in it.  Now I’m telling the story of renewable energy, and all the peripheral technologies: smart grid, electric transportation, energy storage, sustainable ag, etc.  I’m not making the money I was in the old days, but I feel a rich sense of reward.


craigshields <![CDATA[California Carbon and Low Carbon Fuel Standard Summit]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=61210 2016-07-31T00:54:31Z 2016-07-28T17:30:50Z ]]> California Carbon and Low Carbon Fuel Standard SummitEach year, I attend somewhere between 10 and 15 conferences on energy and the environment, sometimes as a speaker, but always as a vehicle to meet people and encounter new ideas and cleantech business plans. It’s also important to expand my understanding of the industry, and I choose some of the events principally because they focus on a subject with which I really should have more fluency.

The annual California Carbon and Low Carbon Fuel Standard Summit, produced by Argus Media, is a great event to attend, this year as a “media sponsor,” in order to accomplish the goals named above.  Here, I’ll be walking away with a complete understanding of some fairly arcane but extremely important issues:  

• What will happen to California and RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) in the absence of the Clean Power Plan (as the U.S. Supreme Court has stayed its implementation pending judicial review)?

• What is the current status of Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and a future linkage with California and Quebec?

• How will proposed changes to the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) impact California’s LCFS (Low Carbon Fuel Standard) and other states fuel programs, which provide targets for a series of new environmental goals for 2030, including reducing current petroleum use in cars and trucks by 50 percent.

• What are the market implications of California’s 50% RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) by 2030 mandate?

• The renewable enhancement and growth support rule proposes to make numerous changes to promote the production of renewable fuels, including significant modifications to the RFS program to resolve outstanding issues and provide clarification on certain RFS requirements.  How will it impact the credits market?

• Is California hitting a biodiesel blend wall (i.e., the concentration of biodiesel beyond which the petroleum industry claims can potentially damage engines and catalytic converters)?  Can renewable diesel negate the blend wall?

• How will higher octane levels in the gasoline pool impact the transportation market?

Anyone wishing to join me at the summit, October 26th and 27th in Napa, CA should let me know in advance, so I can arrange to meet you there.

FWIW, I like these people from Argus, an independent media organization with more than 700 full-time staff. It is headquartered in London, England and has offices in each of the world’s principal energy centers.  They’re quite competent, and they’re a dream to work with.