Green – Not New, but Real

I have been attending various events where “Green” has the the topic of discussion.  For those of you that don’t know, this term has been used to describe anything that is sustainable.  “Anything” could be methods or products.  Generally, the Environmental Technologies that support sustainability are not new.

We started developing most of these “green” technologies many decades and centuries ago.  When did we start recycling in our towns?  Decades ago.  The History of waste production shows dates going back thousands of years with some crude attempts at recycling.  The EPA was established in 1970.  The Silicon-based solar cell was developed in 1941.  Alternative fuels have been discussed since the 19th century where diesel oil was considered along with peanut and vegetable oils for Rudolf Diesel’s new engine design.  Water purification dates back thousands of years.

Okay, I think we’ve established that these “green” technologies are not new.  So what’s all the fuss?  Well, let’s assume that you do not agree with former VP Gore that global warming is coming, and I don’t, but that’s another discussion.  At the same time, most people realize that crude oil will not last forever and we generally need to clean up after ourselves better than we have in the past in order to become better stewards of the planet. People also know that renewable and sustainable sources of energy are better for the overall environment.  But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that making solar panels or wind turbines does not consume energy or use materials from the earth.  They certainly do.  It’s the overall impact of the construction and operation of these devices that is important.  in a similar way, the refining (cleaning) of various types of alternative fuels such as coal, tar sands, nuclear, ethanol, vegetable oils, sugars, etc all have some level of environmental impact.  None have zero impact.  Materials and energy are needed to plant, harvest, refine and deliver.

The reason these are all “hot” topics today is because the world is awakening to these technologies, and development money is flowing into them at ever increasing rates. Smart business people, scientists, and engineers are dusting off and improving these old methods to more effectively compete with existing “legacy” equipment and processes.  That’s all good.  I’m lucky because the businesses I worked for were early adopters of many of these improving technologies, so Focused Solutions Group can leverage that experience to help support these changes in a cost effective way.

These changes are real and will not go away.  As the price of oil fluctuates the investments may ebb and flow, but they will continue.  For those looking to capitalize on this movement, look for any training opportunity you can get and do your due diligence on potential investments.  Like the Gold Rush days there will be a lot of fly-by-nighters who are looking to take your money and run.  But this sector will become an increasingly active sector and one you should consider, for your career and your investments.

Tom Smith
Focused Solutions Group