Interview with Bob Keefe
Bob Keefe is the govt director of E2 – a nonpartisan firm which aims to offer company perspectives on environmental challenges – and oversees their function on a nationwide scale. Keefe mostly focuses his interest on the economic positive aspects of smart environmental policies the clear strength economic system jobs and connected difficulties. Prior to beginning his function with E2, Keefe expended extra than 20 yrs functioning as a political, small business and environmental journalist. He has co-authored various organization associated textbooks and produced Climatenomics: Washington, Wall Road and the Financial Struggle for our Planet in Might. This 7 days, we questioned Bob about his do the job.
How did you end up as the government director of E2?
I expended about 20 years as a organization, technological know-how, and political journalist before joining E2 about a ten years or so ago. A single of the good reasons I was truly attracted to this do the job is mainly because I realized above a life span in journalism, and speaking to businesspeople, chatting to lawmakers, conversing to some others, just how critical and how influential company voices and organization leaders can be on impacting plan. When we are speaking about local climate and environmental policy, we you should not always constantly consider about business voices and the great importance of people voices. There are a couple voices that are additional influential than businesspeople with lawmakers in Washington and in our point out properties. What I seriously really like about E2 is that we are an firm of additional than 10,000 organization leaders ideal now who are utilizing those voices, their voices for very good, for the good of the economy and the good of the ecosystem.
In your opinion, what are the most urgent challenges right now, overall economy or usually, that are associated with climate change nowadays?
Nicely, the most urgent troubles are the ones that we’re living as a result of and having to pay for just about every working day proper now. As I concentrate on in the book Climatenomics the cost of climate adjust is only battering our financial system appropriate now. Last calendar year, we had $150 billion truly worth of injury from climate related disasters- wildfires in the west, so many hurricanes in the east, flooding, and drought in our nation’s Heartland and in our farming communities. Now, that is driving up the charge of every thing from corn flakes to chicken. Also, if you appear at homeowners’ coverage, homeowners’ coverage is up 40%, in section due to the fact insurance policies corporations are viewing history losses from all these pure disasters, drought and flooding from other climate disasters additional nearly 30 billion to the expense of crop insurance policy that each and every taxpayer pays for. And just glimpse at the warmth wave that just impacted the entire country by driving up air conditioning costs, forcing corporations to lower several hours or shut, and even worse than that in Kansas 2000 cows have been killed around dead from heatstroke.
Can you talk a minimal bit about why you all concentration on the intersection amongst small business and govt as a necessary way to address weather transform? How do you all feel about catering to, or chatting to each small business folks together with of coverage makers?
Perfectly, as I stated before, business voices are just so significant and influential with lawmakers typically. In my time as a journalist and my time working at E2, I can explain to you that there is very little politicians, like additional than kissing infants, going to ribbon cuttings, and talking about work opportunities and financial progress. They’re not kissing too numerous infants any more, but they positive are chatting about when work appear to their towns, or financial growth takes place. And it is really organizations that make that take place. But even extra broadly, firms, as I mentioned in the e-book, are just important to the alternative. Suitable now, every single big business in The usa is transferring to clean electrical power renewables. Why? Effectively, of class it can be the right matter to do, but it truly is also simply because photo voltaic and wind are the most inexpensive power out there. Corporations are also acknowledging the other facet of what I get in touch with the Climatenomics coin as properly, which is the cost. And individuals corporations are now relocating away from locations that are vulnerable to hurricanes or wildfires or flooding to spots that are safer and can, so they can hold their organizations up and functioning and the profit’s flowing, but sad to say, they’re jogging out of sites to go. It is an situation that we truly require to address in this nation. We require to do anything about local weather modify and the expenses that arrive with it for our economic stake if nothing else.
Can you talk a very little bit to our listeners who are likely in communities exactly where they may want to be advocating on this issue? Why is advocacy in this house so crucial? How do the attempts of men and women or communities genuinely aid to drive and create adjust at the local degree?
Well, each at the regional level, the condition amount, the federal degree, it doesn’t subject. There are a whole lot of individuals out there conversing to lawmakers, striving to get what they want, and if you are not chatting to them as perfectly, you are not likely to get what you want. Poll following poll, immediately after poll, soon after poll in this place has revealed that Americans want additional clear electricity. They want action on local climate modify, and they want their lawmakers at the federal to state the neighborhood stage to do extra about that. And politicians and elected officials look a large amount at polls, but they also pay attention. If we are not in there chatting to them about the economic expense of climate modify, the financial benefits of local climate action, together with all the other prices and benefits, whether it’s health or social challenges or American competitiveness or nationwide stability that is all tied to weather change, then they are likely to be hearing from fossil fuel organizations. They are going to be hearing from other individuals. And you can think that those people varieties of corporations that and incumbent industries that you should not want to transform are paying out a ton of revenue and are spending a ton of time with those people lawmakers. We have got to go out and represent to speak about the other facet of this equation.
Can you talk a very little little bit about what E2 has figured out by incorporating this enterprise viewpoint into the evaluation of environmental challenges and if there is everything in your time at E2 that form of amazed you?
Yeah, I would not say it’s a shock and it should not be a surprise, but it is a very little hard to wrap your head all around individuals who have manufactured local climate transform, the environment, and clear energy a partisan situation. The actuality is it’s not a partisan difficulty and it shouldn’t be when we discuss about these disasters. This $150 billion well worth of weather disasters that which is not just happening in, in blue states or crimson states. It’s not just California on hearth. It truly is Louisiana underwater from recurring hurricanes. It is not just New York and blue states acquiring hit by flooding, it really is Iowa and Indiana, and other areas in the Midwest. So, climate adjust does not know geography, geology, or politics, it really is going on everywhere. On the other facet of the coin, what we have also found at E2, and one particular of the points my corporation has done for a prolonged time, is appear at where by clear power work are growing all over the region. Each year we put out some thing identified as Clean up Positions America. And what we’ve identified is that there are just about as numerous clear electrical power positions now in Republican congressional districts as there are in democratic congressional districts and, offered the advancement we see in items like electrical autos and battery storage, that type of matter, and where people firms are going, there is certainly heading to be far more employment in Republican and red states performing on electrical autos and cleanse electrical power. Then there are in democratic districts. So, the message is if you, as a lawmaker, want these positions in your backyards, if you want to do a thing about the financial injury, which is becoming inflicted on your constituents mainly because of local climate transform, you want to do something about it and you want to go guidelines in Washington.
And lastly, what are some of your favourite podcasts or publications that you would recommend our listeners to just take a hear to?
Nicely, a ebook I just concluded, and it took me a really prolonged time to finish it, not due to the fact it was boring or unexciting, but simply because it was quite long, which is anything named Wilderness Warrior, which is about Teddy Roosevelt. It’s wonderful ebook by a terrific writer named David Brinkley. One particular of the things that truly struck me and, and type of resonated with me as I was examining, is very first of all, just how substantially Teddy Roosevelt did in conditions of preserving and seriously shaping what The united states is, is about. He produced 150 national forest, 51 federal fowl reserves, five national parks and he did all that by the way regardless of remarkable, large strain from timber organizations, from oil and gasoline organizations from the opposing political social gathering. Congress was not with him on all these points and small business and marketplace was not with him on preserving these lands. They wished to lower it down and make a good deal of funds advertising timber, for instance, but President Roosevelt knew that this was the appropriate thing to do for The united states. He had the braveness, he experienced the courage to do what he assumed was the right matter, even in the confront of opposition, from organization, from the other political bash and a Congress that did not always concur with them. We require to do that with climate transform. We need to do that with climate action. We’re managing out of time.
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