6 minute read

JF19-We must change now!

business

By Eric Balinski

10 CRAFT BRAND AND MARKETING JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 CBAM-MAG.COM

We must change now!

The environment, what we must do and why it matters to craft brewers

Few days go by without hearing about climate change and the impending demise of our plant. As one congresswoman recently predicted, the world will end in 12 years if we don’t do something now. As a person who has worked on pioneering “Save the Planet” stuff over the past 30 years, I am both pleased and disturbed by what I hear, read and see.

In the mid-’80s, my work at GE was to promote a more effective and smarter use of the world resources. We developed a 3,000-square-foot research home to showcase the latest ideas and new products that could improve the world. Back then, we understood the world had limited resources and it was in people’s best interest to be prudent about how we produce, use and dispose of them.

Our work led to the practice of certified pre-owned cars. We introduced the idea to every American and Japanese car company that automobiles had life after the original buyer if their value in terms of quality and reliability remained after the first buyer sold the car.

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Many people in the craft-made products industry also feel strongly about saving the planet. Their ethos as a craft maker is attuned to making the world better. This has led them to take steps in their facilities to lower energy consumption, improve water conservation and reduce waste. Bravo. Nonetheless, this will not save the planet.

Yes, it is wonderful that attention is being given to our planet and climate. But don’t be fooled. Even with all the effort by people in the United States, most of what we’re doing will not stem the tide of climate change. The data tells us this.

And this disturbs to me. A lot has been made out of how nations banded together in the Paris Climate Accord to help our planet. Yet, recently, our country walked out of it, drawing scorn at home and abroad.

If you’re a craft producer working to improve the planet, keep doing it. It will likely lower you operating costs, build your community image, and reduce your footprint.

But if you look at the exact data the Paris Climate Accord was based upon, as well as the pledge commitments countries made, we are in trouble.

My analysis in Table 1, the “Paris Accord — CO2 Emissions Data & Forecast,” reflects the CO2 emission numbers that the Paris Accord was based on in 2015. The main CO2 emitting countries andthe rest or the world (the other 191 countries) are in groupings to make it easier to see reality. China is by far the largest CO2 emitter. On the right side of the chart (see "Paris Accord — CO2 Emissions Data & Forecast") show that economist and scientist predictions for 2X and 3X C02 emission increase for China and India.

One key goal of the Paris Accord was to hold the rise in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. Countries

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were considered either as developed (e.g., the United States) or developing (e.g., China). Every country’s actual CO2 reduction amount varied and based on a volunteer pledge. A total of 196 countries committed to the climate deal in 2015. At least 55 nations—between them accounting for at least 55 percent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions—needed to formally approve the pact before it went into effect.

I hypothesized that the U.S., the European Union, Russia and the entire rest of world would reduce CO 2 emissions even more significantly then the Paris Accord was seeking, by 50 percent. In other words, the more likely scenario is less reductions. Meanwhile, China and India as developing nations were predicted in the next decade to increase CO2 emissions by two or three times.

Why we are in trouble

My analysis shows why the world is in trouble. Without significant and immediate improvement by China and India, whatever every other country does, including the United States, total CO2 emissions will increase and are currently increasing.

This was first red flag two years ago. The other was the world condemning the United States while staying silent about China’s and India’s a forecasted increases. In fact, many are defending China from criticisms. They say things like, “China is a developing country, and their CO2 emissions are lower than the U.S. on a per capita basis.”

Ask yourself this: Why does the second largest economy need such an unfair advantage? If you looked at U.S. GDP output, roughly $21.5 trillion compared to China’s $12.8 trillion, you could conclude that the U.S. is more efficient in its production

than China and produces less CO2 as measure by GDP. The

Many people in very act of buying American made not Chinese made is saving the planet. the craft-made

But nobody says this. Why? products industry

There are stories about the money the Chinese are spending to go green. Chinese leaders also feel strongly make all sorts of claims to the

about saving the media, and the media happily reports them as fact, even

planet. Their ethos swooning over China’s efforts. Here again, actual current

as a craft maker is data suggests Table 1 is likely correct. The chart (see "Best and

attuned to making Worst Performing Countries") show the CO2 emission numbers

the world a better. of the best and worst CO2 emitting countries in 2017, released in a June 2018 report.

Can anyone explain why the media is demonizing America, while the U.S. is the best at improving? And with all the loud climate change voices in the EU, it actually increased CO2 by more than the U.S. decreased it? Given China increased CO2 emission by more than three times what the U.S. reduced it by, why does media and global leaders give them a pass? And Canada, which has an economy 14 times smaller than the U.S,. at only $1.53 trillion, increased its CO2 output by about 40 percent of what the U.S. decreased ours by?

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What this means to you

What are the implications for wine, beer and spirit producers? Any agricultural based product will be subject to global climate change, some crops more than others. Whether it’s extreme heat or cold, or a shortage of rain or irrigation water for these crops, weather pattern changes will play a role no doubt.

Searching stories in the wine, beer and spirits industries, you will find acknowledgement of this, but more likely one will also finds criticism of America, with little written about China and India who are

and will have the most impact on climate. That’s an enigma to me. If you’re a craft producer working to improve the planet, keep doing it. It will likely lower you operating costs, build your community image and reduce your footprint. Frankly though, it’s not enough to keep the planet from being destroyed.

It’s time to change the conversation. Time to ask better questions, such as why are world leaders, scientists and the media ignoring the most dramatic threat to the planet?

Time to ask your local congressperson why he or she is so quiet on this? It’s time to hold the biggest polluters accountable. The climate change hypocrisy irks me, too. When someone points at another person claiming to do no wrong, it is to hide that person’s own misdealing.

More than 25 years ago, I testified on Capitol Hill about how our government should take a leadership role in making the planet better. It met with ho-hum receptivity. Today, a lot politicians make it look like they are doing something, but data suggests otherwise. If we want to save this planet, it must start with the truth about what’s going on.

Reality is CO2 emissions are increasing, even from countries that are the loudest proponents of reducing emissions. That means we’re in a sinking boat, with a few bailing water, while the boat’s holes pour in water three to four times faster than their bailing.

As Zen Buddhist Gido Shoseki said, “Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas.”

Eric Balinski is the owner of Synection, LLC, which is a strategy and growth consultancy firm. For more information, visit: synection.com.

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