Environmental Activism and Innovation

In the US, the debate between environmental concerns and energy development is still pretty much an ongoing question.

However, executive director of the Energy and Environment Initiative at Rice University Charles McConnell insists that there is actually no debate at all.

“Scientific development must focus on the impact on the marketplace. You have to do both to be sustainable. You can’t pick one or the other… You must have, for anything to be sustainable, a strong business case. A business case can’t be sustainable if it doesn’t include environmental sustainability.”

This was his proposition during an event that is a prelude to the annual CO2 Conference where he was the luncheon speaker.

He said that millennials want to work at companies that make them feel a sense of purpose by having goals to contribute good to the environment. Although, he suggests that the authorities on sustainable energy should also continue to find innovative solutions.

An added remark from the former deputy assistant secretary for fossil fuels at the US Department of Energy is that a more reliable energy which is also sustainable may seem impossible but that with transformative technology, it can be reality.

The point of his speech was that if we choose activism and support environmental causes, we are likely to come up with business solutions that are highly sustainable.

Some people say that a way to protect the environment is by eliminating sources of energy developed by man. The process, however, is not as attainable as we think, especially given a specific time frame of when it should be fully accomplished.

According to Charles McConnell, it is more feasible to invest in technology that will enable those sources to be sustainable instead.

We don’t always find immediate answers the first time a problem is presented to us. We must look beyond the present and into the future. Hopefully, we will be able to formulate something long-term that can address the concerns of today.


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