During the Sustainable Industries Economic Forum this morning in San Francisco, keynote speaker Ray Anderson, Founder and Chair of Interface, a true green business pioneering company, was asked what his best three pieces of advice for Barack Obama would be.
First was to shift the economy, and federal subsidies, from old technology to new and high tech industries. It’s estimated that 50% of coal power plants would be unprofitable without subsidies. “It’s time to shift the equation”, he said.
Second was to get a price on carbon. “By hook or by crook,” Anderson said. “It needs to happen, and I think a carbon tax is probably impossible politically, but cap and trade is possible.” Anderson went on to say that “Carbon has been getting a free ride, and it’s time to change that.”
And third, Anderson cited the controversy over nuclear power. Saying that our legacy of poison for future generations will be tough to justify, given that nuclear waste will outlast the lifespan of any language on the planet, so how can we possibly put good warning signs on our waste?
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill).