A post by contributing guest writer Melissa Chungfat.
I’ve been seeing a lot of Thomas Friedman on the tube talking about his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded. The three-time Pulitzer Prize winner is getting a lot of buzz stressing the necessity of a green global industry. Ecopreneurs are key in developing innovative solutions to deal with the tremendous global environmental problems.
The book title refers to the convergence of global warming, the rise of the middle class, and the exponential population growth. These factors drive the following five trends over their tipping point:
- Energy and resource
- Petro dictatorship
- Biodiversity loss
- Climate change
- Energy poverty
In our culture of convenience, so many people want to help the environment – if they can keep all of their luxuries; they want to green their habits – if it’s convenient enough; they want to buy green products – if it’s easy enough to find. But this attitude won’t fly anymore with the problems we are facing.
Friedman said, “In a world that’s hot, flat and crowded, clean power is going to be the next great global industry…the world is going to force everyone to pay the true cost of the energy they’re using, the climate change their causing…and the energy poverty they’re sustaining.”
Ecopreneurs are the ones who are needed to lead the way in the next green global industry. Many ecopreneurs have already begun to do their part to address the global trends that Friedman discussed.
As more consumers see the growing need to go green the demand for certain products are already sold at a competitive price or even cheaper around North America. In many ways, ecopreneurs are at least making it easier for the consumer.
For example, the Greg Barber Company in the US had clients who pay less for paper made of 100% post-consumer waste than traditional paper stock. In Canada, the Green Printer uses recycled, post-consumer paper for every print job for their client. These ecopreneurs prevent countless CO2 emissions from going into the air.
You may have watched Mike Homes not only greening people’s houses but to also building a sustainable community in Okotoks, Alberta. And for those who want to green their home, there are many companies that can install solar panels on your roof.
Take your pick.
Friedman said how we manage the problems that arose from a world that is hot, flat, and crowded is going to define the stability of the twenty-first century. There are various technologies that exist and still need to be developed to address global environmental problems; but the key factor is the ecopreneur.