February 26, 2024


Equality opinion

7 Questions with Bob Keefe

Bob Keefe

Job interview with Bob Keefe 

Bob Keefe is the govt director of E2 – a nonpartisan group which aims to offer enterprise perspectives on environmental troubles –  and oversees their operate on a nationwide scale. Keefe primarily focuses his notice on the financial rewards of clever environmental policies the cleanse power economic system positions and associated difficulties. Prior to starting his do the job with E2, Keefe invested more than 20 a long time doing the job as a political, business enterprise and environmental journalist. He has co-authored quite a few organization related books and unveiled Climatenomics: Washington, Wall Avenue and the Economic Battle for our World in May possibly. This 7 days, we questioned Bob about his get the job done. 

How did you end up as the government director of E2? 

I put in about 20 many years as a company, technological know-how, and political journalist just before becoming a member of E2 about a decade or so in the past. Just one of the motives I was actually attracted to this do the job is simply because I realized above a life span in journalism, and talking to businesspeople, conversing to lawmakers, chatting to others, just how critical and how influential business enterprise voices and enterprise leaders can be on impacting policy. When we’re talking about weather and environmental coverage, we do not necessarily usually believe about organization voices and the significance of those people voices. There are a few voices that are additional influential than businesspeople with lawmakers in Washington and in our point out properties. What I actually appreciate about E2 is that we are an business of far more than 10,000 organization leaders ideal now who are employing all those voices, their voices for good, for the very good of the economy and the great of the environment. 

In your viewpoint, what are the most urgent issues correct now, economic climate or usually, that are involved with climate alter these days? 

Properly, the most pressing difficulties are the kinds that we’re living by means of and shelling out for each working day correct now. As I focus on in the e book Climatenomics the value of climate adjust is simply just battering our financial state proper now. Previous 12 months, we had $150 billion really worth of destruction from climate related disasters- wildfires in the west, so lots of hurricanes in the east, flooding, and drought in our nation’s Heartland and in our farming communities. Now, that is driving up the price tag of everything from corn flakes to rooster. Also, if you look at homeowners’ insurance coverage, homeowners’ insurance policy is up 40%, in component simply because insurance policy companies are viewing document losses from all these natural disasters, drought and flooding from other local climate disasters extra approximately 30 billion to the value of crop insurance that each and every taxpayer pays for. And just seem at the warmth wave that just impacted the overall place by driving up air conditioning costs, forcing companies to reduce several hours or shut, and even worse than that in Kansas 2000 cows had been killed in excess of dead from heatstroke. 

Can you converse a very little bit about why you all concentration on the intersection in between small business and governing administration as a important way to address local weather adjust? How do you all feel about catering to, or speaking to equally business folks along with of plan makers? 

Effectively, as I explained earlier, enterprise voices are just so crucial and influential with lawmakers commonly. In my time as a journalist and my time performing at E2, I can convey to you that you can find nothing politicians, like more than kissing babies, likely to ribbon cuttings, and speaking about positions and financial expansion. They’re not kissing too quite a few infants any more, but they sure are talking about when work opportunities arrive to their cities, or financial progress happens. And it is firms that make that come about. But even more broadly, companies, as I stated in the book, are just critical to the solution. Suitable now, each major business in America is transferring to clean strength renewables. Why? Very well, of course it truly is the ideal factor to do, but it truly is also for the reason that solar and wind are the least expensive energy readily available. Enterprises are also noticing the other facet of what I call the Climatenomics coin as well, which is the price tag. And those people firms are now relocating away from spots that are vulnerable to hurricanes or wildfires or flooding to areas that are safer and can, so they can hold their firms up and operating and the profit’s flowing, but regrettably, they are functioning out of sites to go. It’s an challenge that we seriously need to deal with in this state. We require to do one thing about weather modify and the expenses that come with it for our economic stake if absolutely nothing else. 

Can you speak a little bit to our listeners who are very likely in communities the place they may possibly want to be advocating on this issue? Why is advocacy in this house so crucial? How do the initiatives of people or communities genuinely help to thrust and make transform at the area degree? 

Perfectly, equally at the local amount, the condition level, the federal stage, it doesn’t make a difference. There are a ton of folks out there talking to lawmakers, hoping to get what they want, and if you’re not talking to them as perfectly, you might be not heading to get what you want. Poll soon after poll, just after poll, immediately after poll in this region has revealed that Americans want additional cleanse vitality. They want action on climate change, and they want their lawmakers at the federal to state the area degree to do more about that. And politicians and elected officers seem a ton at polls, but they also listen. If we are not in there chatting to them about the economic charge of local weather modify, the economic advantages of local weather action, together with all the other expenses and added benefits, irrespective of whether it really is wellbeing or social challenges or American competitiveness or nationwide stability that is all tied to weather modify, then they are likely to be listening to from fossil fuel firms. They’re going to be listening to from some others. And you can imagine that these types of corporations that and incumbent industries that do not want to change are paying a ton of dollars and are shelling out a ton of time with individuals lawmakers. We’ve got to go out and depict to converse about the other aspect of this equation. 

Can you speak a tiny bit about what E2 has acquired by incorporating this organization viewpoint into the investigation of environmental problems and if there is everything in your time at E2 that form of surprised you? 

Yeah, I wouldn’t say it truly is a surprise and it should not be a shock, but it is a minimal challenging to wrap your head close to persons who have designed local climate alter, the setting, and clean electrical power a partisan problem. The simple fact is it’s not a partisan issue and it should not be when we converse about these disasters. This $150 billion worth of climate disasters that which is not just happening in, in blue states or crimson states. It’s not just California on fireplace. It is Louisiana underwater from recurring hurricanes. It really is not just New York and blue states obtaining strike by flooding, it can be Iowa and Indiana, and other sites in the Midwest. So, climate improve does not know geography, geology, or politics, it can be occurring just about everywhere. On the other aspect of the coin, what we have also found at E2, and one of the matters my business has carried out for a very long time, is appear at in which thoroughly clean electrical power work are developing all around the country. Just about every year we put out some thing referred to as Clear Jobs The usa. And what we’ve uncovered is that there are pretty much as a lot of clear power careers now in Republican congressional districts as there are in democratic congressional districts and, presented the growth we see in things like electrical vehicles and battery storage, that kind of thing, and where by individuals organizations are going, there is certainly heading to be a lot more positions in Republican and pink states operating on electrical autos and clean up strength. Then there are in democratic districts. So, the information is if you, as a lawmaker, want these careers in your backyards, if you want to do one thing about the economic destruction, which is being inflicted on your constituents for the reason that of climate adjust, you want to do something about it and you have to have to pass insurance policies in Washington. 

Last of all, what are some of your favourite podcasts or publications that you would advocate our listeners to choose a pay attention to? 

Nicely, a e book I just concluded, and it took me a incredibly extended time to complete it, not mainly because it was uninteresting or uninteresting, but for the reason that it was really extended, which is something called Wilderness Warrior, which is about Teddy Roosevelt. It is terrific e book by a good creator named David Brinkley. A person of the items that truly struck me and, and sort of resonated with me as I was studying, is initially of all, just how a lot Teddy Roosevelt did in phrases of preserving and seriously shaping what The united states is, is about. He created 150 nationwide forest, 51 federal fowl reserves, 5 countrywide parks and he did all that by the way regardless of great, great tension from timber organizations, from oil and gasoline organizations from the opposing political celebration. Congress wasn’t with him on all these items and small business and sector was not with him on preserving these lands. They wished to slash it down and make a large amount of money advertising timber, for instance, but President Roosevelt understood that this was the appropriate factor to do for The us. He experienced the courage, he had the braveness to do what he considered was the proper detail, even in the experience of opposition, from business enterprise, from the other political social gathering and a Congress that didn’t always agree with them. We have to have to do that with local climate change. We want to do that with local weather action. We are running out of time. 

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