Job interview with Bob Keefe
Bob Keefe is the executive director of E2 – a nonpartisan business which aims to offer business enterprise perspectives on environmental challenges – and oversees their get the job done on a countrywide scale. Keefe principally focuses his interest on the financial added benefits of good environmental procedures the clear vitality economic system work opportunities and relevant challenges. Prior to beginning his do the job with E2, Keefe used additional than 20 years operating as a political, business enterprise and environmental journalist. He has co-authored a number of business related publications and unveiled Climatenomics: Washington, Wall Road and the Financial Struggle for our Planet in May possibly. This 7 days, we questioned Bob about his get the job done.
How did you end up as the govt director of E2?
I expended about 20 years as a business, know-how, and political journalist prior to becoming a member of E2 about a 10 years or so ago. One of the motives I was definitely captivated to this operate is because I understood around a life time in journalism, and chatting to businesspeople, talking to lawmakers, talking to other folks, just how significant and how influential business voices and business enterprise leaders can be on impacting coverage. When we’re speaking about weather and environmental policy, we don’t necessarily usually believe about small business voices and the relevance of individuals voices. There are a couple of voices that are much more influential than businesspeople with lawmakers in Washington and in our condition properties. What I truly love about E2 is that we’re an group of more than 10,000 company leaders correct now who are using all those voices, their voices for fantastic, for the superior of the economic climate and the superior of the ecosystem.
In your impression, what are the most pressing challenges proper now, economic system or if not, that are related with climate modify right now?
Properly, the most pressing troubles are the kinds that we are residing through and shelling out for each individual working day suitable now. As I concentrate on in the reserve Climatenomics the price of local weather alter is simply battering our economic climate appropriate now. Past yr, we experienced $150 billion worthy of of injury from weather linked disasters- wildfires in the west, so numerous hurricanes in the east, flooding, and drought in our nation’s Heartland and in our farming communities. Now, that is driving up the charge of almost everything from corn flakes to chicken. Also, if you seem at homeowners’ coverage, homeowners’ insurance policy is up 40%, in aspect mainly because insurance firms are viewing report losses from all these all-natural disasters, drought and flooding from other weather disasters extra nearly 30 billion to the value of crop insurance policies that every single taxpayer pays for. And just glimpse at the heat wave that just impacted the total place by driving up air conditioning costs, forcing corporations to reduce hours or close, and even even worse than that in Kansas 2000 cows ended up killed in excess of dead from heatstroke.
Can you talk a tiny little bit about why you all focus on the intersection between company and governing administration as a needed way to handle local climate improve? How do you all imagine about catering to, or conversing to the two small business folks along with of policy makers?
Effectively, as I mentioned previously, organization voices are just so vital and influential with lawmakers commonly. In my time as a journalist and my time functioning at E2, I can tell you that you will find very little politicians, like a lot more than kissing infants, heading to ribbon cuttings, and speaking about careers and economic expansion. They’re not kissing far too quite a few babies anymore, but they absolutely sure are chatting about when work opportunities appear to their cities, or financial expansion transpires. And it is businesses that make that materialize. But even far more broadly, organizations, as I described in the book, are just vital to the option. Ideal now, each and every main company in The united states is going to clear energy renewables. Why? Very well, of training course it is really the proper thing to do, but it can be also simply because solar and wind are the least expensive power readily available. Organizations are also noticing the other aspect of what I contact the Climatenomics coin as very well, which is the price tag. And those people firms are now relocating away from locations that are vulnerable to hurricanes or wildfires or flooding to locations that are safer and can, so they can preserve their businesses up and managing and the profit’s flowing, but regrettably, they are running out of destinations to go. It is an challenge that we seriously want to tackle in this region. We will need to do one thing about local climate modify and the expenses that come with it for our financial stake if nothing else.
Can you discuss a minimal little bit to our listeners who are very likely in communities the place they may possibly want to be advocating on this situation? Why is advocacy in this house so significant? How do the efforts of individuals or communities genuinely enable to thrust and generate transform at the local degree?
Properly, equally at the regional level, the condition stage, the federal level, it would not make a difference. There are a good deal of people out there talking to lawmakers, hoping to get what they want, and if you’re not conversing to them as very well, you’re not likely to get what you want. Poll following poll, soon after poll, right after poll in this region has demonstrated that Us residents want far more clean strength. They want action on climate change, and they want their lawmakers at the federal to condition the regional stage to do additional about that. And politicians and elected officers search a good deal at polls, but they also listen. If we are not in there chatting to them about the financial charge of local climate change, the financial positive aspects of climate action, together with all the other costs and positive aspects, whether it is really well being or social problems or American competitiveness or countrywide protection that is all tied to climate alter, then they’re likely to be hearing from fossil gasoline organizations. They’re going to be listening to from some others. And you can consider that those forms of organizations that and incumbent industries that you should not want to improve are spending a ton of money and are paying out a ton of time with all those lawmakers. We’ve bought to go out and stand for to speak about the other facet of this equation.
Can you chat a tiny bit about what E2 has uncovered by incorporating this business enterprise viewpoint into the assessment of environmental problems and if there is anything at all in your time at E2 that form of shocked you?
Yeah, I would not say it is a surprise and it should not be a shock, but it is a very little really hard to wrap your head around people today who have designed climate adjust, the ecosystem, and clean up vitality a partisan problem. The point is it truly is not a partisan difficulty and it shouldn’t be when we communicate about these disasters. This $150 billion well worth of weather disasters that that is not just happening in, in blue states or red states. It’s not just California on fire. It is really Louisiana underwater from repeated hurricanes. It is not just New York and blue states obtaining hit by flooding, it really is Iowa and Indiana, and other destinations in the Midwest. So, local climate improve does not know geography, geology, or politics, it truly is occurring almost everywhere. On the other side of the coin, what we have also identified at E2, and just one of the things my corporation has performed for a lengthy time, is search at exactly where clear electricity work are expanding about the country. Every single yr we put out anything termed Cleanse Careers The us. And what we have identified is that there are virtually as numerous clear power positions now in Republican congressional districts as there are in democratic congressional districts and, presented the growth we see in points like electric powered automobiles and battery storage, that sort of detail, and where by those companies are likely, you will find likely to be additional positions in Republican and red states functioning on electric cars and clean electricity. Then there are in democratic districts. So, the message is if you, as a lawmaker, want these jobs in your backyards, if you want to do a thing about the economic hurt, which is becoming inflicted on your constituents since of local weather transform, you require to do one thing about it and you will need to pass procedures in Washington.
Lastly, what are some of your favorite podcasts or publications that you would advocate our listeners to take a pay attention to?
Properly, a e-book I just finished, and it took me a incredibly extended time to finish it, not because it was uninteresting or tedious, but due to the fact it was incredibly prolonged, which is one thing known as Wilderness Warrior, which is about Teddy Roosevelt. It is terrific book by a fantastic creator named David Brinkley. A single of the factors that actually struck me and, and form of resonated with me as I was looking through, is to start with of all, just how significantly Teddy Roosevelt did in terms of preserving and definitely shaping what The us is, is about. He made 150 national forest, 51 federal chook reserves, five countrywide parks and he did all that by the way inspite of incredible, great stress from timber providers, from oil and gasoline firms from the opposing political bash. Congress was not with him on all these things and company and market was not with him on preserving these lands. They wanted to lower it down and make a lot of cash marketing timber, for instance, but President Roosevelt knew that this was the proper issue to do for The us. He had the braveness, he had the bravery to do what he assumed was the suitable factor, even in the encounter of opposition, from business, from the other political get together and a Congress that didn’t automatically concur with them. We will need to do that with local weather improve. We need to do that with local climate motion. We’re managing out of time.
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