Robin Raj, founder of a branding agency in San Francisco, writes in Advertising Age this week about the risks of inaction on matters of global climate change. He says marketers can no longer be complacent about the issue, which is a very real and very ominous danger -- probably to us, and certainly to our children and their children.
Raj says we marketers need to do what we can to support the World Wildlife Federation's Climate Savers initiative, which includes about two dozen powerful global marketers like Coca-Cola, IBM, Sony and others. They are trying to support a cap on carbon emissions, which will be the primary subject at the next Kyoto -- the global climate summit taking place in Copenhagen this December.
Coincidentally, I heard more today about the Copenhagen summit and global climate change from another Californian -- Senator Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. I was a guest at a small private luncheon across a conference table in New York, where Sen. Boxer gave us an update on happenings in Washington. She spent a great deal of the two hours talking about global warming and what Congress and the White House are trying to do.
She first talked about the lack of action -- and in many cases, backwards action -- that we've had to live with over the past eight years. Sounding understandingly partisan, but in my opinion, honest, she is thrilled to have a President who "gets it" when it comes to the need for serious action on this front.
She took us through a number of initiatives her committee and others in Congress and elsewhere are working on. I didn't want to start taking notes as I was sitting across from her at the table, but suffice it to say there's a lot that's happening... or a lot that can be happening if different bills can get out of committee and then approved on the Senate and House floors.
Sen. Boxer, a Brooklyn girl who grew up not far from Ebbetts Field, knows she has a marketing challenge. She quickly realized that in the world of Congress, "green" is no longer in. The lawmakers know that their constituents are most concerned now about the economy and jobs, and the environment, while still impoprtant, has taken a back seat. So she's wisely put an economic spin on the initiatives, trying to show how action to curb climate change can be directly translated into infrastructure spending and jobs -- jobs that can't be done offshore, but rather right here by American workers.
Fortunately, it's not just "spin." It's real. I wish Sen. Boxer success, because our future really does ride on it.