Blog /Where Are All The Capitalists?

August 21, 2005 23:08 +0000  |  Why I'm Here 8

I've been giving more thought to the above lately and I find that I'm coming up with more questions than answers, so it's my hope that posting them here will help me figure some of this out.

My current dilemma is that the more I learn about the state of things environmentally, the more I realise that everyone (government, industry, etc.) seems to be dragging their asses when it comes to moving on new green technolgies. This is, of course quite normal (especially in Canada) but in this case, (at least in my mind) unwise at best.

Technolgy and infrastructure needs to be built over time and only in very special cases (think the .com boom) can it be done in quantum leaps. People generally like to wait until the last possible moment before they're willing to "take a chance" on new ideas, but given the state of world oil reserves and the political instability of the Middle East, waiting doesn't seem like the right course of action. As I mentioned before, we have to move quickly on this or be left behind.

I've been pretty surprised so far with the attitude of the business community in such matters. One would think that any idiot WASP could look up from his Wall Street Journal and realise that control of energy production is where the profit is going to be, but just installing a second wind turbine here in Toronto has become such a political and commercial mess that I have to believe the corporate will just isn't there. This leads me to wonder: where are all the capitalists? and more importantly, do I have to become one to get anything done?

Maybe it's the impatience you acquire from having worked in IT for as long as I have, but it seems to me that when you have something that you know works and is better for you, you start using that product as soon as possible, to the deprecation of older, less useful products. With that in mind, It makes sense that we should see cogeneration plants sprouting up everywhere. Wind turbines should be lining the cliffs of the rockies, the great lakes and the oceans, and solar generators should be appearing on rooftops and street corners everywhere... so why hasn't any of this happened?

My assumption is that people are afraid. Afraid of anything new, preferring instead to let someone else do it first -- the typical Canadian attitude. So if that's true, does this mean that in order to assure a strong Canadian presence in this soon to be crucial industry, do I have to go out there and become a corporate type? I'm pretty sure I know what needs to be done. Government types need to be bribed, smaller companies swallowed and land aquisitioned to do with as needed. More government reps will have to be coerced into rewriting the laws regulating energy distribution and if you want it done right, the market will have to be dominated by a single corporation soas to avoid competing "standards".

As it stands now, the industry is too fractured. Companies are "offering" their products rather than pushing them or aiming to control the market themselves. Energy is the kind of thing that has to be centrally managed, while produced in a decentral manner and I don't see that happening the way things are going.

So there's the big question. But while I don't mind wearing a suit to get the job done, I do mind the idea of a private corporation managing the rights to such a critical resource. I'd much rather see it in public hands as a Crown Corporation -- I'm just not sure how to go about making that happen. I'd just as soon start the company, run it as I mentioned above, then hand it over to the federal government to maintain, though that might be the hard way of going about it.

I don't want to go corporate. The whole idea gives me a bad taste in my mouth, but I know I can do it and a part of me knows I'd be good at it. The fact though, is that being on the passive end, waiting for approvals, going through committees, holding public meetings and running "awareness campaigns" is not going to get it done. You need real money and real corporate power on the scale of Exon or Microsoft behind a move like this -- I just wish I could think of a third path... A co-op maybe? Corporate Alliance? But someone's gotta do it, and since no one else seems to be interested, it looks like that someone will have to be me...

Anyone interested in joining me?


21 Aug 2005, 11:47 p.m.  | 

as my dad once remarked while cooking up a recipe of homemade glue for me to use for a school project, "they didn't have it so we make it."

maybe you should be thinking this way... i am partial to joining you especially when it comes to the corporate side of things. maybe once it's up and running, you could make the company public and open to co-op or "offer" it to be government run and sponsored. this is perhaps the more difficult way but no pain, no gain. if you want something done, do it yourself. :)

21 Aug 2005, 11:52 p.m.  | 

something told me you'd be on board early ;-)

now all we need is a matthew-type personality and an organiser. i've always felt that a good company should all for parts of the whole: a dreamer, a doer, a thinker and an organiser.

the rest requires more thinking on my part -- it may take some time.

22 Aug 2005, 12:46 a.m.  | 

get matt on board then.. he's your bro.

i was thinking that if you want to do this properly, you might want to check out that best western kelowna hotel to see how they managed to be so self-energy sufficient.

oh aside from that, you know this will get political right? you have the connections though. i leave that to you

22 Aug 2005, 12:50 a.m.  | 

i have my own ideas about that
as for my brother getting on board, it'd be cool, but i don't think he's got the right background for it all. i'll talk to him though.

22 Aug 2005, 1:44 p.m.  | 

I figured that this may be the way you were thinking after our discussion yesterday. And of course I'll join/assist/con when you need it. (Oh but I really do suck at organization, unless its strategic, so don't even THINK about signing me up as your official calendar!)

The legislation in Ontario is finally changing to make your plan actually feasable. Actually the number of companies that will now courted by the Gov't in the near future will make change happen quite quickly. Capalists will move when ever there is a relativly lower risk to making money. Now its just trying to convince the rest of Canada (except PEI, they're moving on thier own) to also follow this path!

So in the true oxymoron that is the Ontario Liberals they're wooing the auto industry and now the greens! Hopefully one day that won't be such an odd thing!

22 Aug 2005, 1:54 p.m.  | 

i got your link this morning. strangely enough, this sort of thing makes me think less about a power conglomerate and more about independent producers. this kind of legislation would let all sorts of people produce their own power -- from small families in apartments to farmers to skyscrapers. and that sort of system needs compettition and differing technological approaches to the same problem.

the large scale stuff, as i mentioned above, still needs to be coordinated though. i just need time to think about it all.

22 Aug 2005, 2:01 p.m.  | 

as a side note, am i the only one who was frustrated by the fact that ontario wants to court a german company for this? what, we can make cars in ontario, but not turbines?

22 Aug 2005, 3:09 p.m.  | 

Unfortunately, this was the kind of stuff I was saying that we are too far behind in, R & D! We need to court companies that have already completed the research and have the money behind them to get us back in the race. The theory being that once they come, here then Canadian businesses will start and grow to support these industries, and therefor will push our businesses further.

Money and bragging power are what push things foreward!

Post a Comment of Your Own

Markdown will work here, if you're into that sort of thing.