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August 03, 2005


Motts McGregor

Joel, thanks as always for your excellent commentary. If I may offer one additional point as to why (I personally feel) purchases of clean power have not taken off: the process is so opaque and varied (depending on state, utility system, etc.) as to be nearly impossible, even with requisite awareness.

The good news, as you say, is that the demand is there.


Morgan Daly


I am not surprised by the findings that the dooms day environmental campaigns are these days lost on people. I work in an espresso bar where there is plenty of time to talk to people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. And not so long ago I realized that they all agreed that the situation our planet is in needs attention, they just didn't know what to do about it. There is not much positive news out there. There is a lot of "this needs fixing" and not enough "this is how we are fixing it or have been for years". The campaign above is inspiring, where as many campaigns can leave you feeling depressed. In my local area (Brisbane, Australia) we have a peace organisation that believes that we won't we about to come up with any good ideas to fix the world until we convince enough people that it needs fixing. Even they are not aware of the amazing things going on around the world. That the world(is)changing.com.

Marketing people have know for years now. "Maximize the positives minimize the negatives." Oh and Sell the Benefits of a product not the Features.

I know the corporation is supposed to be the big bad guy but a company or corporation is no more that a well oiled (excuse the pun) system of organisation. Organised towards a goal, in this case money or profit. But I wonder if the goal was changed to Peace or a cleaner future, would the company have to change much. What would the marketing department produce? It's like when the UN (I think) did a study to find out how best to market organic foods, etc, they found the best model to be that of CokeCola. Make organic foods COOL. I am told Coke learned from drug dealers.

I could go on and on. The point is that I am not surprised. Being someone that is already convinced that things need to change, I simply want to know how, and what I can do to help. And importantly. I need to know what is already being done so that I may continue to be inspired in my efforts.

Keep up the great blogging.

Matthew Lewis

Joel -

I'd seen the green power marketing stuff before, and while I think they're on to something in terms of marketing strategy, there is another, more complicated problem, which is the virtual monopolization of energy markets by the coal and (to a lesser extent) natural gas industry. It's very difficult to find transmission capacity for renewable energy when the companies that own the transmission are also trying to sell the coal and gas-fired power that they produce (and, needless to say, deregulation has mostly failed to solve this problem to date).

Any thoughts on this? I work in the field, and my own findings are that while consumers embrace clean energy as a concept (and buy it when they can), the utilities are another story entirely; it seems to me that "tradition" - i.e., 150 years of relying on coal - is the most powerful barrier to competition from clean energy, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

E-mail me if you want to/can discuss offline.

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