Op-Ed: Here’s how companies can strong-arm their suppliers into cutting carbon emissions, but only if they embrace a radical new technology that puts suppliers in control of their production
The fight over who should bear the costs of climate change goes beyond politics and into the factory gates. From the rooftop of the factory, activists can see where the fossil fuels that generate their electricity come from: power plants that burn ever-cleaner natural gas, and, increasingly, coal- and oil-fired plants, which spew carbon dioxide into the air. And they can see the pollution that results, thanks to emissions from the transportation sector, which creates millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, more than any other industry.
That’s why the fight against climate change, in one form or another, has been in the headlines since before the industrial age. For environmentalists and industry, it’s about who will have to pay, and what the costs will be for business.
But the fight over who should pay for the impact of climate change goes beyond economics — it’s about the world’s first industrial revolution. It was driven by companies like Henry Ford and Henry Grattan, who used cheap, abundant electricity to turn small factories into a huge industrial complex. Their vision was to transform their employees into mass producers, building cars for the world. They believed there was a future where the work of their workers would take a backseat to their products. But they didn’t anticipate the environmental consequences. The fight against climate change has become a fight about how to ensure that workers and the environment get paid in real time.
It’s a fight that’s not only about the climate crisis. It’s one that also puts the people and the planet on the front lines. It’s where the energy that powers your home and your factory comes from. It’s where the oil that fuels your car comes from, and the air that the power plant breathes. It’