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September 11, 2006


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Sarah Brophy

Robert - didn't read this until now - Jan. 07. I believe you asked for thoughts on businesses for independent practitioners that have a connection to sustainability. My museum consultancy has morphed from just writing grant proposals to helping to create sustainable museums - that means financially, socially, and environmentally. I co-wrote the cover article for Museum News on Green Museums for Sept/Oct. 2006 (email me if you need a copy, anyone.) And the Building Museums conference in DC this February has a heavy emphasis on green museums. Not only are museums 24/7 consuemers of vast quantities of power for temperature control for their collections, but as educators they have a responsibility to model behavior that is respectful of their community and the environment of their community. If you're a children's museums, be and teach green for the children. If you're a science/nature/natural history museum - do it for all those reasons. And if you're art or history, do it for the collections and do it for preservation of the cultural and social environment. It's all mission-focused.

For your readers, museums reach a lot of people. Ask your favorite museum what it's doing to be green. If they have no response, tell them to get a move on!

David Scott Lynn

Now I'm looking like a Big Dope here. ORG, not com. I just checked it three times. You'll see Al Gore's face as soon as you land on the site. -- I'm definitely in too big of a hurry here -- oh, yeah, Take a Deep Breath. -- That's better.
Many apologies for my confusion. -- DSL

David Scott Lynn

WHOOPS! -- It's for the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the Al Gore commentary. I had put Sorry!

David Scott Lynn

Dear Robert,

Okay, you've got me in a tough placed on this Global Warming thing. I just got your InfoGuru Manual, Website Tool kit, Action Plan, and the Audio CD set. I've been reading and working on them.

Now, my usual thing is to allow myself to be distracted from business/marketing by things like politics. Partly because I think, in the Big Picture, the political scene today -- climate change, Iraq/Iran, Health Care/AIDs, etc. -- is far more important than any one or twenty people's business. BUT, I was going to put all that on hold till I get my status as an InfoGuru established. But your Global Warming article makes me think . . . (a dangerous activity, sometimes.)

I had already started to outline an article explaining, in detail, with references, many of the arguments AGAINST human-caused Global Warming, ESPECIALLY the large number of half-truths and outright lies in Al Gores thinly veiled Propaganda for President.

If, for instance, the hundreds of scientists -- many of whom do NOT work for industry, and are NOT in the back pocket of the government/ academia grant-making system -- are even half correct in what they are saying, then the pro-Global Warming crowd is on the vierge of making a DISASTEROUS mistake. . . And they should know BOTH SIDES of the argument before acting on such.

Remember in 1978, when Time Magazine was giving dire warnings of global cooling?

NOT that living a less polluting life-style is not a good thing. It is. But not for the reasons the large trans-national, ANTI-free-enterprise corporations that fund the major environmental organizations (WHY would they fund THEM???) want us to think. (There is BIG grant money and other perks for the pro-warming scientific crowd.)

Because of YOUR blog post, I'm thinking that is is CRITICAL that I do this. Why? Because the feedback I get from most people is I have a talent for researching and telling complex information -- like human anatomy, physiology, and pathology -- in ways anyone can understand. I am also know for fixing medical problems others cannot, BTW.

But then, if I do this, can I blame you for distracting me from doing my Action Plan exercises sooner rather than later? (Just kidding.) But the whole thing should only take me one or two long days at most. It would seem to be worth the effort.

BTW, Science Magazine is well-known to be agenda driven in a couple of areas at least, (AIDS and Climate change) and does not appear to be above filtering information to favor its preferred point of view.

If you are interested, go to:

especially, for fun, this page:


with the lead article on Al's Convenient Half-Truths.

You might start thinking about getting some snowshoes as well as suntan lotion, just to hedge your bets both ways.

Thanks for reading this.
David Scott Lynn

Shel Horowitz

Thank you, Robert, for this important article. When I attended the Bioneers by the Bay conference last year, one analyst referred to the possible consequences as "global roasting" and described a hellish worst-case scenario. My report on this conference, including not only the doomsayers but also many activists with creative life-enhancing strategies for making a difference, tested in the real world, can be found at along with a number of other important articles.

You ask about specific steps and I haven't seen many suggestions in the comments. Here are a few:

Over the past few years, we've made our home increasingly green: recycled computer paper, napkins, and TP...fair trade organic coffee, cocoa, and tea...upgrading two toilets to low-flush...using dramatically less water for dishwashing (for those things that don't go in the dishwasher, anyway), etc. etc.

This is very much in keeping with the philosophy of my Business Ethics Pledge (an international movement at to make crooked business as unthinkable in a few years as slavery is today) and in my award-winning sixth book, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First--which has a whole chapter on sustainability. I also intend to print my next book on recycled paper.

With the exception of the solar panels on our roof, none of what we've done has a significant dollar cost; some of it even lowers our bills.



Applause for identifying the trend of climate change becoming a hot issue. As the comments from Mr. Johnson (above) shows, this is still a question that some wish to debate. An insightful view on why so many deny climate change is real can be found the new book Heat by George Monbiot which reveals how Exxon is using exactly the same techniques Big Tobacco used to try and muddy the debate on the link between smoking and cancer. Worth a read.



Gill Pettitt

Very interested to read this article Robert.
There is a lot of controversy over Climate Change isn't there. For me it's not so much what is causing it but acknowledging that it is here that is important.
It was partly through your ezines and Ken Envoy's SiteBuildit - that I was able to embark on making a website that is very close to my heart. It was only launched in July this year, and still has a long way to go - but in it I hope that I can inspire people to consider what they can do to live and work in a more environmentally friendly way.
Living with respect to the environment is not a political issue - think of it as good housekeeping - housekeeping that we can all contribute to.
Many thanks

Barbara Langham

Hi Robert,
Just this morning I clipped an article by science writer Eric Berger from the Houston Chronicle on this very subject. While global warming is certainly a timely and important issue that we all can examine in our business values statement, client selection, habits, etc., I clipped it for my newsletter article resource file because it is a small example of a couple of trends, blogs and podcasts, and also is a very hot subject.
The article "Scientist airs his findings on blog" is an interview with Andrew Dessler,a member of the scientific community and an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. Dessler has started a blog on global warming "because he thinks scientists have a responsibility to explain their research." These folks are not known for their outreach efforts to the general public.
Dessler's blog is called "Science and politics of climate change." He named it this because it "mirrors the title of my book. But also, a lot of the stuff I blog on is really at the intersection of science and politics, about how science gets used in the climate change debate, or misused as the case may be." He continues, "It's not really politics and it's ot really science. It's really where the rubber meets the road." And just take a look at the political references as well as scientific references generated today by your own blog, to see exactly what he means.
The Chronicle not only has the printed article this morning, they have a podcast of the complete interview on their website. These are not firsts in either trend, but a good example of the spreading use of both these communications tools, blogs and podcasts -- as well as providing another interesting resource on this genuinely global issue.
The article is at and the complete interview is online as a podcast at:
Another issue here of note to marketers as well as other communicators and consultants is this whole "intersection" business. Here Dessler talks about intersection/use/misuse of political/scientific folks, but as the world gets smaller, similar intersections are around everywhere we turn. Intersections invite collisions, and where such energy exists, opportunities abound. -- The secret is being smart enough to identify them and make positive use of them for ourselves and others on our tiny blue planet.

Nick Braak

I get it and I agree. The issue is not whether one supports one or the other POV on Global Warming, or any other contentious topic. Instead it's about looking ahead, as Robert is doing, and trying to see what is going to be important to people in the future.

From that follows what they will spend time, and money on. Both for business and personally.

Furthermore, in the US, the huge increase in the number of retirees is going to force a focus on all the things those folks are going to want and need.

And since I have your attention I'll plug my own agenda, which is fostering more virtual business, and to allow more people to do and run businesses from wherever they choose. End the tyranny of unwanted commuting, cubicle life and other modern day horrors for those who choose a more balanced life.

Robert Middleton

I've gotten quite a few emails discounting the claim that "no credible scientist disagrees about climate change." The article below supports this assertion, quite credibly, I believe.

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
Naomi Oreskes*

Policy-makers and the media, particularly in the United States, frequently assert that climate science is highly uncertain. Some have used this as an argument against adopting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, while discussing a major U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report on the risks of climate change, then-EPA administrator Christine Whitman argued, "As [the report] went through review, there was less consensus on the science and conclusions on climate change". Some corporations whose revenues might be adversely affected by controls on carbon dioxide emissions have also alleged major uncertainties in the science. Such statements suggest that there might be substantive disagreement in the scientific community about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. This is not the case.

The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme, IPCC's purpose is to evaluate the state of climate science as a basis for informed policy action, primarily on the basis of peer-reviewed and published scientific literature. In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities: "Human activities ... are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents ... that absorb or scatter radiant energy. ... [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations".

IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members' expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements. For example, the National Academy of Sciences report, Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, begins: "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise". The report explicitly asks whether the IPCC assessment is a fair summary of professional scientific thinking, and answers yes: "The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue".

Others agree. The American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling.

The drafting of such reports and statements involves many opportunities for comment, criticism, and revision, and it is not likely that they would diverge greatly from the opinions of the societies' members. Nevertheless, they might downplay legitimate dissenting opinions. That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords "climate change".

The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

Admittedly, authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point.

This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect.

The scientific consensus might, of course, be wrong. If the history of science teaches anything, it is humility, and no one can be faulted for failing to act on what is not known. But our grandchildren will surely blame us if they find that we understood the reality of anthropogenic climate change and failed to do anything about it.

Many details about climate interactions are not well understood, and there are ample grounds for continued research to provide a better basis for understanding climate dynamics. The question of what to do about climate change is also still open. But there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen.

Rich Brooks


You've hit the zeitgeist again!

In almost every business magazine I've read in the past month (Fast Co., Business 2.0, Wired, Business Week, Inc, Entrepreneur, etc.) there's been at least one article on the move to more sustainable business.

Fast Company had a huge article on the impact just changing one light bulb in your home or business over to the more energy efficient spiral design would make. Walmart (yes, THOSE guys) recently changed just their ceiling fan displays from traditional lightbulbs to the spiral kind for a yearly energy savings of...wait for it...$6 million dollars!

I'm a member of MEBSR (Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility.) We are always trying to teach businesses how to succeed while using sustainable business practices. It feels like there's finally starting to be some traction on this.

Organics, green design, sustainability, social responsibility...I hope that more business plans include these elements. Consumers, even B2B clients, will be looking to work with social responsible companies.

cheryl miller

I was surprised and happy to read your newsletter today Robert. I have two things to share with this list:

Interested in the environment? Read this article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr:

Crimes Against Nature or

And check out this book by Dr. Mary Pipher: Writing to Change the World

Whether global warming is a theory or reality, it does us all well to be informed, to take the best care we can of the planet and our natural resources, and to talk about it openly in forums such as this. I commend you Robert for bringing it up so publicly. Cheryl



Thanks for taking a moment to mention this critically important issue. How some people can continue to be in denial about Global Warming is beyond me.

After 20 years in the technology sector, I decided it was time to do something more important. The result is , which is about learning how to live sustainably.

I appreciate the fact that you have the courage and conviction to occasionally stray from the main theme of ActionPlan and remind us all that there's more to life than just chasing clients.

Keep up the good work.



I am on the board of directors of a not-for-profit called revoFUEL we can be found at

It is our goal to educate and provide solutions to end consumers that will save them money on their energy bills and help them to conserve energy.

Have a look.

We are currently in a start-up phase with about 30 volunteers. Any support you or the readers of the blog can give us is extremly appreciated and welcome.


Lee Johnson

I didn't think I would see this eblast become political with your support of the "theory" of global warming. You are obviously allowing the media to drive your decision making and ignoring other strong scientific fact. I encourage you to pick up the book "Environmental Overkill" by Dixie Lee Ray and look at a body of evidence which disputes the fact humans are causing global warming. The verdict is NOT in, in fact last week the Russian Federation of Scientist announced we are now beginning a period of global cooling. There is just as large a body of evidence disputing human caused global warming as there is in support of it, but without the media jumping on their bandwagon.

If this eblast is going to become a political platform then please remove me from the list.

Paul Baker

Dear Robert,

I was very excited and relieved to see your thoughts this week. Thank you for using your precious space to talk about these crucial issues.

I have spent the last 20 years increasingly aware of these “environmental issues” and putting my energy and intelligence into exploring what really will make a difference for all of us.

My underlying questions are: “What do I need to know about myself, the environment and other people for my actions to increasingly contribute to the solution rather than the problem?!”

The Natural Step (TNS – ) is an extraordinary science based understanding of how our world works that gives 4 principles for how to either make our society sustainable or unsustainable. 3 of them are science based and the 4th is about human needs.

I see a strong connection between your work on communication and needs.

In the field on needs and communication, the most exciting work I have come across in 30 years of exploring “self development” is Nonviolent Communication (NVC) , Marshall Rosenberg’s extraordinary 40+ years life’s work. Do you know about it?

My efforts are going into how I make as significant a contribution as I can into creating a sustainable society and how I make enough money out of this to be well resourced in making this contribution.

Thank you again for using your mailing list for this issue.

Warm regards

Paul Baker

PS I attended your workshop when you came to Bristol UK.

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