Job interview with Bob Keefe
Bob Keefe is the government director of E2 – a nonpartisan organization which aims to provide business views on environmental concerns – and oversees their perform on a nationwide scale. Keefe largely focuses his focus on the economic added benefits of sensible environmental policies the thoroughly clean electrical power financial state positions and connected issues. Prior to beginning his operate with E2, Keefe used far more than 20 yrs doing work as a political, enterprise and environmental journalist. He has co-authored a number of business enterprise associated books and released Climatenomics: Washington, Wall Street and the Economic Battle for our Planet in May perhaps. This week, we asked Bob about his do the job.
How did you conclusion up as the govt director of E2?
I used about 20 decades as a enterprise, technology, and political journalist just before becoming a member of E2 about a ten years or so ago. Just one of the reasons I was seriously captivated to this function is because I realized in excess of a life time in journalism, and speaking to businesspeople, conversing to lawmakers, talking to other people, just how crucial and how influential company voices and organization leaders can be on impacting policy. When we are chatting about local climate and environmental policy, we you should not always generally believe about business voices and the value of those people voices. There are a several voices that are far more influential than businesspeople with lawmakers in Washington and in our state houses. What I seriously love about E2 is that we are an group of much more than 10,000 enterprise leaders correct now who are employing those people voices, their voices for very good, for the great of the overall economy and the fantastic of the natural environment.
In your belief, what are the most pressing challenges proper now, overall economy or in any other case, that are related with local weather improve these days?
Well, the most urgent challenges are the kinds that we’re residing by and having to pay for each and every day proper now. As I aim on in the e-book Climatenomics the price of weather improve is just battering our financial system appropriate now. Past calendar year, we had $150 billion worthy of of problems from climate connected disasters- wildfires in the west, so many hurricanes in the east, flooding, and drought in our nation’s Heartland and in our farming communities. Now, that is driving up the value of all the things from corn flakes to hen. Also, if you look at homeowners’ coverage, homeowners’ coverage is up 40%, in component since insurance policies corporations are looking at report losses from all these organic disasters, drought and flooding from other climate disasters additional nearly 30 billion to the price tag of crop coverage that every taxpayer pays for. And just seem at the heat wave that just impacted the total place by driving up air conditioning charges, forcing corporations to slash hours or near, and even even worse than that in Kansas 2000 cows ended up killed around useless from heatstroke.
Can you discuss a tiny little bit about why you all concentration on the intersection involving organization and governing administration as a vital way to address local weather change? How do you all think about catering to, or conversing to the two organization folks along with of plan makers?
Well, as I stated previously, organization voices are just so crucial and influential with lawmakers usually. In my time as a journalist and my time working at E2, I can notify you that there’s nothing politicians, like more than kissing babies, heading to ribbon cuttings, and chatting about work opportunities and financial expansion. They are not kissing much too many infants any more, but they absolutely sure are speaking about when careers arrive to their cities, or economic progress happens. And it’s enterprises that make that take place. But even a lot more broadly, organizations, as I pointed out in the e-book, are just crucial to the remedy. Correct now, every single significant organization in The united states is shifting to clean electrical power renewables. Why? Nicely, of course it truly is the suitable factor to do, but it’s also since photo voltaic and wind are the cheapest energy accessible. Companies are also knowing the other side of what I connect with the Climatenomics coin as properly, which is the expense. And people enterprises are now relocating absent from sites that are inclined to hurricanes or wildfires or flooding to sites that are safer and can, so they can preserve their companies up and managing and the profit’s flowing, but sadly, they’re managing out of places to go. It is an difficulty that we truly need to handle in this nation. We need to have to do some thing about climate transform and the fees that come with it for our economic stake if nothing at all else.
Can you discuss a minor little bit to our listeners who are probably in communities exactly where they might want to be advocating on this problem? Why is advocacy in this space so critical? How do the endeavours of persons or communities seriously aid to press and produce adjust at the nearby degree?
Very well, both of those at the neighborhood level, the state level, the federal stage, it would not issue. There are a whole lot of people out there conversing to lawmakers, seeking to get what they want, and if you might be not speaking to them as well, you might be not likely to get what you want. Poll just after poll, right after poll, following poll in this country has shown that Individuals want more thoroughly clean vitality. They want action on weather modify, and they want their lawmakers at the federal to state the community amount to do much more about that. And politicians and elected officials look a great deal at polls, but they also hear. If we are not in there talking to them about the economic price tag of local weather adjust, the financial gains of climate action, along with all the other prices and gains, irrespective of whether it’s wellbeing or social challenges or American competitiveness or national stability that is all tied to weather transform, then they’re likely to be listening to from fossil fuel companies. They are likely to be hearing from some others. And you can think that those people styles of providers that and incumbent industries that will not want to change are shelling out a ton of money and are spending a ton of time with those lawmakers. We’ve acquired to go out and depict to discuss about the other aspect of this equation.
Can you communicate a minor bit about what E2 has learned by incorporating this business enterprise perspective into the assessment of environmental challenges and if there is something in your time at E2 that sort of shocked you?
Yeah, I wouldn’t say it truly is a shock and it shouldn’t be a shock, but it is a tiny tricky to wrap your head about people who have created local weather modify, the atmosphere, and clear strength a partisan situation. The simple fact is it truly is not a partisan issue and it shouldn’t be when we chat about these disasters. This $150 billion truly worth of climate disasters that that’s not just happening in, in blue states or purple states. It’s not just California on fireplace. It’s Louisiana underwater from recurring hurricanes. It’s not just New York and blue states having hit by flooding, it truly is Iowa and Indiana, and other places in the Midwest. So, local climate transform does not know geography, geology, or politics, it really is going on everywhere. On the other aspect of the coin, what we’ve also observed at E2, and a person of the matters my group has done for a very long time, is search at where by clean up electricity jobs are rising all-around the place. Each and every year we place out some thing referred to as Thoroughly clean Work The usa. And what we have observed is that there are pretty much as numerous thoroughly clean electricity jobs now in Republican congressional districts as there are in democratic congressional districts and, supplied the advancement we see in factors like electric automobiles and battery storage, that sort of matter, and in which individuals firms are heading, there’s going to be a lot more positions in Republican and red states performing on electrical automobiles and cleanse energy. Then there are in democratic districts. So, the information is if you, as a lawmaker, want these work in your backyards, if you want to do a little something about the economic destruction, that’s remaining inflicted on your constituents for the reason that of climate modify, you need to do anything about it and you want to pass procedures in Washington.
And lastly, what are some of your favourite podcasts or guides that you would propose our listeners to choose a pay attention to?
Well, a e book I just finished, and it took me a very extensive time to end it, not mainly because it was dull or boring, but since it was really prolonged, which is a little something referred to as Wilderness Warrior, which is about Teddy Roosevelt. It’s excellent e-book by a excellent creator named David Brinkley. One of the things that really struck me and, and sort of resonated with me as I was studying, is very first of all, just how much Teddy Roosevelt did in conditions of preserving and definitely shaping what The usa is, is about. He designed 150 nationwide forest, 51 federal hen reserves, 5 national parks and he did all that by the way inspite of huge, great stress from timber businesses, from oil and gasoline organizations from the opposing political occasion. Congress was not with him on all these factors and enterprise and marketplace was not with him on preserving these lands. They needed to slash it down and make a lot of income advertising timber, for instance, but President Roosevelt knew that this was the suitable point to do for The us. He experienced the courage, he experienced the braveness to do what he imagined was the right point, even in the confront of opposition, from company, from the other political bash and a Congress that failed to always concur with them. We want to do that with local weather improve. We need to do that with climate motion. We are managing out of time.
Have any issues? Drop us a line!