Thursday, May 3, 2007

Is Global Warming At "Phase Two"

My wife had an interesting observation this morning... Her basic sentiment was that the big surge in cleantech and going green is directly driven by the generally warmer temperatures we're experiencing in our daily lives. "It's just warmer all the time, and this has people thinking about carbon in a much more visceral way."

All obvious, yes, but the point here I think is an interesting one. Is it just me, or is the speed of warming stunning. I think we're past the "first warning signs" of an unusually warm winter here or there, or a spot "hot day" in December, or a run of European heat wave weather. Phase one could also be marked by "macro" markers, like melting polar ice caps (too far away to viscerally "feel", and shifting butterflies north in the U.K. (only visceral to butterfly catchers.)

I think we're entering phase two. Phase two has more local, visceral ways to see global warming. Like tropical Palm Trees growing in Tenessee.

What this means for the adoption of cleantech is positive. How quickly this drives real market forces and pricing is less clear.

Here'a a good piece in the New Yorks Times on a "phase two" impact of global warming to gardening in the United States.