Eco-Advantage Blog

September 29, 2006 | Andrew Winston | Jump to: Comments (0) | Post A Comment

Climate Change Lemons into Lemonade

I saw this story a few weeks back that stuck with me…It’s in the ‘tragically funny’ news item category…

Swiss Hostel Offers View of Crumbling Peak as Glacier Retreats (full Reuters article here)

GRINDELWALD, Switzerland, Aug. 11 — Sometimes, global warming can help put money in an entrepreneur’s pocket.

Hansruedi Burgener has welcomed up to 800 people a day — twice the average number of visitors — to his remote mountain hostel in the Alps this summer.

They all hope to watch a rock the size of two Empire State Buildings collapse onto the canyon floor, about 650 feet below, as retreating glacier ice robs a cliff face on the eastern edge of a mountain, the Eiger, of its main support…”

While it’s hard to see something as seismic as climate change as an opportunity, we will see stories like this more and more. In many ways, it’s just a small example along the spectrum that leads up to GE’s ecomagination work. Providing more efficient jet engines is one way to help companies deal with more expensive energy and carbon constraints. This story proves one immutable truth: in any change in a marketplace, there will be winners and losers. Sometimes winners need to radically shift what they’re doing to take advantage, and other times it’s all about positioning.


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