An article on GE's "greening" (linked below after my little rant) made me really consider something.
Suddenly there's this stampede of formerly eco-unfriendly ventures leaping onto an ever-crowding bandwagon of green opportunity. If it seems to have happened over night, it essentially has. The (r)evolution is made more profound by the fact that some formerly ecologically-hostile companies, such as Exxon-Mobil, are showing signs of an abrupt 180 degree turnaround in corporate responsibility where the environment is concerned.
Now most of this is simply steadily increasing background buzz that I'd otherwise dismiss, but then I realized: there are critical factors combining here to illustrate a tacit collusion of sorts. As exemplified by several unenlightened (and dare I say dangerously uninformed and misinformed) individuals on another forum I frequent, humans don't act until they have to. We as a people don't like proactive. We embrace reactive. You say there's going to be a crisis? Wake me when it hits. Tornado watch? Let me know when there's a warning. Tornado warning? Let me know when it's at my door. Otherwise, I refuse to embrace your disaster scenario. I don't care if glaciers retreat before my eyes-- if I don't want to know, I won't.
Inertia is the most powerful force in the universe, especially if education is involved.
Corporate executives aren't completely stupid. They know that demand drives their profits. Until the demand (and obvious need) for serious conservation and alternative energy approached critical mass, they weren't going to act.
I used to innocently wonder why the companies that stood the most to lose when their bread-and-butter business model evaporated didn't start early on transitioning to alternatives. Now it's painfully obvious to an evolved cynic. We consumers (I prefer being a net producer myself) had to feel the pain first. The sad part is, it will get worse before it gets better-- whether the blissful naysayers understand that or not. Change doesn't really care if you believe in it or not-- it happens anyway.