Silicon Valley Companies Unite to Fight Global Warming

A group of major Silicon Valley businesses announced today that they will form a coalition devoted to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Santa Clara County to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2010 — more than twice what would be required by the Kyoto Protocol. The companies vowed to increase the use of hybrid automobiles in their fleets, install fluorescent lights, and retrofit their buildings with more efficient heating and cooling systems and light-colored “cool” roofs. The coalition is comprised of Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Calpine, Lockheed, ALZA, Life Scan, and PG&E, along with the city of San Jose, NASA Ames Research Center, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District. While some critics derided the effort as symbolic — the county produces only a tiny fraction of global greenhouse gases, and there are no penalties for failing to hit the targets — the coalition and supportive enviros hope that it will inspire other public/private partnerships. Said Hewlett-Packard’s Robert Parkhurst, “You have to start somewhere.”