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Bill Shireman
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Called a “master of environmental entrepreneurism,” Mr. Shireman has over 20 years of experience developing and implementing programs that align the interests of major corporations and their stakeholders. Shireman develops profitable business strategies that drive pollution down and profits up.

As President and CEO of the Future 500, Shireman helps the world’s largest companies and most impassioned activists - from Coca-Cola, General Motors, Nike, Mitsubishi, and Weyerhaeuser, to Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and the Sierra Club -- work together to improve the profits and performance of business.

Advocating technology as a driver of green growth, Shireman has led the development and deployment of these and other tools, at diverse companies in Asia, Europe, and throughout North America. While CEO of the largest state recycling lobby in the U.S., he wrote California’s bottle bill recycling law, shown by EPA and academic studies to be the world’s most cost-effective. He advocates market-based environmental policies – contending they can be more effective than many command and control laws.

In 2002, with former Mitsubishi CEO Tachi Kiuchi, Shireman wrote the popular book, What We Learned In The Rainforest -- Business Lessons from Nature, featured in the Harvard Business Review, which declares the business-as-machine era over, and shows how companies can become as innovative as the rainforest, leveraging feedback to grow more profitable and sustainable than ever.

Entries by Bill Shireman

How Environmentalists Created the Koch Brothers, and How the Heartland Institute Radicalized Environmentalists

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 9:04 PM

A Plan for Destroying Freedom and the Planet in One Sweeping Move

When Big Oil and Big Green clash in public, reporters don't even need to witness the event to write an accurate story about it.

That was comically true when a senior executive of ExxonMobil faced off against a...

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Reflections On 30 Years of Corporate-NGO Bridge Building

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 1:37 PM

For over 15 years, I battled corporate giants over nuclear power, open space protection, and the throwaway society. I campaigned with Ralph Nader for consumer protection and recycling laws. I railed against oil companies and petitioned for anti-trust action. I organized college activists and raised a million dollars in media...

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The Bottom Line of Classical Economics: The Missing 20 Percent

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 6:52 AM

Classic economics presents a simplistic view of how companies operate. It expresses the view, using simple diagrams and mathematical models, that corporate actions are guided by rational self-interest; that companies and their executives make decisions that they believe will maximize the line at the bottom of the balance sheet. They...

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What Republicans Can Learn From Nike

(3) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 9:21 AM

America's Creative, Entrepreneurial, Can-Do Majority And How to Win It Back

In the mid-1990s, Nike suffered a blow to their brand when they were held responsible for using child labor to stitch soccer balls. As a result, their share of the footwear market dropped from 55 percent in 1996 to...

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Why Conservatives Deny Climate Change

(19) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 3:53 PM

In Fighting to Protect Climate, Progressives Can Be Their Own Worst Enemies

The left assumes conservatives live to maximize profits at the expense of people and the environment. I don't find that true. Conservatives fear big government the same way progressives fear big corporations.

And when it...

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The Burden of Anti-Terror Security

(3) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 1:24 PM

"Boston exposes antiterror frailties," says the Washington Post.

Last Thursday, I arrived early for a breakfast meeting at a New York hotel, placed my briefcase and small travel bag down next to a desk in a corner of the small hotel library, and sat down to wait.

I...

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Why Obama Won: The Wishful Delusions of the Right and Left

(4) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 1:43 PM

The ideological left and right are each pushing self-congratulatory narratives about Obama's reelection.

To some on the left, this was a triumph of the progressive movement, a breakout from the political wilderness equivalent to the Reagan revolution.

To some on the right, this is proof the GOP should have nominated...

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Are Republicans Lying? Are Democrats?

(15) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 8:03 PM

Is John Sununu lying when he says President Obama eliminated the work requirement from welfare? Is Michael Moore lying when he blames capitalists for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? What about James Inhoffe, when he denies any legitimacy to climate science? Or Todd Akin, when...

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Paul Ryan's Two Gifts to the Progressives

(3) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 2:06 PM

Last week, I made the case that Paul Ryan will likely benefit progressives, not conservatives, in the election this November -- in one of two very different ways.

Most likely, he will activate progressives, and give Obama the edge in the election. But if he is smart and...

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Can Paul Ryan Be a Progressive Hero? How Romney's Choice Could Win the Left, the Right and the White House

(8) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 2:53 PM

No sooner had Mitt Romney announced his running mate than political strategists for both sides began spinning him into a straightjacket.

But for once, they were dressing him in the same clothes. Both sides cast Paul Ryan as a conservative ideologue who would dramatically cut the size, cost, and power...

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Change the Game: How a New Energy Alliance for Natural Gas and Digital Power Can Save the Environment and the Economy

(4) Comments | Posted September 22, 2011 | 3:00 PM

Twenty-five years ago, after suffering the humiliating defeat of a major environmental bill, my allies and I gathered to consider next steps.

Angry and more determined than ever to win, my peers set forth a new strategy of "more": more citizen action, more pressure on corporate enemies, and more calls...

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A Conservative Case for Public Broadcasting

(44) Comments | Posted April 8, 2011 | 9:55 AM

If we defund PBS, should we defund commercial media, too?

I have been struggling in recent weeks with the conservative attack on public broadcasting.

As a fiscal conservative but a social libertarian, I can see plenty of reason to put a stop to taxpayer-financed radio and television. The libertarian...

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Should We Have a Security Fee on Oil? A Left-Right Solution to Security, Economy, and Environment

(9) Comments | Posted February 26, 2011 | 11:13 AM

Once again, oil prices are spiraling. Once again, it's out fault: we failed to take charge of our energy future. And once again, politicians on the right and left looked not to solutions, but to their base, to find the rigid ideologies they pretend to believe. They don't...

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The "Inconvenient Truth" Behind Gasland

(56) Comments | Posted February 17, 2011 | 3:33 PM

Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, catapulted global warming into the spotlight and helped bring business and environmental leaders together to reduce fossil fuel dependence.

Now a new documentary film, Gasland, aims to build opposition to natural gas production in the U.S. Recently nominated for an Academy...

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How to Cut $100 Billion -- Lessons for Politicians

(19) Comments | Posted February 12, 2011 | 11:17 PM

Cut Programs, Not Systems

In demanding at last week's CPAC convention that GOP leaders strike $100 billion from federal spending, Tea Party activists are forcing politicians to go against their natural instincts.

If they expect to succeed, they need to understand the difference between a program, which spends money,...

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GOP and the Environment: The Bruising Battle Ahead, and Five Ways to Overcome It

(6) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 12:10 PM

Insiders tell us a battle is looming within the GOP between those for and against a Republican pro-environment agenda.

On the one hand, a small but powerful set of angry GOP social conservatives plan to haul leading environmentalists and scientists before Congress for what they intend to be brutal hearings,...

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Science, Religion, and Sustainability: Lessons from My Grandfather

(5) Comments | Posted October 28, 2010 | 1:39 AM

A Public Display of Extraordinary Ignorance, Unsupported Speculation, and Surprising Naïveté
by Bill Shireman


When I was about eight, and painfully shy, my cousin Doe Lynn inexplicably decided I was cute, and chased me incessantly around my grandfather's house. This unwanted proto-sexual harassment, which forced me...

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Is Obama Wrong to Promote "Green Jobs" Before the Election?

(89) Comments | Posted September 12, 2010 | 2:09 PM

A genuine path to save the economy, the planet, and the president

With jobs and the economy still weak less than 60 days before the election, President Obama is still pinning his hopes on the prospect of renewable energy and clean technologies to generate "green jobs."...

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Glenn Beck and Michael Moore Together: What the Country Needs

(5) Comments | Posted September 1, 2010 | 4:34 PM

I doubt that any of us would like what Glenn Beck and Michael Moore would conceive, if they got into bed together. That's because, apart from the physically obvious, each is a close-minded ideologue who demonizes all who disagree.

Yet - though none of us would care to...

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The 'Ground Zero Mosque' and the Politics of Manipulation

(26) Comments | Posted August 22, 2010 | 8:51 PM

The Myth of Freedom -- and An Alternative to the Battle of the Mosque

Right-wing protesters are out in force, attacking the proposed "Ground Zero mosque" as an insult to American freedoms. Left-wing protesters are countering them, supporting the mosque as a symbol of our religious liberties.

But both...

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