In the last 20 years, billions of dollars have been spent on the development of more sustainable fuels and chemicals. Yet this revolutionary threat has not lived up to the hype. Chemical companies dealing with low oil prices and margins have every right to be skeptical of the bio-based solutions that have pretty much failed to reach economic viability.
At the same time, consumer markets have changed dramatically. Both millennials and their parents have embraced the shared economy, social networking, continuous communication, asynchronous media, gaming, GPS, and soon artificial intelligence—essentially valuing “information” far greater than the built environment—cars and homes and the chemicals they are made from. Indeed, consumer markets have changed dramatically with two big exceptions: continued concerns over individual health and the impact of global warming. (more…)