It is official, when Wal-Mart starts talking environment it has to mean that Global Warming is now a commodity to package and sell. I missed it when Wal-Mart announced last month that it was going to start asking some suppliers to monitor energy use in producing products for Wal-Mart.
Do not get me wrong, as a Free Market Fundamentalist, I love Wal-Mart and I especially love their low prices on the necessities (Tide, veggies, etc). I also know from my reading that Wal-Mart has single handedly done more to improve the life of lower incomes Americans than just about any government program through its low prices and consistent quality.
What worries me is when big corporations start getting cozy with groups that want to use the power of government to pursue an agenda. While Wal-Mart can handle about anything that the state or federal government throws at them, the same can not be said of their smaller competitors or small suppliers. We are already seeing global energy companies getting on the Global Warming bandwagon hoping for a competitive advantage, now Wal-Mart.
While many environmentalists will cautiously watch Wal-Mart and take their time in applauding, those on the side of free-markets should sit up and notice that the argument over regulation and global warming may be over before they are fully engaged in the debate.