I’m attending the United States Green Build Council’s annual Greenbuild Conference in Chicago, Illinois (www.usgbc.org), and there is a palpable sense of urgency permeating all the talks, sessions and impromptu meetings going on here. Its like we have finally reached a tipping point — no longer is the existence of global warming being debated, but rather how severe the effects will be and when will they manifest. And there is a recognition that if we keep up with ‘business as usual’, we are going to be seeing a major assault to our way of life, our country and the entire world within as soon as 10 years. Due to our addiction to cheap energy, specifically coal (See Ed Mazriya’s talk, more on that in another blog…). Bill Clinton’s keynote address on Wednesday was a call to arms: President Clinton’s message is that the environtal movement needs to be the biggest countrywide and worldwide call to action since World War II in order to stem the tide of global warming. And not only will this massive effort reap benefits to the overall health of our world, but the positive economic effects will be staggering as well, in a positive way. There is evidence of this in all countries that have adopted the Kyoto Protocol.
Seeing Paul Hawken talk yesterday brought a distinctly personal message to the movement: Environmental sustainability and social justice are inseparable. This movement is not about supplying healthier air and living wages to the rich — it is about treating everyone who lives on this planet with humanity and respect. Only when we recognize that we are all deeply connected can we affect positive change to the world we live in.
We have a lot of work to do, but the journey, while deeply distrubing at times, is a beautiful journey into the possibility of how we can find deeper meaning in our lives, not just mine, but all of our lives.
I’m flying back home, to Truckee CA this afternoon (yes, I recogize the hypocricy of flying…) then driving to San Francisco for yet another green festival — the SF Greenfest. More later…