Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Educational Evening

Last night I went to a fascinating presentation on the environment. Four experts spoke on "How to Make Renewable Energy Communities a Reality." Over 600 people in my hometown, Fort Collins, CO, showed up to hear them. First a local leader of our Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster spoke on what we are doing right here in my hometown, emphasizing solar and wind energy. Next Anita Burke, a former advisor to Shell International Committee spoke on sustainable energy development. Then---Dr. Hermann Scheer, Member of the German Parliament and president of EUROSOLAR told us the "time for paying lip service to renewable energies is over."

But the last speaker is the one everyone came to see and hear: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who's an environmental attorney and policy expert/activist. He emphasized how communities must create the economic drivers to invest now in "low carbon economy and protect our water resources."

Kennedy was definitely the one who fired up everyone. And I admit---listening to these four experts, I came away believing we can make a difference and we can make these changes. And create jobs and prosperity in the process. That was the new information I came away with. Germany created huge numbers of new jobs when they switched over. It took them a decade. But they now produce the majority of their energy with solar---in a country which is not particularly sunny. (I can attest to that. During my visit last fall, I rarely saw the sun).

Don't worry----I'm not going to preach. That would be presumptuous, not to mention boring. But I wondered what--if any--behavioral changes you've made as a concession to the environment. Do you use cloth bags at the grocery instead of plastic? Turn off appliances? Lower thermostats? Tell us.