Thursday, March 06, 2008

gavin newsom on green movement

this is a good interview with gavin newsom reflecting on the current state of the green movement. here's an apt quote:

Right now we're almost seeing the movement increasingly trivialized by everything turning green...every single magazine and newspaper and TV program.

It's important and powerful because it raises awareness, but it misses the point that needs to be raised, one of accountability, transparency and measurement, the hard work that needs to be done. And it's not just buying organic cereal with a recycled tote bag. So when I talk in terms of (San Francisco's) 70 percent recycling rates, the highest in the nation, I feel good about that but not great.

i like his point about accountability, transparency and measurement. i think these are three things we really need, and there isn't a lot of talk about them in the general media.


Jono said...

A friend gave a talk yesterday about saving energy through smarter building design. She made the point that all the rhetoric around global warming is one of threat: species disappearing, ice-caps melting, sea-level rising, CO2 spewing power plants...

but you remember this speech? He didn't say, "I have a nightmare." No, he said, "I have a dream." And it helped inspire people, creating hope and change. Maybe it's time for a change of rhetoric on global warming...

It also reminded me of the plea for the last earth day

omar said...

hmm the rhetoric isn't all threat, and actually some environmentalists have been working hard to change that view.. in some ways i agree with them. here's a quote:

In October 2004, Shellenberger and Nordhaus [the environmentalists i mention] argued that environmentalism was incapable of dealing with global warming and must die for a new ecological politics to be born. Now, they will make their case for a new "politics of possibility" to replace the old "politics of limits" - from environmentalism to liberalism to conservatism - grounded in changing social values and an expansive new vision of the future.

but then i saw them give a talk about their new book, which essentially wants to solve the problem by inventing new technology -- they want an apollo program for the environment. i think this is a great idea, but i think it seems to make the point that we can innovate to success -- and that innovation does not include drastically different ways for people to behave and consume. i think both are needed.

you can see a talk by the two guys here.