Fast Company

Now I Know How Al Gore Feels

In 1984, Al Gore held a hearing in Congress about global warming and urged his colleagues to do something about it. As we now know, he was ridiculed and largely ignored for the best part of two decades before being vindicated with a Nobel Prize and an Oscar (oh yeah, and another Congressional hearing, at which he was taken far more seriously).

 

I’ve been an environmental advocate for the same couple of decades, always suspecting that my friends raised an eyebrow or two over my predictions and admonitions about sustainability (my family, however, was not subtle about raising their eyebrows). I worked for the day when thinking “green” would be a normal part of everyday life. Well, just as Al Gore’s day(s) arrived in 2007, my days arrived this week.

 

First, I turned on a Los Angeles Laker game and found the entire team wearing “NBA Green Week” tee shirts. The NBA.com website lists dozens of things anyone can do to live more sustainably (and save money in the process!). When a major sports league feels that all they need to say is “green” and that it’s a good color for their brand, our time has come.

 

The second big “arrival” moment came this week when the Honda Clarity - - an all-electric car powered by hydrogen and a fuel cell - - was named the “2009 World Green Car” at the New York International Auto Show. “The FCX Clarity is an utterly real, hydrogen-fuelled luxury sedan that provides the amenities people expect in a premium car with 430 km range, fuel consumption of about 3.3 litres/100 km (72 mpg US)  equivalent and zero tailpipe emissions,” the judges wrote. I drive one in Los Angeles and have long believed in the future of this technology - - but the future has arrived today.

 

Maybe the message in this is simply that we can invent our future when we have the vision to imagine it. We need not fear those who give warnings of dire consequences, just hear their messages as opportunities to evolve, invent, and invest in something new. That will mean a lot of “green” days ahead.

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