Governor Charlie Crist hosted a Climate Summit in Miami this week and here are a few observations from the front row…
- In his opening keynote, Governor Crist showed the value of leadership - - just one year ago, he challenged his state to tackle climate change and the result was a massive energy bill that will dramatically increase renewables (solar, wind, etc), improve energy efficiency (the cheapest power comes from the power plant you don’t have to build!), and greenhouse gas reductions.
- Ray Anderson, founder and Chairman of Interface, a billion dollar American carpet company, told us how he had slashed energy consumption and greenhouse gases 60% in the past 10 years while doubling profits. Any doubts that we can be both environmentally and economically sustainable simultaneously were erased from the minds of 800 in attendance that night!
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a knock-out punch of sorts - - he said the politicians who claim they can lower gasoline prices by drilling offshore or investigating oil companies are "blowing smoke". He challenged us to do the job ourselves, by inflating our tires properly, driving a bit slower, tuning up our engines, and using other simple methods to improve MPG by as much as 20% overnight. He made other suggestions of things we can do to take our economic and environmental destiny into our own hands - - great point - - we can’t wait for politicians to do it!
The bottom line of the conference was that there is an easy way out of our current economic mess and pending environmental disaster. DIY (Do It Yourself) - - make your home and business more energy efficient, drive smarter, and expand the use of renewables for starters. Speaker after speaker gave examples from around the nation and the world that these measures are practical, within our own power to adopt, and save big money while doing our share for the planet. I’d call that an easy way out.
As a rule, conferences talk about the same thing they talked about last year and plan to talk about the same thing next year. This was a bright exception to that rule and, if Governor Crist holds one next year, you should join him!