I N · T H I S · I S S U E
Presenters Vice President Al Gore and Ted Flanigan during a break from the forum on climate protection strategies. Gore spent days digging in to issues and solutions, and he called the meeting one of the very best of hundreds that he has attended.
A Man of Passion
Back from a week in Colorado, inspired and exhausted! I'd been invited to serve as a panelist at The Aspen Institute, at the third meeting of the GreenTech Innovation Network. The Institute is known for assembling great minds: this meeting featured Vice President Al Gore, Tom Friedman (New York Times), Barbara Joseph Abby (Goldman Sachs), Steve Chu (Nobel Laureate LBNL Director), Jose Goldemburg (father of Brazil's ethanol industry), Art Rosenfeld (California Energy Commission), Jim Robo (CEO FPL Energy), Fred Krupp (EDF), and a host of entrepreneurs, innovators, venture capitalists, and bright minds from across America, plus China, India, Brazil, the European Union.
Al Gore has risen in my estimation. Sure, he may well be posturing for the presidency, but after spending three intensive days with Gore, I'm deeply impressed by his depth of knowledge, political perspective, and mostly by his passion. During the forum his face did become flush and red; a local reporter cast him as angry. But I admire the way he delivers his message of carbon imbalances again and again, fending off criticism and taking special care of naivete. Yes, the urgency of the situation alarms him. He can become an exasperated zealot; he is surely not "wooden." He carries a torch and has raised awareness globally, an undeniable accomplishment of a most worthy magnitude. And for this, I had the chance to thank him in person.
Toni Iseman, the Mayor of Laguna Beach, California (at right) signed the Mayors for Climate Protection resolution calling for CO2 levels to drop to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012, about a 30% overall reduction in a mere five years.
But how to get started? The City's Environmental Committee contacted EcoMotion and Ted Flanigan was asked to facilitate a town hall meeting on "first steps" for climate protection. At the close of the meeting, City leaders and concerned citizens had identified a dozen strategic steps to raise awareness, bank initial successes, and lay a foundation for a broad-based and engaging community-wide initiative.
EcoMotion is heading -- you guessed it! -- to Germany in October, leading an invitation-only solar research tour from Berlin to Freiburg. Traveling by rail, the delegation will explore the genesis and implementation of Germany's successful "feed-in tariff," will visit poly- silicon and state of the art photovoltaic manufacturing plants, as well as countless ground-mounted and building integrated PV and solar thermal systems, and through "immersion" in leading solar cities. If you know someone who should be invited, please be in touch via email or by phone (949) 450-7155.