Thursday, October 28, 2010


I was at a gala tonight celebrating 40 years of NRDC and 10 years of E2. Thank you to the generosity of Jack Stephenson for sharing the tickets.

The second-most inspiring words came from Governor Schwarzenegger. This surprised me because I'm not used to saying nice things about Republicans. I found his past timing suspect - all he could support at first was the hydrogen highway, and his later environmental votes seemed timed for political gain. And I don't care for his political allies. But I do believe he is sincere when he says that business and environmentalists can and should work together. So there's one thing we can agree on. He had to deliver a classic Arnoldism and it was this: after the election we can demand more stuff from Washington, after the politicians are done "vegetablizing". Nice.

The most inspiring words came from Bobby Kennedy. He articulated a radical vision of kilowatts becoming as cheap as phone card minutes, and reducing U.S. reliance on coal and oil in power plants to zero. He claimed this will lead to democratization of the country, which sounds great but that's where he lost me... Maybe something to do with ending U.S. foreign military adventurism? I wondered if he is satisfied working at NRDC, which is an effective organization but which only works within the range of the status quo. I did not have a chance to ask him. It would have been a selfish question anyway. I may have to answer it for myself.

Also presenting were Peter L executive director of NRDC, Bob & Nicole for E2, the president of NRDC. Matt Nathanson played well to a very inattentive audience - tough gig. The governor of Colorado sat at the table next to ours.Will Durst was emcee and cracked some good jokes.

Last but not least: The bathroom attendant was Carlos Dubose. He is a kind hearted man with a good post-game analysis. (Go Giants!) He plans to vote. Pay attention to him; his vote matters.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I always wondered why "globalization" bothered other progressives, more than it bothered me. Now I think I was lost in the terminology. There's nothing inherently wrong with international trade. What's worth getting angry about is patterns of exponential exploitation.

I recently learned the term "neoliberal." It's also a confusing term, but this article on neoliberalism brought some things into perspective for me.

Hey, you can't say markets don't work. In fact, they sometimes work too well. Read Natural Capitalism for ideas on how to harness the power of markets, without externalizing costs (i.e. hurting people and the environment).