Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Power of Hope and Persistence to Create and Sustain Change

I was reading a post by blogger No Impact Man at http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/2009/01/can-a-renewed-presidency-alone-make-a-renewed-planet.html
in which he asked a question about the naivety of attempting to make enormous changes in the world. Here is my reply to his post entitled Can a renewed presidency alone make a renewed planet?

First of all, congratulations on the film showing at Sundance! As for the part of your comment, "Does this sound naive? ... Because a search for a better way of life that also saves our habitat can engender more public support than a geeky-sounding thing like a renewable energy grid ever would." I don't think this is naive at all. I absolutely believe that we need to change the focus of our economy from one of consumption to an economy of service and sustainablity. It is a major paradigm shift that rejects the excesses of Milton Friedman's consumer-based economy for a new way of life.

I've been aware of Global Warming since the early 1980's, as I used to work for Dr. James Hansen at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. I was there when, then Senator Al Gore invited Dr. Hansen to speak in front of a Congressional subcommittee about the results obtained from his global climate model. It was at this meeting that Dr. Hansen stated that Global Warming is happening now. Then, I watched all the naysayers and product defense teams hired by Big Oil attempt to shoot him down. I saw his funding dry up due to this controversy. I read the reports about how he and other scientists were, essentially, muzzled so that a powerful political, energy and economic agenda could be maintained, instead of challenged. In the past 25 years, I've seen most of the world come around to see the truth in his independent, academic, juried research.

So, when you asked if your idea was naive, I thought of this rocky journey that Dr. Hansen has been through and where we stand today. Are you naive? No. Hopeful? Yes! For without hope and persistance in the face of great odds, defeat is certain. Change is only possible when we overcome obstacles with hope and persistance. If people throughout history believed their ideas and aspirations were naive and stopped working toward those dreams, our world would be an incredibly different place. So, in honor of our new President, let's all understand that we can make the necessary changes to save our planet, and our country. Yes We Can!!!

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