Last night I gave a talk at Georgia Tech focused on energy conservation for the group Wasted Watts. After my spiel, one of the questions was, "When do you see America embracing sustainable principles?".
Those of us who follow the "sustainability movement" see a lot of great progress. There seems to be plenty of web articles, blog, magazines, newspapers (yes, there are a few of them still in existence), and news stories on TV. If you look for it, talk of Sustainability is everywhere, but I have to constantly keep reminding myself that the people looking for it are still in the minority.
Even in this recession, when sustainable thinking could have the greatest improvement on the future of America, I still feel we are a long way away from reaching the "tipping point" in the American psyche. The point when we don't have to tell people obvious things like "Turn off your lights when not in use" or "Start thinking for the long term success of your operation".
Unfortunately, I feel we have a long way to go to reach this point. It still amazes me that there seems to be certain political ideologies that seem to shun Sustainability! I hear talk radio promoting "Drill Baby, Drill", but not "Live Sustainably!".
Why is that? Why is it so hard to get people to care about important issues that almost nobody can argue with. You can't argue with the fact that our oil dependence on enemy countries hurts America. You can't argue the fact that cars and trucks that get poor mileage contribute to smog AND that smog is harmful to our health. You can't argue the fact that we do waste an amazing amount of water and eventually our growing population will strain the supply to the breaking point. These things aren't being debated! These are all facts that are part of sustainable thinking, and yet the majority of America still has not embraced what it means to live sustainably!
My point here is not to tell you that the sustainable message will never catch on. My goal is to encourage those of us who do care about the air we breathe, the economic success of our country, the food we eat, the health of our water supply, etc., to work harder to promote the concept of living sustainably.
As I mentioned in About Us, this blog is not for the lazy environmentalist. This blog is for those who want to take action in their own households, but also inspire others around them to take action. I'm not talking about starting riots here, but simple conversations with friends about the issues you care about and issues that will make the country stronger. Without this effort, we're bound to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. After all, sustainability is about good long-term decision making, and I dont know who would not want to hear that message.
Callers to the conservative talk show host Sean Hannity call in and say, "Sean, you're a great American!" Well, my goal (and hopefully yours) is to re-define what it means to be a "great American". I would define it as:
1.) of or pertaining to one who embraces and promotes sustainable principles for the improvement of the United States of America