Waiting on the Superpowers
Today in Italy, our world leaders are meeting at the G-8 Summit to try to solve the world's major problems, with global warming being one of Obama's core initiatives.
I can't imagine how those conversations must be going -- would love to be a fly on the wall -- yet I doubt their posh quarters have flies buzzing about. The developing nations are trying to rise out of poverty and create industries and economies similar to the world powers, yet now they are being asked to slow down expansion and pay extra costs for environmental standards by the same countries that created the environmental problem in the first place. Obama has his work cut out for him.
I think we all know the results, if any, from these types of meetings take years to come to fruition, so there's no use waiting around for initiatives to take effect. I remember last year when I attended a clean tech meeting here in Austin, they conferenced in one of Germany's clean tech leaders who was largely responsible for helping Germany create a prosperous clean tech economy (based on solar of all things, which is impressive given Germany's cloudy, rainy climate). The one comment I remember him making was that Germany didn't wait for the government to implement renewable energy into its culture -- the private sector rose to the occasion without government support.
The memory is comforting being that the Texas legislature just closed last month until 2011, and every single renewable energy bill proposed (69 in total) was wiped off the table. Sad, but true.
I just saw a video I was interviewed for -- created by the Austin Capital Area Workforce Board -- that interviewed local leaders in Austin about what was being done to drive clean tech economic development and green policies in Austin. It was encouraging to see all of the local enthusiasm and dedication to the effort. It just reiterates the truth in the mantra "Think Global, Act Local." We can't wait for the superpowers to play nice, we need to be working on technologies and solving problems on a smaller scale first.