Many of our conservative friends will often muse over religion, frequently quoting the Bible to support their beliefs. So, we’ll go there, drifting a bit to the right of center, taking a closer look beginning with a brief homage to the story of David and Goliath.
It came to pass that a future King David, leader of Israelites, was one day called upon to face the Philistine named Goliath, a feared soldier of extraordinary stature and enormous strength. As we all know, it was a complete mismatch.
Without a clear champion and physical equal from the Israelites, David, who was a rather small-framed man, volunteered, asking in 1 Samuel 17 Verse 29: “Is there not a cause?”
John D. Rockefeller, the father of the modern American oil industry and standard bearer of Standard Oil grew up poor, nothing being handed to him. As it happened, this self-made man, future tycoon and iconic oil legend, harbored a lifelong disdain for waste – of any sort.
When the oil-to-kerosene refineries of his day created an unwanted, noxious by-product, he sought to avoid what other refiners practiced: Dumping tons of the toxic waste into nearby rivers and streams.
Instead, and we couldn’t ask for a better example of the innovation that our Green X Prize movement seeks to inspire and unleash, the oil magnate developed the stuff’s potential as a burnable fuel to power other processes.
Such was the birth of gasoline, and Rockefeller began selling the byproduct. No longer an unwanted toxic waste, by 1910 gasoline had become Standard Oil’s primary moneymaker, and the rest is history.
(Source: http://www.attendly.com/rockefellers-unconventional-approach-to-getting-rid-of-waste/) Rockefeller, in his way, was an early pioneer of green entrepreneurship, a term no longer an oxymoron but has been ironically validated over the century that followed.
Was there not a cause? John D. Rockefeller certainly saw one.
Is it not time to today to address those causes with innovation and green entrepreneurship?
Is there not a cause that will encourage our Commander-in-Chief to at last refuse to listen only to the counsel of his top policy and military advisors, and acknowledge what the clear majority of the world’s citizens, conservative and liberal alike, accept as scientific fact: That the effects of climate change pose existential threats to the future of our planet and all people everywhere?
Consider that businessman Donald Trump was forced to comply with environmental laws as he commissioned his new hotel a few steps away from the White House. Years before, an even stricter environmental law was in place during the 70s when asbestos was banned in all construction in New York, and Mr. Trump’s real estate empire was required to comply. We can only ask, Mr. President, what happened in the years since to alter and seemingly galvanize your stance opposing climate change and defaulting environmental responsibility?
Did political expediency trump the Greater Good?
Is there not a cause to leave this planet better off than the one you inherit? A world with better environmental laws to protect your beautiful grandchildren being raised by their parents to embrace multi-culturalism, and actively pursuing foreign languages such as Mandarin and Chinese... Is there not a cause?
Great leaders know such moments of transformative change, empowered by the capacity to see beyond themselves to the greater good. President Ronald Reagan, seized one such moment in challenging Gorbachev to “Tear down that wall,” so that the people of Germany, East and West, could be free and no longer divided by it.
Self-preservation and conservatism are the ideological bedrocks of the right, so it is indeed all the more ironic that conservatives steadfastly reject and refuse to embrace conservation, when the word conservatism is derived from the word conservation.
Climate change is a politically neutral fact that should bear no political label, because it is the reality every citizen of planet must confront. We can’t look the other way, we can’t choose the profitable path that sees a future that is defined by the past and driven purely by self-interest.
As IT, Information Technology, has changed how we live, and work and see the future, ET, Energy Technology, is surely the next transformative change. Thomas Friedman, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winning author and celebrated New York Times columnist, described it this way:
ET – Energy Technology – will have an even greater impact than IT – Information Technology.
How great? It is estimated, and this is but one example, that by 2018 renewable energy capacity will grow to meet nearly one-quarter of the world’s global electricity generation. (Wogan, 2013). Whatever our political differences, we must all agree that the world’s economies will either reform and thrive or, holding-fiercely to the status quo, ultimately decline because of it.
China, now arguably the world’s economic leader and suffering horrific pollution, today leads the world in investment in Energy Technology. They are confronting their problems and proactively meeting them with solutions. Green solutions.
Conservatives should take note of a world of new business opportunities that are aligned with conservation and the greater good. The majority of new jobs will be green jobs.
Is there not a cause worthy of us joining that movement, protecting the planet and our future?
Is it not time?
I have no doubt that King David, John D. Rockefeller and Ronald Reagan would all agree that it is long overdue.
The Green X Prize is a non-partisan movement that is developed to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and the development of energy technology and products, guided by green business practices. We believe this is the right cause at the right time for the right reasons for all of us. Join us, and together we’ll make a difference.
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