thinking long-term. very long-term

Paul Hawken‘s newest book, Blessed Unrest, is simply fantastic. It is at once a scathing look at some of the planet’s worst citizens and a welcoming of its millions of protectors.

Of particular note is this bit about the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a favorite topic of mine here on ecoTheater, since it is one of the best ways to green up theater (considering how buildings are really one of the major contributors to pollution worldwide):

“No one has done the metrics, but in its short life USGBC may have had a greater impact than any other single organization in the world on materials saved, toxins eliminated, greenhouse gases avoided, and human health enhanced.”

That is quite an endorsement. The handful of theaters in America that have built or renovated (or are planning to do so) according to the USGBC’s LEED certification system should be proud of themselves, for sure.

In the same chapter, Hawken also talks at length about the Long Now Foundation, and I think this organization (though I don’t agree with all of its positions) has much to show us in terms of a new, more positive, and, yes, long-term, way of thinking about life and the human condition. Most folks can’t seem to think in ways that consider future generations, and such thinking is vital for ensuring the health of our children and grandchildren. Why is it so difficult? If we can learn to think as far ahead as the Long Now Foundation wants us to, then it should be easy to consider the next few generations when we make decisions.


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"It should be about different kinds of symbols than the color green—wind farms, solar, renewable-energy laboratories, those things that are symbolic of the new energy economy. People think that we overuse the concept of green, and it could become trite in its expression.”
“This idea about green in a lot of people’s minds still conjures up this notion of a fringe or something that’s out-there. It doesn’t inspire this notion of a new America. It just seems more substantive than a color.” - Colorado governor Bill Ritter, Jr. in The New Yorker
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