I find it interesting that the U.S. could also stand for ‘us,’ like we are all members of the same global family. What are WE going to do about our current situation? Perhaps W.E. can stand for World Economy or perhaps it is Whose Economy? Or WE can just sit on our hands and allow everyone else to do the work for U.S. What a horrible thought, and one I don’t think we will do. America is a soup of cultures, and most of us at some point in our lives have gone through dire times. So, we do know how to get through this. Personally, as a person born in Zimbabwe, my family has experienced war, sanctions and a complete loss of material/financial wealth, as well as a loss of a community. And our family got by through acceptance and sheer determination.
So, here’s the good news: We’ve come a long way and can pull through this. In 1929 we didn’t have the Internet, nor did we have a black President-elect who, along with his wife, is determined to create Change. And we definitely didn’t have such a thing as a Green Dream Team. I mean Carol Browner, Stephen Chu, and Nancy Sutley. When in history have we had such an incredible crew? We also have a better global understanding of how imperative it is we change our ways of doing business and running our households.
We have to create climate change. America can rise above this shocking pile of debt by manufacturing the next type of ‘sliced bread.’ According to Price Waterhouse Coopers in Q3 2008 investment in the clean technology sector surpassed $1 billion. More than any time in history, America is ready to grow these technologies and we are about to have an administration that won’t suppress these advancements. In fact, it will demand these kinds of innovations. We have been unwise in areas of investment and have learned from this. We now have alternatives. Something bigger and better than oil.
Last week I listened to a wonderful show on NPR about Rosa Hilda Ramos, a woman from Puerto Rico who recently won the Goldman Environmental Prize. Along with her family and neighborhood’s support, Ramos changed U.S. legislation without the use of a lawyer and successfully convinced the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to direct millions of dollars in pollution fines towards long-term protection of the Las Cucharillas Marsh. This was the first time in U.S. history that an individual without legal counsel actually changed legislation. How did she do this? Ramos simply stated, “I educated myself. I partnered with my adversaries, and America has the most fortunate tool of all- Freedom of Speech.”
I often ask myself, what can I do? How does my little planet Clare help the bigger planet I share? How can I affect something as unwieldy and complex as the world economy?
My answer right now is to use the social media tools along with my 20+ years of environmental experience to partner with the incredible people and entities I’ve come to know, and create an education network exclusively built around the understanding and advancement of clean technologies.
So now I turn to you – an extension of my family. How can you participate and change the perspectives of others- because that is what life is about. As George Lakoff reminds us- name it but then frame it so that other people can actually understand and start to care.
I invite you to start adding comments about what you’d like to do with respect to the economy. The most interesting writers will be invited to be bloggers/guests on www.claremunn.com
Here’s to Change, Hope and Action… and CQ.