Environmental prodigy and visionary Adam Werbach just made a speech to the Commonwealth Club. You can click on the logo above for a PDF transcript. Werbach’s last appearance there in 2004 stirred no small amount of controversy as he declared the environmental movement dead. In his words, it was “unable to effectively work at the scale of the problems we faced.” Since then, he’s arrived at the concept of BLUE, which is a broader and more holistic approach to being green, much in the way Max Gladwell approaches the topic.
From pre-speech Grist interview:
“People who are part of the BLUE movement aspire to make a difference through the people and products that touch their lives. It encompasses green issues like protecting our last wild places and reducing our output of CO2, but it also includes personal concerns like saving money, losing weight, and spending time with friends and family.
There are three objectives of the BLUE movement. First, to measurably improve the quality of life of the people who join. Second, to engage as many people as possible in the effort. And third, to increase their effectiveness in making a difference in their community and the world.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Werbach also wrote an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle on the topic:
“While [BLUE] will have many faces, it will use a platform that is a daily practice for most of us – shopping. While political activism is at best a biannual pursuit, shopping is a regular activity for most people on the planet, and if trends continue, for virtually everyone. Every product you buy should be a gateway to a personal sustainability practice [PSP]. The first step is developing your own personal practices. The second step is asking the stores where you shop to start carrying products that support your practice. And the third step is sharing your practice with you friends.”
Fortunately, we have the social web to enable each of these three steps. First, you can subscribe to blogs and other news feeds, such as Digg, via RSS to stay informed about these issues. You can also use social networking sites like MySpace, Care2, or Facebook to learn about making better choices and adopting PSPs by joining groups and interacting. In some cases, networks like Gaia and SustainLane offer integrated shopping experiences with user reviews i.e. social marketplaces. With new mobile technologies, you’ll soon be able to take this practice into the real world, and Max Gladwell will be there to cover it. Of course, the sharing is baked right in to the social media cake.
More analysis on the speech to come…