How the Green New Deal Turned this Nurse into a First Responder!
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- Aug 22, 2019 1:00 pm GMTAug 22, 2019 11:27 am GMT
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This morning I am inspired. I see my job in a whole new light.
I am the CEO of a small software company that specializes in facilitating energy efficiency retrofits. For the past 15 years, I have had the good fortune to make a good living helping Utilities, State Agencies, and Energy Service Providers identify and implement energy conservation measures that would deliver the most compelling savings investment ratios. By helping pluck this low hanging fruit, I had felt fulfilled to know that I was serving in some small way to nurse our ailing planet.
Last night that all changed.
Last night I attended a town hall meeting at my son’s high school with our Senator, Ed Markey, the co-author of the Green New Deal. If you’ve ever heard Senator Markey speak, you know he is a passionate and inspirational champion in the battle against climate change and has been for decades. And while most all of what we hear coming out of Washington DC these days is disheartening, and Senator Markey’s fervent defense of the Green New Deal restores some measure of faith in our elected officials, what changed my perspective was something else.
The thing that has altered the view of my job as an energy industry professional was the audience. It was a hot, muggy, late summer night and the auditorium was packed – every seat taken and the aisles filled. The place was buzzing with energy - with urgency. As I listened to questions from college students, young Sunrise Movement activists, and even a 5th grade Girl Scout wondering what she and her troop could do to help the cause of the Green New Deal, I realized that climate change had become a climate crisis! These young people will live to see the impacts of the energy decisions we make and implement in the next ten years. My sons will live to see half of Boston submerged under 11 feet of rising tide if we continue the status quo. A generation ago, we fretted over annihilation by nuclear warfare. Now we face annihilation by our own complacency and willful ignorance.
As energy industry professionals, we are not nurses and care givers for our planet but rather, emergency first responders and front line combatants fighting for our very survival. President Roosevelt and the politicians of the day didn’t agonize over the cost of confronting the spread of fascism. Neither should we plod along with five-year utility commission plans and 18 month pilots that attempt to “move the needle” on our carbon footprint and hunt for only the best SIR. We need to be leaders to shake up the way our industry pursues renewable energy and energy conservation. We need to champion the same subsidies from our governments that have been afforded the fossil industries for so many decades. We need to fund R&D to invent technology that will transform energy usage in the next decade the way that the Internet and mobile technology have transformed the last decade.
We need the Green New Deal! So, I am inspired to look at my job a whole new way this morning. I am writing this, my first post on Energy Central, to challenge each of you to reexamine your own role in this fight. Talk with your friends, your family, your neighbors about what you do. Get them to engage their political leaders to move the Green New Deal through Congress – ASAP!
As for me, I’m rethinking how to leverage our software to capture more comprehensive energy efficiency benefit – not just the most economical. More on that in my next post.