The long road to Rio: Why the UN kept the lights on last weekend by Martha Shaw

Rarely is a more diverse collection of people found under one roof than the 500 or so working around the clock last weekend at the United Nations to hash out “the document” — a.k.a. the Zero draft of the outcome document — being submitted to the Rio+20 Earth Summit later this month. Working in the spirit of international, multilateral agreement were diplomats, delegates, youths, farmers, community leaders, indigenous people, local authorities, NGOs, scientists, technologists, women groups, activists, workers and trade unions, multinational business and industry representatives, and nonprofit organizations of all kinds. They were scrutinizing every word in every paragraph seeking common ground. One thing that everybody clearly had in common was stamina.

Though there were plenty of newbies to the process, this was not new for the many veterans who have been dedicated to the pressing global issues addressed in the document since the first Earth Summit in 1992, also held in Rio de Janeiro. This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the first document in which so many sections were agreed upon, but few implemented.

Filling in the brackets

Among those people who have been party to the process nearly since its inception, is Remi Parmentier, who has more than 35 years in the environmental movement working with many of the key players in the UN and other intergovernmental organizations. (See his blog: As the weekend at the UN wore on, I asked Parmentier if he was disappointed in the lack of agreement in key areas of the document. He shed a new light on the term “agreement” for me, pointing out that if we resorted to the lowest common denominator, it would be a document of little substance. In the document, the bracketed areas of text — the unresolved issues — represent areas where the envelope was being pushed. Remi Parmentier writes:

It is true there is at this late stage far too much square bracketed text reflecting disagreements in the overall negotiating document, hence it is going to be a real challenge to negotiate on so many issues in Rio and to get an outcome that makes sense. But at another level, it is important to recognize it is a good thing that countries that have a progressive agenda haven’t caved in completely. UN processes are too often a race towards the lowest common denominator, but the large amount of square bracketed text shows that we’re not there yet, even though what is considered “progressive” in the text could and should be stronger. If there was no key square bracketed text, there would be no tension, no drama, hence no story, hence little to report from Rio.

The New York-based diplomats are very good at maintaining and defending the positions of their respective countries, but by definition they do not have enough of a mandate or the necessary flexibility to negotiate in earnest; only the politicians can do that. So now that the negotiation is moving to Rio and the politicians are going to become involved we must maintain hope that real progress can be achieved by them. In a way it is a blessing that the diplomats haven’t dived into the lowest common denominator as they often do too fast, before handing it over to the politicians. It is not too late, almost everything is possible now, within the constraints of the negotiating text, if the governments come to Rio with a strong political will.

A triathlete in the race

Chantal Line Carpentier, the Sustainable Development Officer & Major Groups Program Coordinator of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Sustainable Development, has the task of coordinating the “Major Groups” throughout the Rio+20 process, including on the ground in Rio. What is evident in Carpentier is an in-depth understanding of the issues, the endurance of a triathlete, which she is, and a knack for “herding cats,” as the expression goes. She remained composed and incredibly organized throughout the process.

In an interview with Civicus, the world alliance for citizen participation, Carpentier said, “My hopes are high because the stakes are high. While countries have made some progress on changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production over the last 20 years, in the context of escalating economic and environmental pressures, and increasing populations, overall things have worsened. We are using resources at an increasing rate and the gaps between rich and poor are widening. Most of the world’s ecosystems are in decline. Meanwhile, more than one billion people lack access to food, electricity or safe drinking water. When you consider all that, it’s not really surprising that social unrest is on the rise.”

Nearing the end of the road
The last of pre-negotiations to Rio+20, now just two weeks away, concluded Saturday night with the book launch of Only One Earth, by Felix Dodds, Executive Director of the Stakeholder Forum, and Michael Strauss, with a foreword by Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of the Earth Summit in 1992.

Strong writes: “In the same way that banks succeeded at privatizing the profits and socializing the losses as they led the global economy to the brink of collapse, we are in danger of doing the same with the environment. Humanity has taken a huge leap in the last decades and become a planetary-scale force – we need to behave as a global civilization if we are not to face catastrophic consequences.”
The book looks back over what has been achieved in the past 40 years since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm and the first Earth Summit in 1992, and ahead to what critically needs to happen at Rio+20 and beyond.

This excerpt from Only One Earth is especially pertinent to Rio+20:

Rio+20 is a unique opportunity to make the “change-of-course” called for by business leaders at the Earth Summit in 1992. It requires fundamental changes in the way in which we manage the activities through which we impact on the Earth’s sustainability. This will require a degree of cooperation beyond anything we have yet experienced at a time when competition and conflict over scarce resources is escalating.
Underscoring this were the closing remarks of Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of Rio+20, that commended everyone for their tireless efforts but also referred to the document as a far cry from the focused political document mandated by the General Assembly. “We have had an intense week of negotiations, and I sense real progress. Still, as everyone in this room is well aware, we have much hard work ahead of us in Rio. I have listened to both the plenary discussions and many of the informal splinter group discussions. I sense a real dialogue; a real willingness to find common ground. This spirit is encouraging, and we must carry it to Rio. Yet, we must drastically accelerate the pace of our negotiations,” said Sha. “We need action. We need government commitment to action, in the outcome document. And we also need voluntary commitments from all stakeholders.”

The next and final Preparatory Committee meeting will be held in Rio June 13-15, just ahead of the Rio+20 Conference itself, held from June 20-22. The Rio+20 Secretariat has also opened a registry of commitments on the Rio+20 website that is designed to complement the government-ratified outcome document. To join the global conversation, visit Rio+20: The Future We Want.

Can developed and developing countries find common ground?

By CSRwire Contributing Writer Martha Shaw

The 19th annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-19) opened with hopes countries will agree on policy decisions that will significantly improve the safe use of chemicals, management of waste, safety in mining, efficiency of transport and reduction of the world’s consumption of Earth’s materials. Annual CSD meetings seek to promote more sustainable use of Earth’s resources. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, warned of the consequences of unsustainable consumption and production on the world’s ecosystems. Member States are being urged to agree on a plan to promote more efficient and safer use of chemicals and waste.

“We need to change our consumption and production patterns so that our economies proceed on sustainable paths, and so that we are able to address key global challenges like climate change, water and other resource scarcities, and environmental degradation,” said Mr. Sha Zukang.

“Globally, unsustainable consumption and production threatens to exceed the carrying capacity of life support systems,” Mr. Sha told the 53-member body. “This imbalance is obvious – whether measured by greenhouse gas concentrations, by the number of endangered species, by rates of deforestation, or by decreases in fish stocks.”

Mr. Sha expressed his hope the CSD will launch an ambitious framework to support countries’ and other actors’ move towards sustainable consumption and production, adding that such an initiative would send the right message and generate positive momentum towards a successful outcome at next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.

He noted a 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP on SCP) would promote development that is within the carrying capacity of ecosystems and contribute to progress on the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental.

“Much more can and must be done across the globe to pursue inclusive and environmentally sound economic growth. We must accelerate our efforts to advance sustainable development and to meet our commitments to future generations,” said Mr. Sha, who also serves as Secretary-General of the conference set to take place in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, known as Rio+20.

Dan Shepard, a United Nations information officer for UN Department for Public Information (UNDPI) commented, “If this commission can agree on a 10-year program, this will guide countries and individuals to help create an ecosystem that will reduce waste. I think that countries know what needs to be done. At CSD-19, they will be discussing how they can do it on a collective basis. I think the decisions that come from this meeting will form the vital building blocks for the Rio+20 conference.”

Joan Kirby, a representative from a non-governmental organization to CSD-19, commented, “The best thing would be agreements between the developed and developing world. The divide persists.”

Close to 1,000 representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other parts of civil society are attending the Commission’s two-week meeting, which is the lead-in to Rio+20.

Rio+20 will mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Agenda 21, the blueprint for sustainable development that was agreed to at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

About Martha Shaw

Martha Shaw is a contributing writer for CSRwire covering clean technology and other topics. Martha has been named an Adweek Creative All Star and is the winner of international awards in communications. She is a member of the Climate Literacy Network, Fellow of the Explorers Club, board member of NYSES and CEO of Earth Advertising.

Muriel Evans Shaw

Remembrance by Martha:

Thank you to my wonderful family and friends, and everybody for being here together with my mom for the last time, born as Grace Muriel Evans, born to Grace Doris McNayr, and great aunt to my cousin Nancy’s own little Gracie. That we are able to share this time together, was an act of Grace.

My mom went by Muriel and in fact she helped to name my own daughter Mariel. Our family is one who honors people by name and acts of love. And today is the day to honor my mom.

How fitting to spend this last time together in the First Church of Nashua, the spiritual home of my parents and grandparents. The last time, and perhaps the only time, I stood right here was at this precise time of year, when I was about the age of Sara Valentina Shaw sitting right there with all of her cousins who were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with their beloved “Gam” when she and her sister-in-law JoAnn thanked us all for not being “boring.”

I stood here as an angel in the Christmas pageant with the other angels in the pageant, Becky Kellogg, Kathy Taylor, Judy Pennington, and Mary Henderson, watching over the “manger” that stood right where mother’s remains are now, encased in a stone of granite.

We watched over the manger as my brothers Fred’rick, David, John, and some of you, walked down the aisle as Wise Men and Kings, Shepards, and in sheep costumes, some my mother had made. And I somehow imagine my brother John even once playing the baby Jesus.

During our lives as a family in this church, we also sang in the choir right there, searching the congregation to catch a look of approval from our parents and grandparents. This church is so full of memories. In Nauss Hall there, my mom and my grandmother and my aunts walked the runway of the mother-daughter fashion show, modeling matching outfits we’d made on our sewing machines together. There were father-son breakfasts, Christmas craft fairs, youth programs and dances.

To be given the opportunity to bid farewell here to a lady who loved you all so much, lived a rich and colorful life in Nashua, and all her life in the Granite State, is an act of Grace.

My mom showed her colors last week as she held fast to a motto she took seriously “Live Free or Die.” She called me a week ago today to say she just wanted to hear my voice and she wasn’t feeling well. This wasn’t the first call like this. In the last 20 years, there were many “scares.” I say scares because I could not fathom a life without my mom. In fact, I don’t think I’m the only one surprised to be here today. She had survived so many near-death experiences, that some of us had begun to think she was immortal. Some kind of miraculous, bionic woman. By Tuesday, her remarkable sons had gathered at the Exeter Hospital around her.

My own journey from Manhattan to Exeter became symbolic of our life together, and the strong will of my mom. I was driving up I-95 and getting text messages from my brothers not to dilly dally, and that mom was “waiting for me.” It occurred to me that maybe she truly was mortal, and I sped up. I began to call my 911- friends from the road to help me control my own heart rate, and heart ache, to just talk. I talked with Holly Leonard, Mary Henderson, Kathy Taylor, Ann Lamaire, Betty Tamposi, Pat Thurber and Diane Strack. It occurred to me somewhere between New London, Connecticut and Providence that my 911-friends were all the same friends as my mom’s, and I had taken that for granted… that this was a typical mother-daughter relationship. But now I realize how unique it was. How lucky we were.

Sometimes mom and I confused ourselves about who was who. When I hurt , she did. When I was happy, she was. We were more of a river than mother and daughter. And like sisters sometimes. She had no qualms telling me flat out what she thought of my hair, or how I was dressed. As I drove up I-95, I began to feel that this wild and wonderful river was heading to the sea.

By I- 495, my brothers were calling me. “Where are you now? Mom says she’s tired of waiting.” Again, I switched persona to become her, afraid that she’d spend her last moment on earth waiting for me instead of enjoying the memories of her life. I spoke to her on the phone, “Mom, please don’t worry about me, I’ll see you on the other side. This isn’t the end, but the beginning of something new.” I tried to cheer her up. I asked John if he could get her thinking about something else. “No, you’re pretty much the only topic right now.” I stepped on the gas pedal. my own breathing sporadic. I was so distraught about letting her down that I missed the Exeter exit.

Well, finally I made it. She held my hand and told me she’d waited for me, and I felt I’d given her an incredible final gift, risking my driving record to do so. As the life passed from her eyes, I played Amazing Grace to her on my iPhone, the hymn she had chosen for her funeral. For a moment, I thought the life had passed from my own. But surprisingly, I was still here.

It was then I had an epiphany. This remarkable woman who had given my brothers and I birth, had given us one final gift. The honor of accompanying her personally to the edge of life as we know it.

This exchange of gifts, this river, had run to the sea as it should. At Christmas as it should be. Just in time to lift our spirits, from the sadness that comes sometimes from being only human. Together, I would ask… for her, for me, and for all of you… that we honor my mom by celebrating the many ways our lives were touched by the amazing Grace Muriel Evans Shaw. And please have a very Merry Christmas..

Remembrance by Martha Shaw

Hoping for the best, or planning for the worst? Business agreements are reached at World Climate Summit in Cancun during COP16.

Hoping for the best, or planning for the worst?
Business agreements are reached at World Climate Summit in Cancun during COP16.

by Martha Shaw

Over 800 business leaders and luminaries from five continents gathered at the inaugural World Climate Summit at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun’s hotel zone to discuss how business can create low carbon markets, despite lack of regulatory support from governments. Meanwhile, several miles down the beach, UNFCCC COP16 delegates from 190 countries were sequestered at the Moon Palace working to agree on a framework to help stave off climate collapse.

Though the hopes for COP16 agreements weren’t high, those of the World Climate Summit business gathering were ‘through the roof.’ And that roof is paved in photovoltaics, lined by rain collectors, sitting atop an energy efficient, non-toxic building not far from a wind turbine, and tied into a local energy grid.

The mood was one of camaraderie and team spirit. Consensus among the CEOs was evident in a unanimous commitment to take drastic measures to reduce their carbon footprints, among other environmental efforts. Attendees also agreed that without a regulatory framework and carbon pricing from the delegates down the beach, it was risky business to finance innovation in a world where petrol and coal is heavily subsidized, and hot new clean energy technologies struggle to see the light of day.

If clean energy could produce just 15-20% of the watts in the electric grid, it would reach the critical mass necessary to create markets that can compete with a dirty energy economy. Yet, getting investment into that group is a bottleneck without conducive policies.

So, where will the leadership come from to lead us out of a crisis wrought with inequalities, in which some countries feel owed something from other countries that got the planet into this mess? As nations face obstacles, consensus is happening at a local level where mayors understand that the private sector has the resources and the entrepreneurial spirit to move the needle. According to talks at the World Climate Summit, the leadership will come from local governments. Working with businesses, cities can show how it’s done. “Cities can do it,” was the rallying cry from this powerful sector, which is more than willing to learn from each other and work together. “Screw it, let’s do it,” was another.

It is predicted that 90% of the world population will be concentrated in cities by the end of the century. Already cities around the world have created models for sustainability out of necessity. Water is being captured and reused, landfill off gasses are being converted to power, and food producers are cropping up in local community gardens in unexpected urban sites.

Attention turned to the shipping industry responsible for transporting goods and supplies around the globe and, oftentimes, leaving oil slicks in their wake and spewing diesel fumes from their tailpipes. Clean tech shipping operations vowed to clean up their act and institute new computerized rating systems for displaying their environmental footprint. Meanwhile, manufacturers made commitments to source more locally.

Participants acknowledged that it is ‘society’ that is bearing the brunt of the world’s dirty fuel economy. Asthma rates in some cities have gone up 500% since 1985. Weather has become extreme. Saltwater is invading coastal buffer zones. Soil is depleted. Already millions of indigenous people have become climate refugees, displaced from their land.

The conversation at the World Climate Summit also turned to women, who hold less than 2-5% of high-level decision-making positions in both government and business, though they are the first to suffer the effect of climate change, along with children. Though underrepresented in the world at large, women at the summit were given the microphone a little more in proportion to their numbers than most events.

Studies presented showed that without women at the table, the world is cooked. At the top of the economic pecking order, companies with women on boards and in executive positions are more prosperous and civil-minded. In the middle of the spectrum, purchasing decisions are overwhelmingly in the hands of women worldwide though earning power for the same jobs still waiver around 60%. At the ground level, lack of education for women and girls is directly correlated to the population explosion of the poor.

Traditional media channels, and new communication technologies that are experiencing exponential growth around the world, were sited at the business summit as an area of opportunity that has yet to be fully tapped in regard to messaging. In a market of sponsored news, the topic turned to how media can foster more public engagement about climate issues. Which media organizations were granted observer and reporting rights at the COP16 itself was of interest to news services, as armed guards screened reporters for credentials at the UNFCCC gateway, called Cancun Messe.

It was agreed at the summit that within the coming months, communication task forces, inside the UN and out, would work together to boost climate literacy, engage business, and help the next generation navigate the inevitable challenges ahead.

At the conclusion of a successful World Climate Summit, businesses who had made the greatest strides toward carbon reduction, waste prevention and other climate-related achievements were honored. Handshakes on new collaborations and partnerships abounded. Attendees agreed unanimously to race ahead toward a clean economy without the framework hoped for from the governments convening down the beach.

It was announced that the 2nd World Climate Summit was already in the works to take place, same time next year, in Durban, South Africa at COP17. For more details about the 2010 World Climate Summit, including the program, speakers, conclusions, announcements, and the coinciding Gigaton Awards, visit

The author, Martha Shaw, is a contributing journalist in the area of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. She founded Earth Advertising and eFlicks Media in 1998 to support the growth of a clean economy. Visit

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Ecology and Hope

Van Jones on Ecology, Hope and Humans


By CSRwire Contributing Writer Martha Shaw

On the heels of the 2010 Social Venture Network Fall Invitational, Martha Shaw talks with Van Jones about “green” politics and why he suggests we look to faith leaders, CEOs and into the mirror for guidance.

You know Van Jones. In 2007, he co-founded Green For All, a national NGO dedicated to building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. His first book, The Green Collar Economy, released in 2008, reached twelfth on the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2008, Time magazine named Jones one of its “Heroes of the Environment.” Fast Company called him one of the “12 Most Creative Minds of 2008.”

The cross-fire of political food fights.

In March 2009, Jones was appointed by President Obama to the new position of Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. His work to advance the Administration’s climate and energy initiatives, with a focus on improving vulnerable communities, was rather rudely interrupted by an aggressive campaign against him accusing him of everything from Marxism to disparaging remarks about Republicans in particular. Jones resigned in early September 2009. “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in his resignation statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”

Rising above adversity, today Jones is a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress and a senior policy advisor at Green For All. He is a distinguished fellow at Princeton University at the Center for African American Studies and the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Van’s experience at the White House apparently had a worse effect on others than on himself. He looks at his days in the Administration as the opportunity of a lifetime to find out what makes our country tick. According to Van, he worried about our country, which is why he went in, and became much more worried after he came out. People across America were traumatized by what seemed to be a backhanded political motive to foil his policy reform. “People of all colors still come up to me in despair about how unfair it was,” says Van Jones. “They’re all upset and I say, ‘hey, you’ll be okay.’” But does he really think we’re going to be okay? Not if we are counting on Washington, where he saw firsthand what he calls “food fight politics.”

Looking to faith leaders, CEOs, educators and to ourselves.

Recently Jones addressed the Temple of Understanding gathering of international faith leaders and then the Social Venture Network Fall Invitational, where social entrepreneurs came together. He offered a narrative regarding how we relate to the Earth and its resources.

“This is a sacred room,” said Van addressing the eclectic collection of spiritual dignitaries at the Temple of Understanding event. “You are the people who hold the people, through the ceremonies in their lives, the difficulties in their lives. You will lead us through a transition ahead that man has never been through. We have been in an adolescent civilization. But we have to grow up, and people of faith are key to helping people mark that transition. Should spiritual people get involved in politics? Yes, because sometimes the problems get so deep that the walls between the secular and the sacred collapse.”

A time of hope and heartbreak.

Jones also shared a story about Paul Hawkins addressing a room full of low-income African Americans. He turned to a little girl who asked the question, “Why are some people poor?” Hawkins answered, “Some people have a hard time finding work.” The little girl then asked, “Well, is all the work done?”

“No, it’s not,” states Van. “When you fly over and see all the roofs without solar panels and bridges falling down, that’s work to be done. We have this rare opportunity — some of the most highly skilled best-trained workers in the world are not working. They’ve been called lazy union guys and bums by our radio celebrities. Our skilled workers aren’t given the right products to work on. The politics taking over are glamorizing sink-or-swim rugged individualism, where people who don’t make it must have problems, so let them sink. But we can fight pollution and poverty at the same time.”

Sharing success stories of hope.

This week Americans may cast misguided votes in response to bad economic news ruling the airwaves, where paid programming and paid news are the new norm. It can’t hurt to broadcast some good news, even to friends and neighbors. For example, there are more solar installers and wind turbine workers than coal miners, and these numbers are growing.

“Get out there and share your success stories,” Van suggested to hundreds of the Social Venture Network‘s successful entrepreneurs committed to triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) business, including B Corporations. “Good news is not making headlines. This is by design,” he continues.

One government site posting success stories in clean technology, energy efficiency and green jobs is The Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). You can share your stories here — because there’s no harm in spreading good news and hope.

About Martha Shaw

Martha Shaw a contributing writer for CSRwire covering clean technology and other topics. Martha has been named an Adweek Creative All Star and is the winner of international awards in communications. She is a member of the Climate Literacy Network, Fellow of the Explorers Club, board member of NYSES and CEO of Earth Advertising.

This commentary is written by a valued member of the CSRwire contributing writers’ community and expresses this author’s views alone.

Conscious Consumers in a Nutshell by Martha Shaw

Conscious Consumers in a Nutshell
Part 1 in Earth Advertising’s 4-Part Series on consumer behavior

Have you heard the one about the early adopter who married a true believer? Their children were 22% reluctant, 32% savvy, 17% enlightened, 29% adverse– and X% prone to little green lies.

Green Consumer Research Reports: It’s a jungle out there

It turns out that when you ask people how environmentally responsible they are, how much they care about polar bears, or what they would sacrifice for clean air, expect creative latitude in their answers. Studies show that studies need more studies to study. Earth Advertising thanks and supports all of our survey colleagues by offering an up-to-date directory of conscious consumer studies upon request. After all, we are all in this together. We are pioneers in the green marketing jungle. The truth is, green consumers are a moving target for media planners and the shelf life of research reports can be shorter than cheese. One poignant news story about risky spinach, an environmental mishap, or shipment of toxic toys, can turn a consumer behavior pattern on its heels.

Research reports on environmentally and socially responsible purchasing attitudes and behaviors are sprouting up everywhere. Marketing professionals have been intent on describing people most likely to shop with an environmental conscience for a decade now. In the early 90′s around the time Earth Advertising’s eFlicks Media published its initial marketing reports on “conscious consumers,” Paul Ray coined the term “cultural creatives” to better define the market potential. Today’s businesses, from Fortune 500′s to start-ups, are hoping to turn research numbers into sales figures. Some are staffing up on sustainability experts to decipher it all. Meanwhile marketing directors struggle to apply consumer research results to brand identity and media spending.

Even more important to some businesses is the amount of adversity they can expect from environmental deficiencies. Companies can no longer rely upon public relations to fix negative press about unsafe products and practices. How much people want to know about a company or product.

is the question many brands ask. Playing it safe, businesses are adopting responsible practices quickly on the chance that green is the new marketing tool.

“Cliff notes” on consumer behavior

Manhattan-based Earth Advertising inventories the landscape of research reports to help our clients get the real dirt on consumer data. Research is the foundation upon which we build strong marketing platforms. From these, we can promote media plans, product trial, brand awareness, loyalty incentive programs, pr, games, sales tools, and eco-tainment to effectively reach the audience with a compelling message. We believe that the most masterful market’eers are those willing to put both sides of the brain into overdrive. We call it research-based creative.
This report is intended to supplement the experience of industry professionals who attend branding conferences religiously, but might miss that one kernel of wisdom that can make the difference. Maybe you were schmoozing in the lounge about climbing gear, swordfish extinction, or why you got into this business in the first place.

Perhaps you dozed off in a lecture or they forgot to send you the power point. Earth Advertising’s 4-part Series is for serious professionals who didn’t know that saving the world would be so boring. This is not meant to discourage conference attendance, but give you the option to hold out for ones in nice places like Hawaii or Aspen. We hope you enjoy our 4-part Series of reports on Green Consumer Research.

Who is conscious about what, when and how much

Exactly how many are really out there? Many studies have competing new terms for customers who are likely to choose responsible products over toxic, polluting ones. Most agree that there are millions of consumers out there willing to pay extra for toxic-free products, and still others willing to make earth-friendly choices purely because they care about the future, other inhabitants, or the planet. The growth in eco-happy products and services is exciting for nearly everybody. There are trillions of dollars (ok, maybe billions) to be made selling good things to informed people.

Environmental policy reform is partly a result of the fact that dirty secrets don’t stay hush, hush as long, and information travels fast. A manufacturer half way around the world can be seen on webcam, and from space! More people know more about what they buy.

How many conscious consumers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Last year alone hundreds of millions of incandescent bulbs were replaced with compact fluorescents. But was that for environmental reasons? Nobody really knows, even if they say they do. Environmentally conscious consumption is not progressing as fast as some might hope, but it is growing. The burgeoning of triple to quintuple bottom line businesses is a promising sign. The concept of “bottom line” has become multi-dimensional and there are great social entrepreneurs to thank for this. People-planet-profits (but not always in that order)was the rallying marketing cry in 2007. Yet, still the retail economy is dominated by publicly traded companies pressured by quarterly earnings. In the upfront these environmental measures cut into profits. In the end, hopefully they translate into savings and less liability.

It feels like new business standards might be here to stay. Quality of life indicators, socially responsible indices, environmental risk assessment, shareholder activism, corporate transparency and new definitions for ‘standard of living’ can be found on the internet. They are at the fingertips of anyone interested in looking them up. There is a fresh sense of urgency among a strong, yet relatively undersized, group of consumers. Is the model citizen committed to protecting natural resources? Are their values reflected in how they spend their money? We do not believe there is a perfect formula for finding perfect people. Many people trying to do the right thing still can’t decide if it’s ok to go to Starbucks, or not. Are Christmas trees all right? They don’t know.

The most conscious consumers are motivated by health

Earth Advertising distinguishes between a) products that are personally harmful; and b) those that are harmful to the environment and animals at large but do not pose immediate and obvious personal risk. The most heavily populated environmentally conscious consumer group consists of, a) people gravely concerned about their own health and that of their family.
If they have friends or relatives recently touched by cancer, asthma, infertility, or other problems that they suspect are linked to their environment, they are more likely to choose toxic-free products. It starts with what they eat, drink, wear, touch, breathe, or feed the young. Many pregnant moms feel like they are staring right into the headlights, when they brush with chemicals that haven’t even been tested on rats. Not to support animal testing. But, moms are finally questioning the logic of “Keep out of reach of children and small pets” on the cleaners they use in the playroom.

Is level of wealth a good indicator?

One consumer data presentation showed a correlation between lack of education and obesity. According to some experts, this group is the “least” environmentally conscious. When you have only enough money to buy unsafe products, that’s despair not irresponsibility.
It’s more expensive to buy organic food, but if there is a CSA or farmer’s market nearby, you can go out of your way to buy local. By taking extra steps, environmental products can be more affordable—like buying in bulk or in concentration. Generally, green costs more, from non-toxic detergents and recycled paper to driving green cars and living in green buildings. Certain activities that engage in conserving energy, save money, too. If a penny saved is a penny earned, then an unused megawatt, known as a negawatt, is money in the bank.

Consciousness is a mixed bag that is hard to quantify. Motivation is a piece of the puzzle, as are informed or misinformed decisions. How can we classify someone who buys organic but doesn’t recycle? Also, the very workings of the planet are not always well-known. According the National Science Research, for instance, many Americans think the sun revolves the Earth.
For the most part, conscious consumers are not defined by a certain income bracket, ethnicity, geography or demography, but by “psychography.” People most fearful of the harmful effects of dangerous chemicals in food, drink, cleansers, clothes, cosmetics, paint, etc. are most likely to buy non-toxic things if they can afford to.

Please don’t kill the messenger

As it turns out, the household member most likely to make purchasing
decisions is predominately female. This woman is even making the choices when it comes to cars and gadgets. Women are nurturers and gatherers, which in this day and age translates to mothers, matriarchs and “shoppers.” Men are more likely to engage in goal-driven activities such as chasing and catching flying objects like hockey pucks, footballs, and big, powerful paychecks. (Again, we read the surveys, we don’t conduct them.)

Men do make many decisions and are concerned about the state of the planet. Just look at the ratios at conferences. According to most survey they just don’t make everyday-run-of-the-mill-family purchasing decisions like groceries. Power plants and fishing vessels? Yes.
These days it’s not just endangered species capturing the attention of researchers. There is most likely a huge database on each of us somewhere. There is no shortage of research out there on our purchasing patterns either. You could probably search golfers with a 50 handicap who only play on environmentally conscious golf courses, just in the North East, using a Yonex club and surmise quickly what kind of car he (or she) drives. Data is an export product. The Freedom Act probably didn’t hurt. For all we know our stats are sold to Japan. But do they know why you took the bus today? Maybe your car broke down.

Who is conscious about what, and why

One study suggests at least 90% of all people consider themselves conscious consumers. Let’s say it’s true. We must take a serious look at what conscious means. One can be conscious enough not to buy an outdated TV so she won’t have to replace it in two years. This person might, or might not, be worrying about the environmental life cycle of the electronic components. Frugality may be a survival instinct. Conscious shopping can be confusing in a world where media is supported by advertisers telling us to buy, buy, buy. Even the President encouraged everyone to keep shopping after 9-11 in the best interest of our country’s economy.

Yet, overproduction of senseless goods is evident wherever you look. Recently we heard a factoid about plastic ware. Americans alone dispose of enough paper, plastic cups, forks, and spoons every year to circle the equator three times. Does a conscious consumer use disposable utensils just on specials occasions, or whenever it’s more convenient?

Signs do indicate that a kinder, gentler, safer world is what most people want way deep down inside, even if it’s buried under discount mattress sales and factory closeouts. When presented creatively, any and all people of any gender can rise to the occasion of a healthier planet. If we asked dogs, they’d probably give it a “paws up” too.

Media is great when the story is real

People are exposed to media about wars, fossil fuel, over-manufacturing, excess packaging and toxic industrial processes that have wreaked havoc on our natural resources. Until recently, most people didn’t like to talk about it, or hear about it. Now it’s vogue. The digital airwaves are becoming environmental messengers as never before. Leaders both young and old want to engineer a better world moving forward. Environmental heroes have gained status as our society’s celebrities. There is much debate about how these consumers get their information. Most agree that they make decisions from sources in the way of networking and reading, and from “gurus” and medical professionals.

As information technologies converge, you can expect these people to be more and more influenced by non-commercial media in all forms. Above all, be honest and passionate about your product and your company. It is interesting to your target audience, so be sure it is told by master craftspeople in communication.

A finely told tale can weave in and among all forms of media with a memorable message. This message must be easily understood to be spread by others. Have a clear, redundant mantra that is easy to remember and share. It can even be a factoid. Pass it to hairdressers, teachers, grocers, family, ministers, cab drivers, employees and everyone throughout the supply chain. A rock hits the water with one simple thunk! The hole fills instantly, but the ripples reverberate almost endlessly. Thanks to media coverage and the internet, consumers can get a sneak peak behind the company logo to see what it really stands for. Green washing does not always fail immediately, but it never wins out.

Who do conscious consumers believe?

People in this psychographic tend to believe expert sources. The nickname “guru” here simply refers to people who are focused enough on your product category to have read about related topics or heard things in the news or discovered it at an event or chance encounter.

Words used to describe the “most” conscious consumer can easily be confused with those who talk about products the most. We like to believe the most responsible consumers are the ones who listen the most. They actively look for advice from gurus in all mediums.

In various reports, gurus are otherwise described as “brandvangelists”, “brand stewards”, “product ambassadors”, “diehards”, “conscious consumers”, “cultural creatives”, “enlightened”, “converted”, “true believers”, “environmentalists”, “activists”, “thought leaders” and “the choir” among others. They are people who may or may not have chosen to live healthy lives, but they at least read about it and talk about it. They keep pace with news and statistics on the risks of scary things in our environment.

These gurus are most likely to create the link between a healthy planet and human health in general. If you took the time to read this, you may be a bit of a guru yourself.

There is a gap between how we perceive ourselves and what we really do. A surgeon is still a surgeon even though he rarely wields the knife, and the same may be true for self-proclaimed conscious consumers in varying degrees. This is no excuse to be judgmental toward people. The green movement should focus on helping people help the planet, thus help themselves. The same is true at high levels of government and industry. By all means, it’s more effective when people believe it’s their idea, not somebody guilt-tripping them.

Though media planners are often inclined not to spend media dollars preaching to the choir, this is the very root system from which your brand will grow and gain momentum. Treat your choir with respect or the choir may sing someone else’s tune, and you want them to sing yours. Clearly, loudly, memorably, and often. They are the journalists, the media voices, the industry leaders, the gurus and they are often very vocal and passionate about their opinions.

People are human

There are several sources that would make a healthy addition to any choir, and they are health professionals, scientists, and religious leaders because conscious consumers tend to listen to these ‘experts’ more carefully. The ‘experts’ are not necessarily your consumers, however. An example is the sight of nurses huddled in the cold, smoking outside hospitals after spending the evening caring for a patient dying of lung cancer. It is not always human nature to practice what you preach.

You might find that a family buys organic milk but they eat processed cheese. Parents might see a TV special and link hormones in cows to premature development in their teens. Others are convinced that mercury in fish can cause learning disabilities. They might have solar panels and drive an SUV. One person might respond to Anderson Cooper’s televised blood work showing industrial chemicals in his body by detoxing with lemons for a week. Another might respond to the same thing by reaching for another beer.

It’s easy to pick and choose your customers carefully with new media techniques. In a way, marketing agencies like Earth Advertising are matchmakers bringing customers together with products that align with their belief systems, or will be aligned by the time we’re done.

Bribing for shelf space

If you feel uncomfortable coercing a retailer to put your product at eye level in the store, go outside your comfort zone. Location at point of purchase gives you stature with customers. It is an implied endorsement. If a customer must ask where your organic tomato sauce is, you could lose them to all-natural along the way. Create a campaign directed at store managers and tell your customers what section you’re in. Once a conscious consumer has your product in hand and reads the ingredients, you have made a connection.

Conscious consumers do read packaging. Use positive reinforcement. If McDonald’s posts how many burgers they sold, post how much pesticide you helped to save from groundwater by supporting organic agriculture.

If you want to get your customer’s attention, you must be available. Create an aura around yourself and your company quickly through all mediums. Hand out an award, start a club, give things away, make friends with your consumers.

Media is the message only if the message is done well

In short, the media techniques most effective are news stories, public relations and events, newspapers and magazines, and social networking. You cannot fool your consumer so be respectful and authentic. It’s your only option or your first sale to that customer will be your last. You must penetrate the media with interesting points.

Someone will want to argue about positive vs. negative messaging. The negative effects of dangerous chemicals are not positive. When your colleagues ask why you are being negative, tell them because negative sells when you’re in the non-toxic business. You are asking people to switch over to healthy alternatives from toxic products. Very few people are deliberately trying to poison the environment, although that sector does exist and there’s a name for them not included in this report.

Who does the planet belong to anyway?

How can we instill the thought that the planet belongs to all of us, when we have grown up in a world where companies are to buying water rights, and mining whole countries and mountain ranges for minerals and building materials? This is what Earth Advertising and agencies like us think about most of the time. How to sell the idea of purchasing eco-friendly products not just for one’s own health, but for every one and every things.

There is positive research to support that people do care and given the tools and information, will vote at the cash register for the better good. Some scientists believe that the evolution of man included natural selection for those who care about man as a group.

The dichotomy here is that we have an economic system that prevents people from being able to afford to do the right thing. In schools we teach children about an environment that can be saved by making purchasing decisions that their parents can’t afford. Yes, we can all recycle, but can we afford organic cotton sheets? And yet the pesticides used in cotton industry are some the world’s biggest polluters of soil and groundwater.

Connecting healthy planet to healthy people

In the product categories of environmentally sustainable food, cosmetics, beverage, clothing (particularly baby and maternity) the best media channels and message platforms will be about health to the people who are most concerned about it, and you can expect women to be making the decisions.

The mental process of connecting the health of the environment to human health may have been easier in days gone by when man interacted with the land more intimately in order to survive. Today, a surprising amount of evidence suggests that many people don’t know where drinking water comes from. Many do not drink from water taps, but plastic bottles. Perhaps the intention of the industrial revolution was to make us all more comfortable after surviving the first ten thousand years. Maybe we believed that companies would take care of all our needs no questions asked. Now more people are beginning to notice that many products don’t make any sense to our environment and our survival.

People behave of their own free will

How do people evolve from health conscious to environmentally conscious? On their own free will. They make the mental connection either in a lightning strike moment, or over time. They begin to adopt, enjoy, and take pride in protecting resources as a more fulfilling way of life. You can define them by habits sometimes. Many research reports will tell you the ideal customer is politically active. Or an educated, informed woman with a family, and above average household income, If there is a member of her family with allergies, she’s even a better bet. We wish we could define green conscious consumers by the age, race, color, wealth, political party or astrological sign, but we can’t.

However, we do have clever, innovative ways to reach them. People adopt environmental practices to save face, save themselves or save the world and feel good. We believe people need to come to their own conclusions. Our job is to help them do that.

Upon request, Earth Advertising will provide you with recommendations on how much media to spend where, and how to optimize brand attributes. We offer corporate identity, messaging, and summary reports on market research, and ways to green your business while building team spirit among employees, vendors, suppliers, investors, management team, customers, shareholders and, yes, even the media.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Conscious Consumers in a Nutshell. This is Part 1 in a 4-Part Series on consumer behavior (see list). Ask us for our comprehensive directory of green consumer research. To find out more about how Earth Advertising can help strengthen your brand to resonate in the right places with the right message, contact: Earth Advertising, 44 E 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016 (212) 933-1391.

Earth Advertising’s Consumer Research Reports
Part 1. The conscious consumer in a nutshell
Part 2. Behavioral habits: public transportation, composting, recycling, reducing, water conservation, non-toxic home and lawn care, packaging, activism, green building, and energy efficiency
Part 3. Purchase decisions in clean technology: automobiles, transportation, renewable energy resources, and energy efficient products
Part 4. Tricks for popularizing your brand

What do you think about conscious consumers? Visit our blog at

Earth Advertising in Manhattan is a creative shop specializing in brand management, sales tools, media exposure, and studio production. The first publication about consumer behavior, “Conscious Consumption. Helping People Help the Planet” was published in 1998. Earth Advertising and studio eFlicks Media produce award-winning media campaigns and effective and innovative marketing programs in all mediums for earth- friendly clients.
To find out more about how Earth Advertising can help strengthen your brand to resonate in the right places with the right message, contact: Earth Advertising, 44 E 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016 (212) 933-1391,

Thanks to:
David Wigder
James R. Gregory Hugh Hough The Climate Group
Martha Shaw
Raphael Bemporad & Mitch Baranowski
Jacki Ottman
Green Media Enterprises
The Green Team The Hartman Group Egg Advertising
Steve French and Gwenn Rogers
Natural Food Merchadiser Claudia H Deutsch
Joel Makower Maryellen Molyneaux
Hilary Bromberg Thomas Friedman
A ‘Green Paper’
Bruce C. Ertmann DYG SCANTrend Identification Program
Eco & Co
Marketing Green
CoreBrand Green Team The Climate Group
Earth Advertising eFlicks Media
BBMG J. Ottman Consulting
GME Green Team
Hartman Group Egg Advertising
Natural Marketing Institute
Natural Food Merchandiser New York Times
Trend Watching Food Technology
Egg New York Times
TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc.
DYG Agence Conseil en Communication SurL’Environnement et les Questions de Societe
Consumer research references:
A look back at green marketing in 2007 Accounting for Brands as Intangible Assets
Awake & Aware
Carbon Down, Profits Up Conscious Consumption Helping People Help the Planet: marketing to conscious consumers
Conscious Consumers Are Changing the Rules of Marketing. Are you Ready?
Four Green Marketing Tips for 2008
‘Going Green’ Green Communications (Presentation)
Hartman Report on Sustainability Here come The Green Brandgelists
Lohas Market Research Review
New Hope from the Natural Food Merchandiser Now Looking Green is Looking Good
Ten Reasons Why There’s No Green Business Bubble The Changing Face of Organic Consumers
The Conscious Consumer: Marketing Strategies for a Greener World The Power of Green
The Six Sins of Greenwashing Toyota: Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Consumer-Generated Media (Presentation)
Understanding the “Green” Consumer (Presentation)
Who Are the ‘Sustainable Consumers’? (Presentation)

Creating a New Clean Energy Economy at Speed and Scale, Aspen Aug 21, 2010

Americans pay $300 billion a year for foreign fossil fuel, with evidence that much of this funds the very enemies we are paying tax money to fight against. 53% or more of the Federal Budget in fact, including our discretionary budget. In short, we are funding the dark side of humanity who are not “our friends, and who do not share the values our founders fought so hard to defend. This $300 billion does not create new jobs, fight poverty, protect the planet’s resources, stop violence, improve world health or educate our children. And let’s face it, there is no fossil fuel left to speak of, in the the continental US. The AREDAY 2010 conference. Creating a New Clean Energy Economy at Speed and Scale here in Aspen is proving in under 4 days, how we can stop this immoral activity that will deny our children of a safe and healthy world.

America’s Clean Energy Leaders Gather in Aspen Colorado by Martha Shaw

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: America’s clean energy leaders gather in Aspen, Colorado, August 19-22 for AREDAY. Now open to participants.

Submitted by: Earth Advertising

Categories: Clean Technology, Events

Posted: Jul 22, 2010 – 08:47 PM EST

NEW YORK, Jul. 22 /CSRwire/ – Kristina Johnson, Cathy Zoi, Amory Lovins, Sylvia Earle, Ted Turner, T. Boone Pickens, James Cameron, Carl Safina, Jayni Chase, Woody Tasch, Lester Brown, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, Bill Ritter, Rhone Resch, and others among the more than 100 participants gathering to discuss nation’s energy future.

It’s an all-star energy line-up at an intimate gathering of the nation’s energy leaders in Aspen, August 19-22, now open to participants. “The timing couldn’t be better for this important dialogue among our country’s most powerful renewable energy leaders from all walks of life, from government, business, science, education, entertainment, think tank institutions, and not for profit organizations,” says AREDAY founder Chip Comins. “There has never been a gathering more important or more timely as our country sits poised to either take global leadership with supportive legislation and public will, or to jeopardize our future. Active participation in this dialogue right now can transition our nation into a safe and healthy future, both economically and environmentally.”

The gathering will address how trillions of dollars per year spent on foreign oil can be invested in America’s emerging new clean energy economy right now with existing talent, technology, and training. On the wake of the Gulf Spill, participants will strategize on how, together, we can harness the renewed momentum in our country to move from dirty and dangerous energy to clean, safe alternatives while creating new jobs.

This historical event is now open to participants, and all are encouraged to attend, join the dialogue, and play a key role in America’s new clean energy economy. Assistance with purchasing tickets and lodging is available at AREDAY or contact AREDAY 970-948-9929, By using CODE: 109 when registering, the Early Registration fee will apply.

Please join the hundreds of professionals who are turning our energy future around, not a moment too soon. See agenda and partial list of attendees and special guests coming to “Creating A New Clean Energy Economy at Speed and Scale” at AREDAY 2010 August 19-22, in Aspen.

AREDAY 2010 Highlights:
Dr. Kristina M. Johnson Under Secretary of Energy U.S. Dept. of Energy
Cathy Zoi Assistant Secretary of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
Michael Eckhart American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)
George Lakoff UC Berkeley professor of linguistics and cognitive science
Larry Schweiger National Wildlife Federation
Wesley Clark Former U.S. Presidential Candidate
James Cameron Director, Producer
Alec Loorz Solutions from the Next Generation Now, Kids Vs. Global Warming, iMatter Project
Armchair Conversation:
Ted Turner Turner Enterprises, Inc.
T. Boone Pickens Entrepreneur
Armchair Conversation: Oil, Water, Climate and Energy:
Amory Lovins Rocky Mountain Institute
Food Security:
Moderator: Brook Le Van Sustainable Settings
Wes Jackson The Land Institute
Tim LaSalle Northwest Earth Institute
Woody Tasch Slow Money
Putting Carbon in Context:
Wes Jackson The Land Institute
Putting Carbon in Context (Part II):
Moderator: Chip Comins AREDAY
Rick Heede Climate Mitigation Services
Julienne Stroeve National Snow & Ice Data Center
Investing in Energy Independence:
Reed Hundt, Coalition for Green Capital
Political Will and Climate:
Moderator: Larry Schweiger National Wildlife Federation
Gene Karpinksi League of Conservation Voters
Phil Radford Greenpeace
Matt Peterson Global Green USA
Politics of Climate Change, The Road to Cancun:
Gail Schwartz Colorado State Senator
Bracken Hendricks Center for American Progress
Aimee Christensen Christensen Global
Reid Detchon Vice President for Energy and Climate at the United Nations Foundation
Lester Brown Earth Policy Institute
Making the Transition—One Generation at a Time:
Jim Calaway The Aspen Institute
James Calaway Orocobre Limited
John Calaway Superior Wind
Energy Futures – Is Nuclear Renewable?
Moderator: Tom Blees Science Council for Global Initiatives
Yoon Chang Integral Fast Reactor
Eric Loewen GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
David Orr Oberlin College
Jonathan Parfrey Green LA Institute, LADWP
Bill Becker Presidential Climate Action Project
Ocean Systems at Risk:
Dr. Sylvia Earle National Geographic Explorer in Residence
Phil Radford Greenpeace
Dr. Carl Safina Blue Ocean Institute
Lungs of the Planet: Carbon Sinks & The World’s Forests:
Jan Hartke Clinton Climate Initiative
Warren Evans The World Bank Environment Department
Sally Coxe Bonobo Conservation Initiative
Andrew Mitchell Global Canopy Programme(GCP)
Solutions, Collaboration and Green Bridge to China:
Jigar Shah Carbon War Room
Chip Comins AREDAY
Darrin Magee Hobart William Smith College
Hiu Ng Co-founder Club of Beijing
Dr. Kristina M. Johnson Under Secretary of Energy U.S. Dept. of Energy
Bonobo Conservation Initiative Fundraiser (private residence)
Special guest: Ted Turner
Feed-In-Tarrifs, Transmission and The Grid:
Craig Lewis FIT Coalition
Bob Gough Native Energy
Ron Lehr American Wind Energy Association
Putting Wealth to Work in the New Clean Energy Economy:
Moderator: Christiana Wyly
Ted Turner Turner Enterprises Inc.
James Cameron Director, Producer
Michael Polsky Invenergy
Sam Wyly Green Mountain Energy
Disruptive (Breakthrough) Renewable Energy Technology:
Moderator: David Hiller Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory
Monica Ord Viral Genetics
Sunil Paul Gigaton Throwdown
Alex Major Green Flight Foundation
Renewable Energy Innovation and Finance:
Moderator: Rod Eckhardt Round Rock Partners
Joel Serface Colorado Cleantech Industry Association
Tom Soto Craton Equity Partners
Michael Haas Orion Energy
Linking the Oil Spill, Energy Policy and Climate Change-the canary in the coal mine:
Dr. Kristina M. Johnson Under Secretary of Energy, U.S. Dept. of Energy
Larry Schweiger National Wildlife Federation
Carl Safina Blue Ocean Institute
James Cameron Director, Producer
Energy Futures – Solar:
Moderator: Rhone Resch Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Johnny Weiss Solar Energy International
Neville Williams Solar Electric Light Fund
John Woolard BrightSource Energy
Energy Futures – Wind:
Moderator: Larry Flowers Wind Powering America NREL
Ron Lehr AWEA
Jim Walker enXco
Robert Thresher NREL Research Fellow
Women and Solutions
Sally Ranney AREDAY Co-Director, Stillwater Preservation, LLC
Suzy Cameron MUSE Elementary
Jayni Chase Founder of the Center on Environmental Education (CEE)
Osprey Orielle Lake UN Foundation
Christiana Wyly Satori Capital
Media and Messaging
Rick Thompson Greentech Media
Michael Penwarden Matter Network
Richard Greene Home Tree Radio
Martha Shaw Earth Advertising
Climate & Energy Literacy Initiative:
Mark McCaffrey Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
Pic Walker Alliance for Climate Education (ACE)
Chip Comins Director AREDAY
Sally Ranney Co-Director AREDAY
Climate Literacy Award
Presented by James Cameron
Competition to Collaboration
Jigar Shah Carbon War Room
Chip Comins Director AREDAY
Sally Ranney Co-Director AREDAY
AREDAY Renewable Energy EXPO Cooper Street Mall
AREDAY Green Leadership Award
James Cameron Presentation and Special Director’s Cut Screening, AVATAR
Film Screening -Climate Refugee:
Michael Nash filmmaker with guest speakers
Film Screening -The Cove:
Louie Psihoyos Director
Charles Hambleton Filmmaker
Closing reception Hotel Jerome

Green Drinks NYC Summer Bash- New York and beyond

Though it was almost 9:30 pm last night before the Social Venture Network NYC Forum dispersed, I was determined to make it to the Green Drinks Summer Bash at Solar One that ended at 10. This was not your ‘every month’ Green Drinks. Many of New York’s Green Who’s Who was still there when I arrived, after the tent lights blinked to let everyone know if was over. I arrived to find that my house guest from AREDAY (American Renewable Energy Day- Aspen) guest, Chip Comins, had left, but Earth’s client David Kistner of Green Apple Cleaners was still there, as was Yale Klat consultant, Chris Neidll of Solar One, Wendy Brawer of Greeen Maps, Stefan Doering, adjunct professor at Columbia University, and many others who were extending their goodbyes to Green Drink NYC Director, the beautiful Margaret Lydecker. The magic of the balmy evening on the East River held us captive, reluctant to let go. Then in walks perhaps the foremost green business guru in the world, Joel Makower, of Green Biz in Oakland.

I aksed people why greenies like to convene so much. I mean, do the members of International Inulation Trade Association and animal Rights people have the same magnetic attraction to each other as those in the Green Movement? “We need to talk to each other because the complexities of the environment and how to address the destruction taking place, means all hands on deck,” said an smart as a whip (?) intern whose name was quickly forgotten as conversations quickly turned to nearby pubs where we could continue our conversation because they were literally taking down the tent. Dear intern, if you read this, please call Earth Advertising at 212-933-1391.