The Skywriter

Guest blog: Empowering people key to cutting climate pollution

8
Jul

Guest blog: Empowering people key to cutting climate pollution

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By Andrew Moore, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer for Viable Earth Enterprises. -- Luis

I founded Viable Earth to empower people and enterprise (including communities, business, schools and organizations) to make the right green decisions, in order to accelerate our transition to a green, clean and carbon-free society.

While the interaction between humanity and the environment has always been a passion of mine, starting my own company was not my original intention. On track towards a promising career in Climate Science and Paleoclimatology, I came to the realization that my desire to bring about positive change outstripped the capacity of the academic world to facilitate it. Having seen first-hand the consequences of ecological mismanagement and climate change both as an archaeologist in the United States and as an anthropologist in Africa, I was struck by the dire urgency of our current crisis and the need for a dramatic shift in our cultural paradigm to meet it.

I founded Viable Earth to help bring about that shift. Empowering people to make choices that embrace renewable energy (and abandon dirty fuels!) and become carbon-conscious goes beyond just giving them tools and knowledge. It means evolving culture, creating new normative expectations, fostering collaborative dialogue and instilling a viewpoint that appropriately values our fundamental and deep reliance on a healthy climate and a healthy environment.

In this regard, one of my favorite success stories is still the work that I performed for my first client, a winery located in Virginia. I approached them with the idea of becoming more carbon-conscious, and using a greenhouse gas footprint to change their decision-making models. While at first somewhat skeptical, as we moved through the process and discussed the relationship between carbon, efficiency and opportunity, it became increasingly clear to them that reducing their footprint offered a significant return on value. They went from being cautious participants to proactive stakeholders in the course of our work together, even surprising me with the innovative ways they could improve their operations by cutting emissions!

When you empower people to make the right decisions, you move beyond just run-of-the-mill consulting or training. When the work is done, you leave people with the tools they need to take control of their own destinies, whether as individuals or as enterprises. And that’s critically important because the challenge of our times is not simply reaching one new ratio between carbon production and economic output: It’s a struggle to reinvent business towards becoming carbon positive. Achieving that means an on-going negotiated process of innovation and change inside of every enterprise around the world, as we move from an economic model of unsustainability to a model of ecological integration, regeneration and carbon sequestration.

We only get one shot at fixing our climate crisis and our planet’s damaged ecosystem -- and we need everyone all in. Working with truly dedicated organizations like 1Sky helps bring us all closer that over-arching goal. That’s what motivates me, and that’s what Viable Earth works to accomplish.

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