Thursday, May 3, 2012

ICOSA Driving Force Radio – Monday, May 7th – Interview with Denis Hayes, President & CEO of the Bullitt Foundation: Seeking High Risk, High Potential Payoff Opportunities to Exert Unusual Leverage

Clean technology now promises to make the region [Cascadia] the next locus for industrial innovation in such fields as smart and renewable energy, biotechnology, and nontechnology.  Companies will conceive and manufacture products with an unprecedented array of environmental benefits.  Obviously, some may also pose unprecedented environmental hazards.  It is important that new products be scrutinized with an eye to the precautionary principle to ensure that unexpected problems don’t cause whole industries to die stillborn. 

          – Bullitt Foundation

On Monday, May 7th, Jan Mazotti, host of ICOSA’s Driving Force radio and I will be interviewing Denis Hayes, a seasoned veteran of many legislative, cultural, and courtroom battles relating to energy and sustainability.  Mr. Hayes is probably still best known for having been National Coordinator of the first Earth Day when he was 25.  What many don’t know is that he directed the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was a professor of engineering and human ecology at Stanford University, and a Time magazine “Hero of the Planet.”  During his career Mr. Hayes has received the John Muir Award, the Rachel Carson Medal, and a National Jefferson Award. 

Now, with the Bullitt Foundation, Mr. Hayes leads an effort to mold the American Pacific Northwest into a global model of sustainability, applying ecological principles to the design of “human ecosystems.”  The Bullitt Foundation seeks to catalyze the changes necessary to align our obligation to sustain healthy natural systems with our human activity and understandable desire for health, convenience, creativity and prosperity.  The Bullitt Foundation is leading by example.

The Foundation seeks to fix the cause, not the symptom. That is, they focus on preventing problems – not fixing problems.  According to Hayes, to do this, the Foundation seeks to “promote policies and actions to harness the entrepreneurial power of business to create competitive industries built on ecological principles and sustainable technologies.” The critical element to progress is private industry.  By identifying impediments to development we can create opportunities for private industry to achieve these goals.   

The Bullitt Foundation has prioritized its objectives:

1.      Secure adoption and implementation of far-sighted regional energy and climate policies.

2.      Attain dramatic reductions in industrial energy use through conservation and efficiency.

3.      Accelerate and maximize the installation of renewable energy technologies.

4.      Instill an ethic of zero waste practices that result in “reduce, reuse, recycle and compost” for all materials.

5.      Eliminate to the degree possible the production and use of toxic materials and biologically active pollutants, and seek to contain and safely recycle any essential toxics.

6.      Advance the field of “green chemistry” to demonstrate credible and viable alternatives to substances that harm human health and the environment.

7.      Promote innovative systems, fuels, and infrastructure for commercial transportation systems.

 To see a webcast of the show:  Click on the listen button near the xx logo and it should load live.  For Denver and the surrounding areas, the show rebroadcasts Saturday, May 12th on 710 AM KNUS from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.  Please join us to hear from Mr. Hayes the critical role of private industry in catalyzing the necessary changes.