Saturday, July 4, 2009

Patriotic Environmentalist, not an Oxymoron

Happy 4th of July!
Environmental living can be patriotic.

Maintaining a natural and beautiful country, where people can live healthy and free, is patriotic.

GM has said (here) they are concerned that if they tout the environmental benefits of the Chevy Volt, then it will be rejected by the "NASCAR" crowd. On the flip-side, if they position it as a pro-American vehicle, they are concerned that it will upset the eco-crowd. To be successful, GM is going to need both groups to embrace this car. They need to portray the car as sexy and green.

"There is a fear that if we position this as a 'pro-American' car, it will upset some of the environmentally conscious crowd" explained Pete Lewis, program operations at GM. "And we want it to be embraced by everyone."

Things that are not antipodes are too often portrayed as such. Conflict and opposition is generally thought to be a more compelling story. We need to look beyond the simple "this or that" thinking that grabs headlines. Let's reapply the conjunction-junction and see that many more things can be "this and that". Rather than looking for divides and wedging them, let's look for and embrace commonalities.

Both Joe-six-pack and Jane-tree-hugger have errands to run and lives to lead. Neither want to fund terrorism or oppressive regimes. Both want affordable transportation and clean air to breathe.

Riding your bike to work rather than driving a pollution emitting car propelled by a fuel that funds terrorists, is both environmentally friendly and patriotic.

Understandably, GM's goal is to sell cars rather than change the way people think about the world, but maybe they can do a little of both.

Using less energy saves the reserves, allowing time to develop smooth transition plans. And allows the renewable sources currently on-line to provide a greater percentage of our supply.

Renewable energy is used in proximity to where it is generated. With a plug-in car, you can drive on locally generated electrons rather than imported fuel.

This will help stabilize costs. An uprising or disaster half-way around the world is not going to disrupt your locally generated energy supply.

Real Patriots Live Green - Happy 4th of July!


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