I was in Chicago the first half of this week at the Green-Build Conference sponsored by the US Green Building Council. Just think, 20,000 people to learn how to plan, construct, and manage buildings in a more sustainable manner. Bill Clinton gave the keynote speech and it was a blast to be with that many people to talk about sustainability.
Last week I talked about Global Warming and how the Republican party is becoming increasingly out of step with the world, U.S. population, and big business as well in its attitude toward global warming and sustainability. My short time in Chicago only cemented those thoughts.
If you think that this conference was sponsored by Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and the Grateful Dead, you are horribly mistaken. One thing I noticed at the conference is that Big Business is at the table in regards to sustainability. Many large, Fortune 500 companies were represented at this conference and/or were conference sponsors, including such old line companies as GE and GM. One large energy firm, United Technologies was a huge sponsor and is doing amazing things in terms of sustainability. Ford Motor Company (Ford!) is constructing buildings and factories with Green Roofs. The list goes on.
To those who think that being sustainable or to propose strategies that reduce our carbon footprint is bad for business needs to enter the 21st Century. Big business is at the table, they are implementing solutions, they are open to reducing their carbon footprint. It makes for good business. Many firms are way ahead of Republicans in this issue and I think most Republicans will become seen as increasingly shrill and out of touch if they continue with their current attitude toward global warming.
One short note on Chicago. What a great City. Clean, beautiful, lots to do. I ate at a little Tai restaurant that had no entries over $8.00 one night and at Harry Caray’s an old school steak and chop place where they sell 23 oz steaks for $42.00 the other night. The City is incredibly busy and I’d hate to have to commute everyday into the City, but man talk about energy and fun!