I have a great idea for Oprah! But first...
This from an interview in the New York Times between Dot Earth's Andrew C. Revkin and Robert Stone, the Oscar-nominated documentarian of the film, "Earth Days":
Stone: "I think people are more motivated by competition and nationalism than by do-goodism and altruism. The extraordinary technological innovations we’ve witnessed in our lifetime sprung forth in part out of a competition with the Soviet Union, particularly in the wake of Sputnik. We were summoned to do great things, to think big. People were inspired and we did great things. I think we need to summon that spirit again, perhaps in a competition with China. There’s nothing wrong with competition. It can bring out the best in us. But people are not going to be inspired by compact fluorescent bulbs and driving a Prius."
"...our best successes come from harnessing what is innate in human nature. And that is what needs to be harnessed now if we are to deal seriously with the greatest challenge ever to confront us as a species since the last ice age. All our problems in the end come down to how we use and produce energy because that’s one thing we can actually control. Fortunately it also taps into what human beings do best, which is innovate. So there is hope there. But let’s get away from challenging us all to think like planetary citizens. Some of us will but most of us won’t, particularly when push comes to shove, as it will as the seas start to rise and the fields start to dry up.
As Americans, let’s start at home by making the United States the most fuel efficient country with the cleanest air, the cleanest water, the most advanced electrical grid, the best educated work force, etc., and let others follow our lead."
There is much more to this interview as well as in between these two paragraphs so I highly recommend reading the whole thing for yourself to more fully follow the context. To read, click here.
In the meantime, I have a great idea for Oprah, if she's not contemplating it already!
I happen to love and admire the way she enjoys giving things away and inspires others to give of themselves and live the best life they possibly can. Why not dedicate some of her last shows or a show on her new network to giving away scholarships and/or grants to those young, up-and-coming minds interested in new Clean Energy fields?!
If we are to compete successfully with China (and quickly find the answers to our most pressing problems), why not give funds and greater access for schooling and start-ups to the smartest minds of the next generation? Why not help them become a part of the new work being done to solve our upcoming lack of water issues, clean energy issues, helping our American-car-industry-stuck-in-a-GoodOldBoys-rut-issue?
Who better to tackle our need and further our innovation and production in wind and clean energy? In putting more and better electric cars on the road? Helping businesses find a way to make clean and green practices pay for them? Figuring out how we will fly once our oil is gone?
Anyone else like to see a show where the best minds of our next generation are given the funds to help solve some of our most pressing needs?! (As well as shows focusing on exactly what the science-minded are working on right now to solve the issues of our -very near- future!)
Let's get more scientific minds interested and funded! Whaddya think, Oprah?
(Photo courtesy of PDPhoto.org)