Thursday, August 6, 2009

Want Clean Energy? Get Rid of the Clipboards

Today as in every day in downtown Evanston I walked into the path of Clean Energy solicitors. You know those peeps with tight tees of a license plate image saying “Clean Energy” or something to the same effect. And in brought me to wonder, are they getting through to anyone? As I walked by I saw a guy nice enough to give the young collegiate the time of day while another said like an ass “I will care for the environment like I want to.” Nice guy.

Regardless what I noticed is the two solicitors both had the same tag line to “You gotta a second for the environment.” It really wouldn’t even sell the most avid Clean Energy activist. It was a softball to say the least. As a former salesman I know the importance of having the right starting line. It seemed odd if you are going to put solicitors on the street for Clean Energy you wouldn’t have a definite playbook. The environment is what you are trying to save than act like it is worth saving is what I would first say. Clean Energy needs better lines and they can’t just toss solicitors out with clipboards expecting to luck into change.

This past weekend I was told by a tax tea party-goer that the President was off about his Clean Energy that it was Cap N’ Tax and so on. Her answer was nuclear energy, and I brought that up to someone I thought might be off put by this argument, instead she plainly said “I am for nuclear energy; it is a good way to deal with it.” This is wrong and where the Clean Energy message gets lost.

Clean Energy is not just about finding a way to be less dependent on oil or coal as a source of energy. Yes it is a fraction of the cause, but there is a much bigger purpose of moving America into a Clean Energy future, and that is harmony with our environment (start playing whatever flower power music comes to your head now). We are consumers. Consumers of energy, consumers of products, consumer of food and we have consumed with a reckless abandon for quite some time. No other species on Earth consumes as we. Some might call that the evolution of man, but somewhere along the way we forgot that man was not on Earth first. The Earth existed long before we did and it survived on its own. It is a living, breathing organism and we live on it not the other way around. Clean Energy is about finding a harmonious, as natural as possible way to create alternative sources to our energy dependent ways.

Nuclear power does not constitute that. Now, that is not to say that nuclear power does not works, yes it does and it can get us away from our dependence on hazardous sources of energy like coal and oil, yet it is not in effectively proven to be clean. Aside from the obvious magnitude of nuclear power plants, studies have shown the waste is not measureable nor is it completely understood how it overall impacts the environment, while Chernobyl proved how dangerous nuclear plants do have the capacity to be highly unstable. Some might argue it was an incident we learned from, but have we? There is always a Homer and moving away from nuclear power might be good for say…foreign policy…

With their green shirts and hokey slogans, the message from the solicitors needs to change. I pass the various clipboard holding hippies every day and I care about the environment, but how I describe them alone shows how effective the anti-global warming message is, “hippy” is synonymous with liberal leftist tree huggers. Constructive ways are needed to answer the questions ex. “sure solar panels look funny, but wouldn’t you like an energy bill of $30 at the end of every month”?

It is a word game and it needs to be rethought. Nobody liked Chicken Little till the sky fell.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

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