May 24, 2007

Hope: An Awakening Among the Inside Crowd

For some reason, powerful people turn to author and activist Paul Hawken for advice. Still shivering from being pepper sprayed during the 1999 Battle in Seattle, Hawken received a phone call from President Clinton. Clinton asked what he should say when he came into Seattle the next day.

According to DemocracyNow, "Hawken is a best-selling author and one of the leading architects and proponents of corporate environmental reform." He networks a lot, and is consulted by the powerful, giving him an rare perspective. He shared the following insight, which should give some hope: terms of CEOs, I do know them. And what I do know, in the last twenty months -- I don’t know why they call me, because I’m very outspoken in my criticism. So for them to call me means that they’re desperate. And in the last twenty to twenty-four months, the conversations have changed, which is, it used to be they would call and say, "How do we get this monkey off our back? How do we deal with this problem?” Now, they're calling and saying, “What do we do about the problem?” “We” means we, it means everybody. It doesn’t mean the corporation. It means we have a problem, and there is that recognition now. And that is a big sea change.

I think it’s been brought about by Katrina and climate change. I think the Gore movie made it OK to talk about it. I don’t think it was the cause so much as it legitimized it as a conversational thing that, you know, white charismatic vertebrates could have in conferences with other CEOs. But I do think that there is a real change, that that is, they can see the whites of the eyes of the enemy, and the enemy is themselves. And “themselves” is their business practices, carbon, how the supply chains, what they make, how they make it, and the future. And there is an awakening here.


DemocracyNow, May 23, 2007, Interview with Paul Hawken.

Hawkins, Hawkin

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