Simply put, if you haven't heard of Seth Godin, who blogs about marketing, you should check him out. I consider that a complete thought, and good content, all by itself.
But he's not really a sustainability guy ... actually, I think he is! OMG, yes he is — he's always talking about the long view, albeit in his realm of selling, rather than environmental. Yet another example of how sustainability is a very broad topic.
Nevertheless, that's not why I started this post; it's because he's popped into my consciousness a couple of times in the past day or two, and you need little more than that to base a blog post on.
Superinsulation advocate and builder Paul Eldrenkamp, during one of his presentations to the NESEA Conference Wednesday, urged the roomful of builders, architects, engineers, and others to form small groups — "tribes" — who can look to each other for expertise about their common challenges. "I trust my competition more than I trust any salesman," he said.
It's an interesting notion — though perhaps a luxury that falls to leading practitioners in fields that are exploding; there may not be a better business opportunity in America today than energy retrofitting, and for someone like Paul, there will probably always be more work than time to do it. So where does Godin fit into this? Even in the shorthand of Powerpoint, Eldrenkamp found space and time to acknowledge him specifically. (Book link here.)
Then this morning, I was checking in on Godin's blog, which he contributes to almost metronomically, and one of his nuggets was about how "willing" we are to throw our time at the present emergency, when we'd wise to throw it on the next one instead:
When gas is $10 a gallon (and it certainly will be), we'll have plenty of time to obsess about what we can't change and what a mess our world is. So I wonder...Where are the groundbreaking reports about how this device or that organization are wasting so much energy today, when we can still do something about it? Why not shine a light on the holes we're digging today as opposed to the canyons we'll have to deal with years from now?
He's certainly right, that everyone else will get motivated to do something about the coming energy/environmental crises when it hits their pockets; we saw this with the $4 gasoline.
But what about when the issue is less tangible? As Marc Rosenbaum said in his NESEA keynote Wednesday morning, "It's hard to get people focused on the idea that we have to reduce the amount of odorless gas going into the universe."
There are unquestionable costs, but because they're not the type that come due at the pump, or on the first of the month, their abstraction makes for even a harder sell, even if people were willing to address tomorrow's emergencies today.