It’s time for a renewable energy revolution

And the good news is that it has already started! Check out Mosaic’s blog for a mini-interview I did on the subject after winning their sweepstakes. Here’s a snippet:

What do you see in clean energy?
I see the future! We’re at a crossroads and clean energy is the bridge – and now it’s time to cross that bridge. Something that’s been holding us back is uncertainty about how to get involved as an individual. It’s always seemed like we had to trust politicians and executives to figure it out. What makes Mosaic so exciting is that it puts the power back in people’s hands and gives them the opportunity to create the clean energy revolution regardless of Washington politics.
Who do you share Mosaic with and why?
Everybody I can. Climate change and the need to transition to clean energy isn’t something that any single person, company, or government is going to be able to solve in isolation. We need to build bridges to people from many different communities, which is something I think Mosaic helps to do. It brings a different set of arguments to the table that resonate differently. It’s dollars and cents, which is something that – for better or worse – is a (near) universal concern.

And if you want to help spur the clean energy revolution consider jumping on the solar-powered investment train!

matt May 17, 2013 Filed in Activism Leave a Comment

A twenty-five year adventure

Damn, has it been an awesome 25 years! Also, holy crap! I’m 25! A quarter of a century… that’s a lot of pennies. Speaking of pennies, why do we still have those things? Does anybody ever use them? I usually ditch everything except quarters. I hope that doesn’t make me a change snob. I just don’t like having large quantities of metal in my pockets.

Anyways. I got distracted. That’s not where I wanted to go.

Ah yes, 25! And hopefully many more to come. There’s lots on the agenda. This whole climate change thing is pretty bad. And the massive economic inequality in our country. And the segregation and discrimination. I’m not sure how we’re going to solve it all, but I’m excited to be a part of making it happen.

Avaaz, SustainUS, Earth in Brackets, ActivistLab, DailyUN, Activist Foundation, YOUNGO, the international youth climate movement, the United Nations, awesome institutions like College of the Atlantic… I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a whole bunch of amazing groups over the past year. Not to mention my luck at having such incredible friends and family.

And here’s hoping 2013, my next year on this incredible planet, will be no different. I’ve got some exciting plans in the works, largely centered around transforming the ways people create change. You might have heard of something called ActivistLab. It has me really excited. It’s also terrifying. Basically, I’m trying to create my dream organization, which is a bit scary. We’ll see how it goes.

But, hey, I’m a quarter-centenarian! I can do whatever I damn well please. Time to start a revolution.

matt January 11, 2013 Filed in Journal Leave a Comment

We Could Be So Much More.

A friend recently asked me to write what means to be human. Below is my response.

We could be so much more. How can we claim to be ‘human’ while billions suffer? Sure, there have been massive technological advances in the past 100 years, but also untold suffering. During the few thousand years human civilization has been around, we’ve mostly been in conflict with each other.

Even worse, things aren’t moving in the right direction. Our political systems are in deadlock, capitalism remains unchecked, wars rage on, and facts lose out to fear on a regular basis. Oh, and we’re about to breach 8 planetary boundaries necessary for life. The word ‘human’ deserves so much more than what we have given it.

But hope isn’t lost.

That’s the great thing about being human: we can change. Our institutions may be failing to address the problems they were set up to confront, but there are people all over the world trying to make them better. These movements of people are fighting to make sure every human matters, fighting to protect the environment, and fighting to protect future generations.

These amazing individuals are trying to create a world free from the self-interest of nation states, corporations, and individuals. They approach the world with the idea that we are all profoundly lucky to be here and should do everything we can during our short lives to give back to those we will never know and never meet.

If we have these individuals and movements fixing things, what’s the problem? They’re working at the fringes. They’re making small gains and doing their best to keep humanity from backsliding on what small progress we’ve made.

As a wise person once said, ‘the first step to solving any problem is recognizing you have one’. The way we’re trying to create change isn’t working. We can’t rely solely on others to fix this for us. It’s time to rethink activism, rethink what it means to be human, and find new ways to create the change we need to see.

To start with, we need to engage a much broader segment of society — we need to engage ourselves — in the work that needs to be done. And we need to learn from our mistakes, share our knowledge, take more risks, and be more alive.

We need people out in the world ready to get things wrong and ready to challenge the traditional ways of doing things. If we can do that, we may begin to live up to the beautiful potential we have inside us.

I haven’t given up on being human — not yet.

matt August 6, 2012 Filed in Thoughts Leave a Comment