by Laura Ray
“If 97 percent of doctors told you that you had cancer, would you wait around for the other 3 percent to agree before doing something about it?” So began Monday morning at the Climate Solutions 5th Annual Breakfast. Tom Steyer, billionaire and co-founder of Next Generation, is not afraid to raise eyebrows. His cancer analogy was in reference to political action (or rather, lack therefor of) to global warming — although 97% of climate scientists agree in global warming, some in D.C. want to wait until the other 3 percent agree before doing anything about it. But not in THIS Washington.
Everyone in the room that morning, in some way, was part of the movement toward finding solutions to what he proclaimed as one of the most significant issues facing our world today. Global warming, as he explained, is not just about the weather — it’s about food and water sources, and how intricately connected these things are to each other. But not all politicians are green naysayers. Jay Inslee, perhaps the greenest Governor in the nation, attended the event, urging the need for continued public policy. He and Steyer both agreed that the solution lay with the partnership between business and clean energy.
Talks of biofuel-powered airplanes and “poop-powered” dairy farms (did you know that ethanol form animal waste is more harmful to the world than CO2 emissions from cars?) were shared as examples of green solutions driving economy in our region. Actually using the waste from industry to power the industry itself. Companies like Boeing, Vulcan Inc. and McKinstry, and public entities such as Community Power Works, Seattle City Light and Sound Transit all participated in Monday’s breakfast — together working toward business solutions that will protect the environment as well as the economy.