"We are losing our attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation and thus we no longer manage to interpret within it what Benedict XVI calls 'the rhythm of the love-story between God and man.'"
+ Pope Francis
Working with “the business side of green”
Well, tonight was awesome. I was invited to watch a live-broadcast of amazing folks chatting about local wind projects. What they said had global implications and lessons for all. To top it off, the event was the brainchild of a business leaders working to keep the planet and its people healthy and happy.
“The Business of Wind and the Ocean State” brought together the CEO of the United States’ first off-shore wind farm (that is, off-shore of Rhode Island, my home state); the West Warwick Town Manager (my home town), who discussed his community’s wind project that will supply all the town’s municipal energy needs; a Rhode Island economic official that specializes in making renewable energy work for everyone; and an author (and former editorial editor for the Providence Journal) who chronicled the rise and fall of an off-shore wind project in Massachusetts.
Their insights and expertise made the hour pass too quickly as we in the audience couldn’t get enough of how Rhode Island is making waves in the renewable world.
(You should hear it all for yourself. I’ll post the link to the broadcast when it’s made available.)
But here’s what was even more important: Our host was the Arpin Group and the event’s sponsor was RenewableNow.biz. In other words, we were hosted by the business community for an event sponsored by the business community. And this being Rhode Island, where everyone knows everyone else, one of the principals behind both the Arpin Group and RenewableNow is my friend and fellow parishioner Peter Arpin.
Peter is all business. But he’s also all sustainability, all renewable, and all green. He’s also an all-around great guy. A devoted Catholic, he's an evangelist of not just the Gospel but of sustainable business and personal practices. He seamlessly ties together his faith, passion for the planet, and business savvy in ways that offer witness to an eco-world that is often suspicious of business.
“Our mission is to educate, promote, and report on the positive growth that results when moving towards a more sustainable future, both economically and socially,” says the mission statement at RenewableNow, which seeks to showcase the "business side of green."
“We believe that there are tremendous business opportunities when it comes to the green economy, opportunities that will result in creating millions of new jobs and providing an environmentally responsible manner in which to grow from.”
There’s much I could say about Peter and his colleagues. For now, here's the takeaway: Tonight’s wind-power panel was just one example of what the business community can do to help bring about a future without fossil fuels. In fact, Peter said as much in his opening comments: It’s not only possible to make a world of clean, renewable energy; we have to do it for the planet, and it makes good business sense to do so. And it can only happen if we all work together.
I know some in the eco-activist world are wary of the business community. Why wouldn't you? Many in the business community have done great, great harm to people and the world.
But not all businesses. There are many upright business leaders that get it right. And we, my friends, must cheer and support them.
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About the Blog
Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.