As so often happens, you find treasure where you least expect it. It happened to us at the final session on the final day of the Netroots Nation conference in Austin.
Environmental activist, Van Jones, was the featured speaker at the final plenary session. Jones is the founder and president of Green for All, which is dedicated to “building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift millions out of poverty.”
He was, by turns, funny, provocative,serious, challenging, and thought-provoking. Sometimes all in the same few sentences!
The main thrust of his speech was the challenge of building a Green New Deal coalition that would bring together disparate groups united in a goal of energy independence, sustainability, and fighting poverty.
He admitted that it won't be easy; we have tremendous political and corporate forces ready to fight us at every turn. And he challenged us, the assembled bloggers, to step up to that challenge.
View excerpts of his speech and learn more….
Now, this is a 7 minute video, and I know that people with slower connections will wonder if it's worth the bother. I wondered too because it took 2 $%#@ hours to upload using my satellite connection.
IT IS WORTH IT!! This guy is awesome!
A few tasty quotes to whet your appetite for more Van Jones:
Best one first:
“I don't want a president who can fix everything. Right now, I'd just like to have a president who didn't break everything! … thinking about Obama… I really don't know why he would want the job! Trying to clean up after Bush/Cheney… “is going to be like cleaning out a barn with a straw!”
“A new day is dawning in this country…. Our challenge is to build a green New Deal coalition and it's just waiting to be pulled together…. You bloggers are an integral part of its success…. and now you've done screwed up… cause you're gonna win…. It's the challenge to move from opposition to proposition; from protest to governing…. Our moral challenge: how to hold on to each other as we also hold each other accountability. The power of our own personal agenda is our opportunity.
They've had their turn! It's our turn now!
The entire speech is available at the Netroots Nation site. If you have the bandwidth and an extra half hour, give it a look too.
Listen to more of what he has to say, and think about it. Are we up to this challenge?
We'd better be.