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The Power of Green Philanthropy
Hello, optimism. Goodbye, doom, gloom and futile handwringing. Green philanthropy is suddenly hot, as it takes on the climate crisis with big money and fresh tactics.
Okay, I'm a little dazzled by the high-profile individuals and corporations who've stepped up to tackle global warming. Suddenly, they're pledging billions of dollars to seek bold new approaches for the problem.The wealthy and visionary seem prepared to give green now so we can all live greener later.
Here's a quick recap of the latest:
- Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson pledged $3 billion to help solve climate crisis. He's also pushing for immediate changes, such as towing airplanes to the runway before take-off so they'll no longer idle on the tarmac.
- Google.org, Google's new philanthropic arm, will put part of its $1 billion in seed money toward a flex-fuel, plug-in hybrid powered by electricity or biofuels. They also established themselves as a for-profit charity — a decision experts say could revolutionize philanthropy.
- The Clinton Global Inititative, which includes climate change issues, tapped superstars and captains of industry for $7.3 billion (including the $3 billion from Branson.)
I'm excited to see these and other corporate kingpins shift their focus to eco-issues. Their support will undoubtedly lead to greater public awareness. And they have the money, influence, and resources to prompt significant change.
The reality is that you and I can (and should) take public transportation and unplug our electrical cords. But our combined efforts would still be a drop in the ocean compared to preventing jetliners from idling on the runway or developing clean biofuels.
Let's face it: It's not easy to be a good global citizen, day-in, day-out. But even when it's a burden, most of us continue to try our best and keep the faith. Knowing that the world's power-brokers are joining the struggle makes the burden easier to bear and the faith easier to keep.