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Posts Tagged ‘environmental’

By now, I have become accustomed to the sight. Lots of men, and a few lost souls in skirts. I am referring to the various clean tech events I am fond of attending in the Bay Area. Green being a new field, you would think women would have seized the opportunity, quick. Last year, earth2tech had a hard time coming up with a list of The Top 10 Women in Cleantech. Nancy Floyd, founder and managing director of cleantech VC Nth Power, and the woman who made it to the top of the list, knows this firsthand:

Since founding Nth Power in 1993, she has sat on more than 15 boards — and only one of her fellow directors was a woman. When we asked her if she’s ever felt intimidated by the male dominance in the field, she first replied, “No,” and then added, “but I do over prepare.”

In the green blogosphere, the landscape is not that much different. Of the top 15 green blogs, according to Technorati authority rankings, only three are the creation of sisters. Jill Fehrenbacher, at Inhabitat. Rebecca Carter, at Ecorazzi. And Heather Stephenson, with Jennifer Boulden, at Ideal Bite.

I was hoping women would shine in green nonprofits. I am familiar with Frances Beinecke, the head of NRDC, and assumed, wrongly, that she was the norm. Based on a review of executive teams for  Charity Navigator‘s 10 best managed environmental nonprofits, only one, Sustainable Harvest International, is led by a woman, Florence Reed

It appears, that !8 million cracks in the glass ceiling are not enough. Never mind, we shall be like ants, patiently building a different world, one tiny green step at a time. 

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The Huffington Post just published a very sweet interview of environmental artist and activist, Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Touching reminders of the beauty we live in, and also, of the degradation that is threatening it, Arthus-Bertrand’s spectacular aerial photos cannot leave one unmoved. It struck me that Arthus-Bertrand is playing a crucial role as environmental witness, whose pictures cause us to pause, and reflect on the state of our environment. From sprawling suburbs, that require us to drive everywhere, to our 24/7 pumping of oil, to the hopeful sight of a windmill covered landscape, . . . 

Yann Arthurs Bertrand - suburbs
Yann Arthurs Bertrand – suburbs
Yann Arthus-Bertrand - oil fields
Yann Arthus-Bertrand – oil fields
Yann Arthus-Bertrand - Windmills
Yann Arthus-Bertrand – Windmills

We can consume Arthus-Bertrand’s landscapes, and transform our impressions into action. We can also emulate Arthus-Bertrand and engage into environmental witnessing ourselves. Thanks to the Internet, and user friendly technology, it has become child play to record and broadcast scenes that strike us, in only a matter of minutes. Think YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, or blogging. 

Just imagine a world, where citizens all over, took the time to witness and share what they see with their fellow citizens. Action starts with information, and it is our great privilege and responsibility to make sure that all environmental crimes get recorded. That’s the least we can do. Someone, somewhere else, can take that information and run with it. 

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