Sunday, September 20, 2009


Wow, it has been a busy month since my last post. I apologize and am going to try to be more frequent. I was doing a pretty good job and then came August and now September. Vacations, lots of work, great weather …. I think you get the idea. It is also hard for me to get back into the rhythm once I stop. This is going to be a short post just to get the blogging juices flowing again.

Last week I got the opportunity to hear Paul Hawken speak in Portland at the Sustainable Industries Economic Forum. I’ll share with you a few things I picked up and/or found interesting.

First, did you know the U.S. Green Building Council is now the largest environmental NGO in the world? What an accomplishment for an organization just 16 years old. Hawkens asked the question, “Where are the other U.S. Green _____ councils?” This got me to thinking about the need for a U.S. Green CPA Council. We need leadership from every profession and CPAs could play an important role. Accounting is nothing more than storytelling with numbers and the story we’ve been telling has been woefully misleading.

Being in Portland, Paul also mentioned the green energy boom both here and around the country. How we are transforming our cities to be places where one can get almost everything they need without driving a car. One point I wrote down that seems super important is the fact that the future lied in a radical reduction on the demand side of the equation. We can’t achieve sustainability without addressing the demand side and this requires transformational social and policy change.

Mayor Sam Adams spoke briefly and addressed the city’s commitment to sustainability. Portland has committed to a 90 percent reduction (from 1990 levels) in CO2 by 2050. 90 percent! Thank you Mayor Adams. What is your city doing?

Dave Williams, CEO of ShoreBank Pacific, also spoke at the Forum. He mentioned how the top 4 banks control 60 percent of total deposits if you include the largest 25 banks. These giant banks control 40 percent of all deposits. Would the banking disaster have occurred were there a law to limit the scope and size of any bank to say 2.5% of total deposits? Because of the corporate domination of our political system, nothing has changed since the big meltdown. In fact, things have actually gotten worse and more concentrated.

It feels good to write again. I won’t take so long between posts. Now go out and change the world!

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