As I said I would in my last post, I testified yesterday before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming as part of a hearing on biofuels. And Adam Garnder of Guster was sitting there on the witness panel with me. In fact he spoke first and probably the most eloquently.
Adam and his wife started Reverb, a non-profit that helps bands green their tours by helping them use biodiesel in their buses, offsetting carbon emissions, setting up educational eco-villages outside of concerts, and other cool stuff. During his oral testimony, he talked about about how people from band members to students were getting inspired and taking action but also looking to Congress for leadership. I would assume that the transcript of this statement and his written testimony will be available on the Committee web site (link above) soon, I would recommend them to anyone worried about "kids these days" or generally feeling pessimistic.
(If you're feeling down, don't read the latest Global Environmental Outlook from UNEP. Here's a quote from the press release:
It salutes the world’s progress in tackling some relatively straightforward problems, with the environment now much closer to mainstream politics everywhere. But despite these advances, there remain the harder-to-manage issues, the “persistent” problems. Here, GEO-4 says: “There are no major issues raised in Our Common Future for which the foreseeable trends are favourable.”
In addition to Adam's testimony you could also read my recent post on optimism and environmentalism.)
Here's my written testimony and I'll give more details on the policy issues discussed at the hearing in another post soon, but first two confessions:
First, despite NRDC have this super hip web site, I actually didn't know who Guster was before being invited to the hearing. My girls are too young to be introducing me to band and I'm too old to somehow just know important pop culture. So my first question to a friend on the Committee's staff was if Guster was a new biofuels company that I hadn't heard of. How embarrassing.
Second, when I got to the hearing, there was a line down the hall and around the corner of young staffers, and I started to get nervous. Talking to some of my legislative heros such as Rep. Markey and Rep. Inslee was nervous-making enough; talking in front a packed house would be too much. I started thinking that maybe I didn't like being on the same panel with a rock star. Turns out the throngs were actually there for a hearing on the Armenian genocide at which Secretary of State Rice testified and was confronted by Code Pink.
Now for your viewing pleasure, here's a Guster music video: