Brown, Gore claim green opportunity could help financial crisis

Legal News Line Sep. 30, 2008, 10:53am

Jerry Brown (D)

Al Gore (D)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Legal Newsline)--California Attorney General Jerry Brown and former Vice President Al Gore enjoyed enthusiastic support from the crowd recently gathered in the Silicon Valley for a convention touting the future in green-building, development and economic opportunity.

Gore, who was Saturday's keynote speaker said today's financial crisis can be a gateway to tomorrow's environmentally responsible economy.

"We need to stop bailing on the financial crisis and bail in green energy," Gore told the large crowd at the convention center. "Green revolution is the solution to the financial crisis."

And as the solution, Gore said, worthy of greater attention from political leaders. He said the planet's environment crisis is akin to the current financial one, but with proper investment could lead to a vast, growing and sustainable new economy.

"I actually do think that the green revolution is the solution to the financial crisis," Gore said, the national security crisis, the debt crisis and the climate crisis. They are all connected."

Gore spoke at an event billed as the largest venue for innovation, building, business and design, according to the organization's Web site. Professionals from the real estate and development industries attended, with a terrific number of vendors touting the latest in environmentally sensitive products.

"The packed venue was brimming with enthusiasm and energy," Marian Bennett, a Coldwell Banker agent, said.

Brown, who spoke before Gore, challenged those in attendance to think differently about the future, in particular with an understanding that consumerism and growth had taken its toll.

"Everything has a limit," Brown said. "Our bodies have a limit. The earth's resources have a limit. Self limitation. When you perceive that enough is enough. We have to understand the limits that define our reality. We are exceeding those limits."

Gore praised Brown's speech, which had the crowd roaring with applause and approval. Brown said times have changed since he was governor of California during the 1970s and 1980s, when California's Legislature passed tax credits for solar installation and business conservation, along with standards for building and appliances.

"The end result was California became the most energy efficient state in the country," Brown said.

Federal government under then-President Ronald Reagan, whom Brown had followed into the governor's mansion, preempted California's standards, Brown said.

"They said we want our own standard and our standard is no standard," Brown said. "Can you believe that? A no standard standard preempted the California standard. And that's where we are. The Federal Government has been at war with American independence, energy independence and efficiencies for the last 25 years, and that's a fact. That's why we are so dependent on the people over there in the Middle East."

In addition to the slate of speakers, entrepreneurs and other attendees had plenty to see and learn during the convention that attracted "green" businesses of all stripes, including building products, Internet resources, product cooperatives and even insurance that offers incentives for green building practices.

"Even though we were there for three days," Cherie Young, a marketing consultant from Southern California said, "there was not enough time to see all the innovative products for living green. Many of these products are very affordable and considerably reduce the costs of rising electricity bills. It is no longer a fad to get off the grid."

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