Actress and eloquent activist Daryl Hannah provided the star quality to the opening of the Affordable Comfort, Inc, annual trade show in Baltimore, MD (on why to attend ACI). On stage with ACI director, Amy Fazio, Hannah talked about the importance of home performance for confronting the crises (climate crisis, ocean acidification crisis, water crisis, economic crisis …). To an appreciative audience, Hannah finished her comments
On every level, we’re confronting crises and you [the Home Perfomance industry] are at the forefront of the solution.
Hannah spoke to the importance of clarity of communication about home energy issues, stating that her touchstone is a good friend who “is caught up in her daily life, dealing with the kids, and just doesn’t have the interest or energy to learn about home energy use.” Thus, the criticality of keeping the message simple.
What is best for your pocket book and health is also best for the planet.
Complicating that simple message:
We’ve been undermined by Fortune 500 companies that have co-opted labels like Green, Eco-, and sustainability.
People try something and find out that it doesn’t live up to promises, there is a lack of integrity and too often it is all marketing BS, and they give up.
Sustainability is a term that Hannah attacked: “Sustainability implies keeping things stagnant. That is better than the path we’re own, where we’re creating problems, but do we really want to stand still. I, we want to thrive — all things to thrive. We can do that with the right choices.”
As to those choices, Hannah stated a hope for a shifting American dream.
The American Dream has been bigger is better … Super-sizing of our meals, of our energy use, of our homes has gotten us in really serious trouble. Hopefully, we’re in a reimagining phase where we will move to quality over quantity.
Fazio asked Hannah her impression of the Obama Administration’s work on climate and energy issues. Sidestepping the question, Hannah emphasized that she looked to individuals rather than politicians for solutions.
I never put my faith in politicians, especially after Citizens United with politicians ever more captured by the money flowing in … I believe that change will never come from the top, but when people learn and begin to force change.
After the session, when I asked her more directly about the absence of climate change from recent energy speeches, Hannah stated:
This is ridiculous. … Since when did science get so politicized. It isn’t like these scientists are pocketing money on climate science like political consultants are with Citizens United funds. Firemen don’t ask themselves whether a house is really burning when they see flames coming out the window and hear a child screaming. This is reality.
And, well, when asked directly about the Obama Administration’s lack of discussion of climate issues in the “All of the Above” energy discussion, Hannah had just two words: