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green@work : Magazine : Between Blue & Yellow : July/August 2001

Between Blue and Yellow
Caution: Optimism Ahead!

by Katie Sosnowchik
Editorial Director

The recent downturn in the economy naturally prompts recollections of similar times. Usually in the midst of a tough period, a “battle cry” emerges that is quoted and then regurgitated in countless ways through many forms of communication. Remember these? “Work smarter, not harder.” “Exceptional times call for exceptional efforts by exceptional people.”

Despite the doomsayers’ reports, we cannot help but remain optimistic about what lies ahead. Perhaps it is because, in the environmental arena at least, tough times have always been the norm. Making progress in this arena has never been easy, so why should today be any different?

Consider this adage from days past: “Every problem is an opportunity.” Certainly
this statement holds true today for both private and public sector organizations that are forging ahead with their pro-environmental initiatives regardless of what the current economy has to offer. In truth, our current situation is actually encouraging renewed efforts. The current administration’s stance on the environment has rekindled the fires for some who had become rather complacent during President Clinton’s more pro-environmental era. For others, the economy has prompted closer scrutiny of the bottom line—including the recognition of the positive impact that environmental efforts can have on it. The debate regarding the Kyoto Protocol has, without a doubt, magnified attention on the issue of global warming, moving it front-and-center in the media and, thus, on the public agenda.

What happens in the long-term depends greatly on what we do now in the short-term. So at green@work, we’ve chosen as our current battle cry a quote from one of the greatest optimists and thinkers in our nation’s history, Benjamin Franklin, who noted, “Well done is better than well said.”


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