was eating lunch at the Dick Clark Rock n Roll restaurant
in the Salt Lake City airport in December just as CNN was airing
the Bin Laden confession complete with subtitles.
This chilling episode was made all the more surreal as Bin Ladens
eerie, evil presence was backed up by The Supremes. The entire
assembly of hungry travelers was left to read the unthinkable
while the best of Motown played on.
Having lost my appetite, I pondered what other music might be more
appropriatemaybe something like Yesterday by The
Beatles? Or perhaps the old tune that begins Try to remember
the time in September when life was young and oh so mellow . . .
But having just left the Electric Transportation Industry Conference
(ETIC), where I was inspired by the advances to which automakers
are committed, those sad tunes would not domy optimism was
still high. As atrocious as September 11th was, and as hard as it
is to fathom someone as morally bankrupt as Bin Laden inarguably
is, I couldnt help but think that it is wrong to allow melancholy
to take over our collective countenance. I resolved to finish my
salad and consider all the good things happening in America.
For example, President Bush recently signed Brownfield legislation
that will help improve the use of blighted parts of our cities;
he has also committed funds to further develop fuel cell technology.
ETIC participants must surely be as encouraged by this legislation
as we are by their pledge to continue to advance fuel efficiency
and alternative fuels. I also am heartened by the astute observance
offered by Gregg Pascal Zachary, a journalist with The Wall Street
Journal, who spoke at the Business for Social Responsibilitys
conference advocating the need for hope journalismthe
need for the American press to find positive stories when reporting
on sustainability. I took his message as affirmation of what we
have been doing for two years and what we will continue to offer:
hope, promise and examples of the pioneering spirit of American
As I ponder our progress, I consider the privilege of being a forum
for delivering this good news. And I find myself humming a different
tune: I think to myself, what a wonderful world . . .