THE LAZY ENVIRONMENTALIST : Lazy Principal
THE LAZY ENVIRONMENTALIST, hosted by Josh Dorfman, screens Tuesdays at 9PM on Sundance Channel.
Episode two is definitely one of my favorites. In “Lazy Principal” I get to hang out with kids, gauge their point of view, and see how effectively I can engage them in environmental action. I’m also helped by my good friend and outstanding green innovator and teacher, Mike O’Brien, who I call upon to help me implement change in a classroom and in other areas around the school.
I’ve felt for a long time that if you put ten ten-year olds in a room and task them with coming up with an action plan for solving global warming, they’d probably devise something significantly more innovative and imaginative than anything a roomful of so-called experts would ever do. And since innovative and imaginative thinking is precisely what we need to solve one of the most profound challenges of our time, I get inspired when I get to hear from smart kids.
I say this because I truly believe that we already have all of the technology we need to solve global warming. Sure, we’ll keep inventing more technological solutions, but when I look at how a company like Solar City, for example, has already found a way to reduce the cost of putting solar panels on our homes to zero money upfront and a low-monthly fee that helps homeowners instantly start saving money through the use of clean, renewable energy, I see no good reason why all Americans shouldn’t be able to quickly have solar panels on their homes. And when I look at how the city of Boston is putting free WiFi on its commuter trains to incentivize people to commute by train instead of by car – a measure that significantly cuts greenhouse gas emissions, I see no good reason why every other city in American can’t implement the same solution right away. It doesn’t require any investment in developing new green technology. It just requires that we think smarter and apply the technology we already have in innovative ways. Besides, the city of Boston is going to recoup its $15 million investment to outfit its trains in a matter of months as a result of increased ticket sales. We need more quick solutions like these, and I believe that kids with unencumbered imaginations are a terrific resource to tap for novel ideas.
The Principal, Mr. Haddad, also happens to be a very cool dude who is really invested in providing an outstanding educational experience for his students. When he took the job he was one of the youngest Principals in the country, so he’s not afraid of big challenges. His two kids also attend the school and he went there as a student as well, so he’s committed on many levels to making this school as good as it can possibly be. Still, before I began working with him he hadn’t figured out how to implement a solid environmental program. So the stakes were pretty high. As he says to me early on in the segment, he is willing to hear me out and evaluate my recommendations but he would be extremely disappointed if all I ended up doing was wasting his and his teacher’s time with impractical suggestions. I thought it went pretty well. After you watch it, I’ll be curious to know what you think.
Lastly, while filming this episode I had my first encounter with Lazy Environmentalist fans. I was sitting outside on the playground taking a break while the crew went off to film something with Mr. Haddad when I was suddenly surrounded by a pack of wild-eyed, five-year old kindergarten girls who began climbing all over me like I was the new jungle gym. More and more kept gathering and suddenly I was swarmed. As I stood up to try to create some space they began following me at which point I started to run and they started to give chase. It was also at this point that the film crew came back and Natalia, our Co-Executive Producer, told the camera guys to start filming. So my big moment with my little fans is captured on film though I’m not sure it makes into the episode. Still, there are some pretty goods bits with the kids that did make it into the final cut. It was a lot of fun.
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