2006 was a banner year in increasing awareness about sustainability, the importance and significant impact of energy policy, and increasing governmental support for sustainable approaches to living. Actually, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times beat me to calling 2006 the year of green:
“. . . I think the most important thing to happen this past year was that living and thinking ‘green’ – that is, mobilizing for the environmental/energy challenge we now face – hit Main Street.
“No more. We reached a tipping point this year – where living, acting, designing, investing and manufacturing green came to be understood by a critical mass of citizens, entrepreneurs and officials as the most patriotic, capitalistic, geopolitical, healthy, and competitive thing they could do. Hence my own motto: ‘Green is the new red, white, and blue.'”
– “And the Color of the Year Is…”, The New York Times, Friday, December 22, 2006, Page A31
2006 was the year when biodiesel saw drastic increases in popularity; when Wal-Mart began to sell compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs); when the Environmental Protection Agency, for the first time in years, rethought the way it assessed automobile fuel efficiency; when awareness no longer confined itself to a select group.
Up to this point, issues of how we spent our energy resources were on the back burner and not widely understood. No longer can this remain true after the spotlight has focused so squarely on what sustainability means and what still needs to be done.