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The Green Life: Oh, The Planet You'll Save

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May 22, 2009

Oh, The Planet You'll Save

Greengraduate  “We are the only species on the planet without full employment,” said Paul Hawken while delivering a commencement address to the University of Portland this May.

A bit dismal for group of people entering a dwindling job market, you say? Not so much. From this harsh reality, Hawken crafted a sense of great hope and possibility: “There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive,” he said, “You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring."

During his brief, impassioned speech, the environmentalist and entrepreneur urged graduates – and all of us – to join “the largest movement the world has ever seen” by working through numerous possible avenues – engineering, farming, social justice, government, and others – to “reconstitute the world.”

Heed the statistics about the environmental crisis, he said, but be fueled to act, rather than defeated, by their often staggering implications: “Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.”

Words to help save the planet by. To read the full speech, click here.

--Jamie Hansen

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