What is the Most Crucial Environmental Issue Today?

Guest Blog by Doris Lee McCoy, Ph.D. 4/28/2012

Dr. Zhengrong Shi, a champion of green energy, is the founder and CEO of SunTech Power, which is the world’s largest producer of solar panels; when it comes to dedication to the environment, there is no one finer. His story, which is detailed in VISIONARIES CHANGE THE WORLD: Making Commitments and Taking Action, is truly remarkable.

Dr. Shi was born in a poor farming family in rural China, but he was born to be a scientist. Today, he is one of the forerunners of solar technology, and countries all over the world are asking for his help. I have long since been concerned about the environment, and I welcomed this chance to speak with such a visionary on the subject: What, I asked him, is the most crucial environmental issue that we face today?

His answer was unequivocal. “Climate change,” he responded, “is number one. It requires the strongest effort and the longest time to combat.  For example, if we say a lake is polluted, maybe we can fix it within a year or two. But climate change is on a macro-scale, so it requires everybody on the earth to act upon it – if only you and I do something about it, it is not enough.”

In order to solve climate change and improve the environment in a meaningful way, Dr. Shi said we need to make personal changes. “We can always talk about reducing pollution and changing our lifestyles, but I think in order for this to happen, we need to have an internal change of fundamental thinking,” he said. “If a person does not change their fundamental beliefs or thinking, then how we should live is probably half of the issue.”

Education, he says, is key. If the average consumer becomes just a little more conscious, and makes little changes in his or her life, it can have a big impact – which is reflected in his company’s structure.

“In our company, we have a rule: For any office which has windows and natural light, in the daytime we’re not allowed to switch the lights on,” he said. Staff are also encouraged to bring in their own cups, instead of bottled water. “My point is, we just need to be a little careful.” And so I said goodbye to Dr. Shi, a great scientist.

Read more about Dr. Shi and the others in the book, VISIONARIES CHANGE THE WORLD.  You can purchase the e-book for Kindle here and for NOOK here, and access the full interview.

Dr. Doris Lee McCoy is a sought-after speaker/consultant who has a passion for sharing the stories of influential leaders with enthusiasm, hope, and a positive outlook. She is known for her energy and personal warmth, and all her speeches are tailored to her specific audience. She uses examples from her interviews with influential leaders and brings an exclusive insider’s look into the famous stories which have shaped our world’s history.

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