Sierra Summit

Conversations and observations about California's mountains

April 22, 2009
Speaking about energy and climate (Phil Angelides)
As an environmental journalist, I listen to a lot of speeches about energy and climate. But many, sad to say, are not that energetic. Some, in fact, are more dull than insightful - filled with detail but short on vision. It's unfortunate that subjects so important to our future are discussed in ways that don't connect with the public.  
But every so often, someone surprises me. Last month, that person was Phil Angelides, former treasurer of the state of California, former candidate for governor and now chairman of the Apollo Alliance, a group of environmental, labor, business and community leaders working to bring more "green-collar" jobs to California. On March 18, Angelides delivered a speech to the Green California Summit and Exposition in Sacramento in which he talked about the promise of green technology in the Golden State. But unlike other speakers, Angelides delivered his message in crisp, clear sentences, avoided jargon and even worked in a little humor, at one point telling the audience how California's embrace of green energy is like high school sex.  "Everybody's talking about it, but not that many people are doing it." But most importantly, he delivered his talk with an alternate form of energy often missing from energy and climate presentations today - a passion for the subject at hand. 

To hear some excerpts from Angelides' talk, including his humor, click on the play button here:

To listen to the whole speech, click here:

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About Sierra Summit

The Author
Tom Knudson lives in the Sierra Nevada and travels widely throughout the range. His hobbies include fly-fishing, backpacking and cross-country skiing. He is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes, one for a 1992 Sacramento Bee series "Sierra in Peril," a watershed work about environmental threats to the mountain range. E-mail Tom at

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