Getting green

By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 3, 2009

GIVEN RHODE ISLAND'S ADVANTAGES, WHAT HAS HAMPERED PROGRESS HERE? I think there's just a general inertia. I think people are just resistant to change and new ideas. But I think that there's a growing community that really wants to do the right thing. They want to live a high-quality lifestyle, have healthy communities for their families, minimize toxics, not create undue burdens for future generations.

THERE'S A LOT OF TALK ABOUT A NEW GREEN ECONOMY AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY. DO YOU THINK RHODE ISLAND CAN COMPETE WITH A PLACE LIKE BOSTON? I don't know the answer to that. I think RISD and Brown are both real assets. I think you start young, too. In one of the Scandinavian countries, even though they didn't have great [sunlight], they decided they were going to put solar panels on every school because they realized that the next generation of kids are the major decision-makers and they wanted them to really be comfortable in thinking about these things. Innovation and great ideas can come from any place.

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