Both problems face real challenges, but those don't necessarily include one another.
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Last week I participated in the Fortune Brainstorm GREEN conference, a two-and-a-half day meeting in California that brought together money people, inventors, CEOs, chief sustainability officers, journalists, and policy analysts to talk about what is going on in the world of clean and green tech. The meeting struck me as unusual for a couple of reasons.
First, there was a lot of positive energy--no pun intended--engendered primarily by the inventor types and CEOs (not surprising, I suppose, since they are the ones actually involved in creating things), as well as the sustainability officers who are always thinking about how to make their companies do more with less. Of course people were concerned about the future of clean energy given the lack of a multi-year commitment to supporting clean tech research and development and deployment from Washington. However, overwhelmingly, the participants were committed to making economic growth and environmental protection work together, and brought a can-do attitude to the table. This was a pleasant respite from life along the Northeast Corridor, where the dominant refrain is less "yes we can" and more "no you can't."