Cylvia Hayes

Cylvia Hayes is founder and CEO of 3EStrategies. She is also the First Lady of Oregon.

West Coast Leaders Providing Trickle Up Leadership

Monday in San Francisco four elected officials boldly went where few politicians will these days – they talked openly and passionately about the urgent need to take action on climate change including putting a price on carbon.   As California governor Jerry Brown noted, “To utter the term Global Warming is deviant and radical!” But utter those words they did.  Brown was joined by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and British Columbia Premier, Christy Clark, all of whom signed the signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy.  The plan lays out an ambitious agenda including …

Why Congress Reminds Me of NASCAR

NASCAR and Congress have much in common. They both go round and round in circles burning up vast amounts of resources without ever really going anywhere. Both are driven by big-monied sponsors although only the racing companies are transparent about who those sponsors are. NASCAR is implementing a host of green measures to try to compensate for the fact that its cars get 5 miles per gallon and emit enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses.   Similarly Republican Congress members bluster and grandstand trying to divert attention away from the damage being inflicted by the Tea Partyers. The fact that both of …

Irony and Idiocy

Sometimes I can only shake my head at the irony of our species calling itself Homo Sapiens, meaning “wise man”, given the sheer idiocy of so many of our actions. Fellow Grist contributor John Upton just posted a report on the massive and ongoing tar sands oil spill near Cold Lake Alberta.   Nobody seems to know how to stop it because it is the result of a relatively new process of pressurizing underground oil reserves.  In this process thousands of gallons of superhot, high-pressure steam are injected deep underground.  This liquefies the hard bitumen and creates cracks through which it …

Dalai Lama and a Suicidal Economy

A few days ago I met the Dalai Lama.  He held my hand and embraced me.  Then I drove past the broken body of a person who had just killed himself by jumping off a building. Two days earlier I sat in a packed auditorium for the opening day of the Dalai Lama’s Spirituality and the Environment conference.  That was the same day that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose above 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. The contrast between His Holiness’ message of compassion and the damage we are inflicting on ourselves and the earth …

Pacific Northwest paying high price for carbon emissions

It is ironic that despite relatively progressive clean energy policies the West Coast is paying an unusually high price for global carbon emissions. Ocean water off the Pacific coast has absorbed so much carbon that it is becoming acidic enough to melt the shells of sea creatures. Our national and global addiction to fossil fuel and unwillingness to seriously reduce carbon emissions is taking its toll, right here, in real time, with profound implications for the Pacific Ocean. The oceans act like a massive sponge soaking up airborne carbon. As carbon dissolves in the ocean it forms carbonic acid. Once …

Measuring What Matters

Confucius once said, “We are so busy doing the urgent that we don’t have time to do the important.”  I haven’t been able to get that comment out of my mind as I watch the “Fiscal Cliff” shenanigans.  Our faltering economy has been a central concern for the last several years.  But the focus of that concern has been on the urgent, the short-term, the cliff a few feet away, with no serious attention paid to the very important fact that there are fundamental flaws in the underpinnings of our economic system.  If we don’t address them we will face …

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