Much of environmentalism is about long-term thinking. If you are looking for a meta-narrative, I’d say most people who define themselves as environmentalists are motivated by the desire to see something they love — clean air, beautiful places, whales, or whathaveyou — stick around a bit longer.

That’s why I think the Long Now Foundation, dedicated to the promotion of long-term thinking, is one of the coolest organizations around.

Check out their projects. For example, they are building a 10,000 year clock. This should appeal to chronic snooze-button-hitters.

And they take bets on the future — some concerning the Red Sox, others less prosaic. Paul Hawken bets we’ll be hearing from our intergalactic neighbors by 2050, just in time to save us from the great ice age of 2100.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Check out Jigar Shah’s bold prediction that “by 2020, 75% of all incremental new generation will come from renewable/sustainable energy in the U.S.” I hope he’s right. But I’m not putting any money on it.