Tag Archives: change

From Hulk to Activist – Mark Ruffalo

To create a healthier, sustainable future individuals must awaken and embody their beliefs by their everyday choices. It also requires the work of visionaries and activists, like Mark Ruffalo, who use their voices and activism to manifest change and inspire others to answer their own inner-call.

Mark’s story is BIG and STRONG. You may know Mark Ruffalo best as “Hulk” in the movie Avengers I & II, in addition to other leading roles (The Kids are Alright is my favorite). While I love his films, I’m most impressed with how Mark has used Hollywood acclaim as a foundation from which to make the world a better place. In addition to acting and filmmaking – Mark’s a powerful humanitarian, environmentalist and Activist!

I met him years ago through his work trying to green New York by leading the fight against fracking and then his work with the Solutions Project inspired by Stanford, my alma mater, where I got the green bug.

I was excited to interview Mark Ruffalo for my first Regen360 podcast to learn more about him and his realistic plans for making the change to green energy using the technology we have right now and not toxic to our aquifers and health.

You can listen to my full interview with Mark on REGEN360 Podcast Episode 1. Below are some of the highlights.

Mark’s Hears the Call Early

As a boy in 1970s Kenosha, Wisconsin, Mark had a passionate love of nature.

At the time, me and my friends formed a little group called, “The Foresters”…our dream was to…protect the forests. This power plant was [in Kenosha] and I started to notice…how it degraded the vibrancy of the life there. I think that was probably where my environmentalism started.

Mark’s grandmother lived on Lake Michigan, and during visits, he noticed fish and lakeside wildlife had growths and sores that weren’t natural. The more he paid attention he realized environmental pollution was destroying life as we know it.

You Can Effect Change

Through his early participation in movements to reduce pollution, change emissions policies for coal power plants, and clean up Lake Michigan, Mark was struck by the reality, “you could effect change…you could be a steward of your environment…there were things that could be done – and we did a lot.” The Lake Michigan’s clean water and the disappearance of cancer-ridden fish and dead birds were evidence of this.

Eventually, Mark moved his family to New York, had a successful acting career and decided it was time to put his social conscience to work making a difference in the global community.

I had three kids; it wasn’t just me and my wife anymore…and I don’t like the future that’s being promised to us today by continued fossil fuel usage and our mass consumption…I want to change that.

The Solutions Project is a Powerful Movement for Change

The Solutions Project is exactly that – a platform for creating plan-based solutions for the entire US. Their plans for all 50 states include:

  • Take each state to 100% renewable energy by 2050, based on the technology available today.
  • Creating millions of jobs
  • Saving 250,000 lives per year by reducing fossil fuel pollution-related deaths.
  • Saving the country millions (potentially trillions) in healthcare costs by mitigating pollution.

One of the organization’s goals is to create viable plans that acknowledge not everyone is a “tree-hugger,” meaning global solutions need to make good business sense.

Walmart doesn’t put solar on all their stores because they’re tree-huggers. They [do it] because it stabilizes their costs for long-term energy – and that’s good business.

Mark learned this lesson in the midst of the hydro-fracking fight. He realized a significant percentage of the population doesn’t want to sacrifice anything to change the lives they’re living now. Thus, environmental arguments and solutions must be universally viable. This led him to partner up with VP of Tesla, Marco Krapels, Stanford expert, Mark Jacobsen and other visionaries – eventually founding Solutions Project.

True Change Requires Concrete Plans – Not Theories

Mark points out we need a second industrial revolution to clean up the mess of the first, and the unbelievable reality that in the decades of theorizing and talking about it – nobody has broken out with a realistic, do-able, real-life plan – until now.

We can…theorize…all day long…it’s a topic of conversation. But once you have a plan backed by some entity or university, like Stanford, now you have a deep science to…create a debate that has credibility...it actually shows you how you can do it.

With their plan, you don’t bring on new fossil-fuel technologies when the old ones become obsolete – you replace obsolete fossil-fuel technology with green technology.

It’s very gentle, it’s very elegant…it’s not asking anyone to give up anything…just to begin using what’s available.

This can all be done with wind, water and sun – and each state uses its own resource to make the plan a reality. There’s absolutely zero need for fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Best of all, this is all available to us today.

Replace Doom & Gloom with Abundance

I love how Mark wants to transform the doom and gloom approach the environmental movement is known for with a vision of the abundance waiting for us on the other side.

The bottom line is a future including fossil fuels is a brutal and ugly one – but switching to the green energy model right now immediately equals a positive future where many global health issues are obliterated,  Mother Nature is honored and protected, and humanity achieves liberation and abundance.

I’m grateful to the fossil fuel industry for giving us the 70-years that brought us through the…technological revolution. Now we can evolve…

What a treat it was to discuss these and other issues with Mark. It’s time for us to support the plans put forth by the Solutions Project for a completely practical – not to mention kinder and healthier – future.

Don’t forget to check out this (Episode #1) and other inspiring interviews with our world’s leading environmental visionaries at REGEN360’s Podcasts. Are you ready to let REGEN360 help your vision become part of a greener, more sustainable movement? Sign up for my priority waitlist to create your own legacy.

Episode 50 Bob Berkebile

I’ve always found mentors a critical part to navigating the life journey. They provide rare insight, wisdom, and perspective. If you’re lost, they can help you regain your path. And if you want to make a big change, or take the risk, they often have encouraging and sage words. But finding outstanding mentors is a hard task.

I feel like our planet and certainly the U.S. right now needs a mentor. And maybe you do too. We’re losing the battle in many fronts and lost at sea in terms of politics and global warming runamuck. Hurricane Harvey and Irma punched us hard, taking life and life-sustaining that we take for granted for Houston, St. Martins, South Florida and beyond.

The now regular and increasingly powerful hurricanes are a BIG wakeup call for all of us, and not just those directly impacted. However, did we hear the CALL? And will we have the insight to change our standard practices that are causing harm? More than ever, time feels shorter.

In this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show, my dialog is with one of my favorite sustainability gurus and mentors, Bob Berkebile. We talk about rebuilding after Harvey and Irma and lessons learned from the dozen cities Bob has worked with to boost resilience by minimizing disasters and rebuilding. We also talk about deep issues like passion, purpose and legacy building. Bob Berkebile is a founding principal of BNIM Architects in Kansas City. He was the founding chairman of AIA’s Committee on the Environment [COTE], and is now an urban renewal developer reviving mixed-use communities.

Bob Berkebile is now in his fourth decade of work as a designer, developer and thought leader. He never seems to tire at innovation based on vision, spirit, and inspiration. In this special Regen360 interview Bob gives us needed clarity and hope!

To rebuilding with resiliency!

David Gottfried