Climate Change wizard of oz

Published on June 9th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Cleantech & The Wizard of Oz

June 9th, 2012 by  

I was recently invited (twice) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to enter an article in the 2012 IUCN-Thomson Reuters Environmental Media Award competition. The winner will go to South Korea to attend the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress (6-15 September), the world’s most important conservation event,… with all expenses covered! That would be awesome, of course. However, I’m not exactly expecting to win — it looks like I need to get at least a few thousand votes on my submission (“Cleantech & The Wizard of Oz”) on the IUCN Facebook page by next Friday in order to win (yes, a vote or more would be appreciated).

Anyway, while I could submit a previously written article to the competition, the opportunity got me thinking a bit, and I decided to write this piece for it instead:

Cleantech & The Wizard of Oz

wizard of oz
The lion’s courage, the tin man’s heart, and the scarecrow’s brain were critical to Dorothy and the gang reaching their goal in The Wizard of Oz. However, as you might remember, the lion’s courage, the tin man’s heart, and the scarecrow’s brain were supposedly nonexistent at the beginning of the story. It wasn’t until the end that it was acknowledged by these characters that they had these qualities and essential organs in them all along. Importantly, however, when needed throughout the course of the story, these characters’ hearts, brains, and courage were used to move the team forward.

Where’s the connection to cleantech? Well, it’s more than clear at this point that: 1) there is a massive effort by those in fossil fuel industries or strongly connected to them (i.e. certain political leaders) to undermine and stop (or slow) a cleantech revolution; 2) many still incorrectly think and claim that cleantech isn’t capable of solving the global warming, water, and numerous related crises we are facing; 3) the public and the ‘good’ political leaders we have are yet to show that they care enough about these crises to cut fossil fuel subsidies and push cleantech into the position it is set to take.

Cleantech is critical to solving our global warming crisis, our growing water crisis, and the many, many related wildlife and environment crises we are facing.

At this point, all we really need is the courage to stand up to the rich fossil fuel industries; the brains to realize that cleantech is the most crucial element in stopping global warming (that it really could power the world) and is also critical to addressing our growing water shortages; and the heart to care enough about humanity and the rest of nature to take action before it is too late.

The challenge is not small. But what good story is without a challenge?

The goal is attainable. And we actually do have all we need in order to reach our important destination. (Of course, Dorothy and her red shoes could also be of some help — I’ll let you decide what they represent.)

Image Credit: garlandcannon 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media:, .

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