He made the argument for a positive focus on sustainability, & skirting around the consequences if we don't act - or as he said in motorcyclist parlance, "don't focus on the guardrail".
(which ties into a comment Ken Caldeira made, several days back, on how metaphors can help understanding or hinder it.)
Here's how it went:
Like the rest of the sustainability folk, he's a "carrot" man - his view is, to build a movement you need to cut out the doom & gloom, and make it fun. You don't build subscribership for a magazine by focusing on doom & gloom; Mother Earth News flourishes because it gives its readers a resource that helps them take positive personal action toward helping the world.
"This [creating the positive vision] is not trivial";
"You start walking...start climbing the hill to get a perspective on a world we want our grandchildren to live in"; "idealize the destination; don't be realistic";
His Quaker Queries - to guide activities toward a positive future -
- is it beautiful?
- does it create abundance? (you need a surplus to be truly creative; if a business is undercapitalized, it can't afford to innovate)
- is it fair?
- is it contagious?
"we've allowed ourselves to become a tribe with limited membership"; "we need joyful messages".
Critiques of the talk - back here (plus Orlov's & Ruppert in same thread); also the following:
...these Quaker queries are all well & good - especially the last - but the problem, IMO, is that a fifth query - "is it effective?" - is missing; and while you might think effectiveness is covered by "is it contagious?", it's really not: contagion won't generate effectiveness, if that contagion is limited to particular groups.
And Welch's experience as a magazine publisher may be leading him astray: a publisher or author can have astounding success when even a small proportion of the population becomes a customer; but that small proportion isn't enough, for reducing greenhouse gases - we need essentially everyone participating. And the only way to get that, is with government policy.