Looking A little Green

Taking the Sierra Club's helm, boy wonder Adam Werbach confronts more than his own inexperience

Knowing the questions, he and Isaac agree, is key.
"I think it's important to be able to state things succinctly," Hazard says.
"If you really want to use that to help change, you have to make it accessible," Werbach says.

"I think saying things clearly is more important than saying them shortly," Hazard says.

It is possible, of course, that problems are actually solvable. Not for nothing is despair a sin. But despair pretends to wisdom's throne. So much more fashionable to say nothing can be done than to try and fail. Werbach knows that people are watching him. That there are those who want him to fail. Every day, he says, he fails in one way or another. Eight months from now, he says, picking a number out of the air -- eight months from now, if there is still cryptosporidium in San Francisco's water, then he will have failed. If he can't instill a sense of hope into this country, he will have failed. If he can't get people to take responsibility for themselves, he will have failed. His goals seem huge. His passion -- well, his passion, for better or for worse, is what he has to see this through.

"Safe drinking water. It's so fucking simple it blows my mind," Werbach says. "Air and water. Let's talk basics here. I want to be able to breathe. I want to be able to drink."

"I want to think more about why people care about trees so much," Werbach says. "I really don't know.

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