by Jim Greenberg
On the 60th anniversary of D-Day, during our trip to honor my Uncle Arthur, who was killed in the Normandy invasion, my son and I wept at the grave of Private J. Shon, a 22 year old Scotsman buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery. Laying among 4,647 other fallen soldiers from WW II, his tombstone was engraved with these few words: “He died the helpless to defend. A Scottish soldier’s noble end.” We shed tears, not only of deep sadness for a life cut short by the tragedy of war, but also of great admiration for the true heroism of so many who rallied to protect the defenseless.
Heroism is the key word. In our heart of hearts, all people of good will know what this term means. The dictionary defines it simply as “great bravery.” Private Shon bravely risked…and gave his life. And millions of American soldiers, my father and mother among them, volunteered to risk their lives immediately after Pearl Harbor, because the global threats of 1941 prompted an urgent call to action.
Seventy-three years later, a different world-wide danger looms. Summarizing this threat is the newly released report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Washington Post recently reported the panel’s core conclusion that:
“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts.” Effects of climate change ‘irreversible,’ U.N. panel … – Washington Post The Post described the IPCC Report as “drawn on contributions from thousands of scientists from around the world,” and as “ the distillation of a five-year effort to assess the latest evidence on climate change and its consequences, from direct atmospheric measurements of carbon dioxide to thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies.”
Though the panel warns us of “severe and irreversible impact,” there is also good reason for hope…and even optimism…if we act with the sense of urgency warranted by the facts. As the Post also reported their interview comments of two prominent American scientists participating in panel findings:
“The window of opportunity for acting in a cost-effective way — or in an effective way — is closing fast,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton University geosciences professor and contributing author to the report.
“It’s not too late, but the longer you wait, the more expensive it gets,” Gary Yohe, a Wesleyan University professor who also participated in the drafting of the report, said in an interview.
As reported by the Associated Press, Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, who wasn’t part of the international study team, told the AP that IPPC findings confirm what researchers and top scientists in the U.S. military have known for a long time: “Climate change threatens our health, land, food and water security.”
And if Private J. Shon could now speak, he might ask: who among us today counts as the “helpless to defend” themselves against these direct perils? The answer is self-evident: our children and grandchildren…who wield no power at all…be it economic, political, or otherwise.
Responsibly facing these threats to the most vulnerable, I have been inspired by you—the hundreds of investors and supporters of Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTE)— who have fueled the commercialization of OTE’s two proven clean technologies, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) and Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC).
Thanks to your unwavering support, our company’s swift journey toward success is reflected by OTE’s robust pipeline of global OTEC and related SWAC projects, each having projected gross revenues ranging from $400 million – $900 million. I am indeed privileged to serve as a Board Director and Chief Sustainability Officer for an organization founded and supported by so many good solid citizens, who embrace an inspiring reality: that we can take our money and use it to truly achieve the “triple bottom line”…a term which has been aptly described as measuring a business’ success by the “three Ps”….profits, people, and planet.
For OTE’s investors, its all about looking to the future and what will benefit our children and grandchildren in the years and decades to come…not just us today. Its about vision and leadership. Thanks to you, OTE has become the global leader in OTEC and SWAC…poised to help meaningfully address the world’s most pressing problems, that threaten the future of all of our children and generations to come…who are literally now helpless to defend themselves
Private J. Shon: He died the helpless to defend. A Scottish soldier’s noble end.” OTE’s growing army of ethical investors know what these words mean. And I use the word army quite purposefully because there are two things that the every American soldier knows. First, that their sacrifice and service to country is indeed noble. Second, and equally important, that there is great strength in numbers…when many people of courage and common purpose bond together for a just end.
So with Veteran’s Day here, it is with the greatest humility and respect that we offer deep gratitude to all those who have served our country…and to our own growing army of investors and supporters. Your children and grandchildren will be most grateful…and proud of your legacy of heroism.