Prizewinning global-warming fighter unbowed by climate of cynicism | Danny Westneat | The Seattle Times
If you dedicated your life to fighting global warming, these have got to be about the worst of times.
So Seattle's KC Golden is acutely aware of the irony. That someone chose right now to give him a $250,000 national award for having an "enduring and meaningful impact" on the world.
"I'm floored by it, but if you're a climate guy, like me, you can't help but also feel a little bittersweet," says Golden, 53. "I'm being honored for work on an issue that we've utterly failed to come to grips with. That in some ways we've gone backwards on."
Golden last week was plucked out of relative obscurity to receive the Heinz Award in Public Policy. Past winners have included former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, for his crusade against smoking, and the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The award comes with a $250,000 prize that Golden can spend however he wants.
Not bad for an energy wonk for a small Seattle nonprofit called Climate Solutions.
In the late 1980s, Golden was a leader in a hugely controversial movement arguing that first Seattle, and then later the Northwest, could satisfy all energy needs for decades solely through conservation. There would be no need for any new dams or power plants, if we could just learn to cut back.