The Environmentalists of Yore

Surfrider's Jim Moriarty talks about the legacies of the first American environmentalists: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Transcript


Question: To whom do you look for inspiration?

Jim Moriarty: I look to more historical figures on- for inspiration like absolutely Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson in some ways for me, John Muir, people like that. I think Bobby Kennedy’s doing some great work right now. I don’t-- My view for environmental leadership is really way in the- very much in the past. My present-day inspiration is much more from the technology field and on the entrepreneurial side and on the business field, things that are- like Craig Ventnor who is doing some amazing work with biomass fuels. He is someone who is- doesn’t understand think outside the box; he lives outside the box and that’s so inspirational for me. So those are the kind of people that I would look to.For some reason I’ve always lived not in current day. I’ve always lived kind of five to ten years out. I was literally a part of kind of the original skate boarding and action sports era. I still skate board and surf and all that. I was also really early on in software and technology internet and in some ways this is kind of the early days of green, and I think the reason that I’ve made systemically those views is that I don’t care really what’s happening right now. I absolutely care what’s going to be happening in ten years and the best way to understand a long view is to take a larger perspective. You really need to understand Churchill, Jefferson, the founding fathers, Europe, Asia historically and then mesh that with Google’s aspirations and Microsoft and then you can draw a vector and then you can place yourself on that. And so I look backwards mostly because I live forwards.

Recorded on: 9/27/07