When I went to Yearly Kos in Chicago in the summer of 2007, I chatted with a Newsweek reporter in between panels one afternoon. The reporter admitted that she was very surprised when she arrived, both by the scale and scope of the organization and by the appearance of the attendees. She expected to see a “crunchier” group chanting or arguing about Marxist theory or something. In other words, a bunch of f*cking hippies instead of the earnest, practical group that showed up.

The stereotype of environmentalists isn’t much different than that of a progressive blogger (though we also are supposedly composed of pimply teenage boys in their parents’ basements.) But one look at the panelists and audience attending the Focus the Nation forum on climate change in University City in the spring blew that stereotype out of the water. I mean, look at this video of Dan Glueck of Missouri Solar Living, a practical, earnest professional touting the need to switch to clean and renewable forms of energy just as much for our local economy as for the goal of saving the planet.

Watch the video – it’s short and Dan makes some excellent points about how the true cost of coal isn’t factored in to what we pay in our electric bills.