September 15th, 2014


President, Chopra Foundation

Founder, The Chopra Foundation

Halting the adverse affects of climate change will require a change in our collective consciousness, according to well-known author and speaker Deepak Chopra, and Rinaldo Brutoco, a businessman and president of The Chopra Foundation. “Our collective consciousness is what creates a change in behavior,” Chopra says. “There was a time when everybody was smoking in public spaces, but collective consciousness chose to change that. There was a time when you could drive and drink at the same time, but collective consciousness changed that. And that's the only solution.”
Chopra and Brutoco are the founders of Just Capital, an organization dedicated to helping executives of financial institutions and members of the public sector make sustainability a number one priority. It counts Ariana Huffington, and Paul Tudor Jones, the head of Robin Hood Foundation, as board members. But going green doesn’t mean giving up on profit, according to Brutoco. “In the last ten years, the cost of wind energy has dropped by over 75% and is still dropping,” he says. “The cost of solar energy has dropped by over 90% and is still dropping, and that has unleashed enormous amounts of wealth. So here we are sitting on the edge of Silicon Valley, we should be the people wanting to own the development of these technologies.”
Chopra adds, “Just as the space program gave birth, in a way, to Silicon Valley and now Southern California epigenetics, and genetics understanding is giving birth to biotechnologies, and these companies are becoming extremely wealthy. If you truly understand that sustainability is the key to wealth consciousness, then we can create wealth from the infinite abundance of the universe that comes to us through energy.”
So how do you bring about a change in consciousness? Deepak Chopra says it starts by creating a space for the conversation, like the one created by Climate One. “First having a conversation like the one we are having,” says Chopra. “Secondly, enlisting the help of media as much as you can, because media takes that conversation and can help you reach critical mass….it includes Twitter, and Facebook, and every possible outlet that we can have to engage in this conversation, because it's an emergency.”
“Anybody who doesn't recognize the sense of urgency…we're calling for, please do some more study, do some more thinking, do some more inquiry, Brutoco says. “It starts with you and find out why this is probably the most vital thing you can do.”
– Katie McMurran
September 15, 2014
Photos by Ed Ritger
The Commonwealth Club of California