Michel Gelobter is the founder and chairman of Cooler, Inc., a for-profit social venture and buying network helping businesses and consumers reduce or offset the carbon emissions of their business activities and purchasing decisions. For consumers, Cooler offers a shopping site from which every purchase includes a carbon offset underwritten by the manufacturer.
He is a past president of Redefining Progress, the influential think tank and advocate for a sustainable economy. Under Gelobter’s leadership, Redefining Progress promoted and refined the idea of a Genuine Progress Indicator as a better way to measure improvement in general welfare than the traditional Gross Domestic Product. He also led in developing an online lifestyle impact calculator that allows users to assess the environmental footprint of their consumer choices. To provide a ready means of reducing that impact, Gelobter nurtured the program that became the independent Cooler, Inc.
During his presidency, Redefining Progress took part in the design of the world’s most aggressive climate legislation, signed into law in California in 2006. He also launched the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. One program of the Initiative was a Climate Justice Corps to train youth in climate activism and combat the negative effects of climate change on low income communities, people of color, and indigenous populations in the U.S. and around the world.
Gelobter is a participant in the Clinton Global Initiative, and he serves on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), and numerous other organizations. He is on the Advisory Board of Vice-President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.
Earlier in his career he was a Congressional Black Caucus Fellow and a staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, and he served two years as New York City’s Director of Environmental Quality.
Gelobter has contributed to four books. His widely noted essay The Soul of Environmentalism challenges the green movement to take more account of the social justice dimension of environmental problems and solutions. He also appeared in Leonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour.
He has been on the faculty at the University of California (Berkeley), Rutgers, and Columbia, where he founded and directed the Environmental Policy Program at the School of International and Public Affairs. He earned a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in Energy and Resources.
Gelobter speaks on climate change, carbon offsets and business efforts to reduce carbon emissions, on using environmental footprint calculations to assess sustainable lifestyles and carbon offsets to make lifestyles more sustainable, and on environmental economics, environmental justice, green entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and green politics and activism.
Video clips from two presentations as well as from an interview are available here. To explore engaging Michel Gelobter as a speaker, contact him here. For the most up-to-date information about Michel, visit his website here.
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