I walk in a hungryish daze, snapping pics, as San Antonio's rich feast. I missed the server assigned to pour the salad dressing, it seems, at the back of the room where the obviously much-esteemed journalists are crunched.
Can't blog the speech, since the Chamber didn't purchase a wi-fi package and Marriott wants to charge me $250 for the access code. So I wander for those initial 40 minutes or so waiting for the Mayor to take the stage.
As I meander, I can't help but wonder at this well-cuffed crowd. Do they have an inkling of what they are about to hear? Some, maybe. Most, not likely. But, in the immortally T&A-grasping words of Frank Loesser, “baby it's cold outside,” and there are a lot of bank accounts needing insight into which direction the City will be taking this year to stave off a deep freeze. This Chamber-sponsored “State of the City” address is the place to be.
Do they want comforting words? They'll get those. A tea-leaf reading? Much more than that.
It breaks at minute 17 of Mayor Phil Hardberger's speech, the vision for a sustainable energy future for Alamo City. “We call this effort, Mission Verde.”
The pitch for Verde rolls forward this way:
I wrote about what these crowds could expect from the unveiling of Verde a couple weeks ago. If most of what we heard was expected, it was no less ground-shaking.
I had also been warned to expect a few surprises from the speech, too. They came in spades.
For one, it's safe to say, when I wrote CPS Must Die more than a year ago, I didn't expect the City to actually take our prescription for decentralized power. But here is was â?? with CPS Energy's endorsement.
Why “distributed” energy is the future:
Some of the names mentioned in the Mayor's speech (and later at the City Council's B Session dedicated to Verde) were a rolling shock.
Are the world's efficiency gurus really ready to paratroop into Military City?
Building our way to the new clean-energy economy, one new home at a time.
And grow and retrain our workforce into new green jobs:
Not to be forgotten. Trees!
It's a double-barrel explosion of new-think raining over San Antonio here. After you've chewed the bones and spit out the buckshot, let us know what you think.
Fears, hopes, questions, loves?