Protecting the climate has been Doug Grandt's full-time job for four years. He figures his green encore career might span another 10 or 15 years, as he homes in on where he can have the most impact. At 63, he's just getting started fighting climate change.
He wants to combine his engineering background and his new skills in leadership and public speaking to help take clean energy solutions to scale. "Solar on every rooftop" is his goal.
Grandt says economics and environmental urgency make this the right time to use solar electricity and solar water heating systems to make whole neighborhoods and cities carbon-neutral. "If some other guys are going out to sell solar and make a living, why not me?" he says.
His advocacy and organizing work are only one part of Doug's green encore portfolio of activities. An industrial and petroleum engineer, Grandt had had an eclectic career modeling oil deposits in Prudhoe Bay, buying containers for an ocean cargo carrier and running the data processing operations of a direct-mail firm. Five years ago, after the dot-com crash, he found himself 57 and unemployed.
He had been a casual anti-war activist back in college, but not politically active since. "I was a soccer dad, Boy Scout leader, raising three kids" who are now grown, he says. Late one night, he was listening to NPR and heard former Vice President Al Gore give his now-famous An Inconvenient Truth talk on the radio. From that moment on, his focus has been clear. "I want to do something full time on climate change,” he says.
See Doug Grandt in The Next Frontier: Engineering the Golden Age of Green, a video about how renewable, clean energy can improve our future and create significant economic opportunities.