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Zeros Matter
Alex Steffen, 27 Jan 05

What if every cup of coffee sparked a conversation about important, big-picture issues? That's what Starbucks is hoping its new The Way I See It campaign will do.

For the next couple weeks, every cup of Starbucks coffee sold in America will have on it the following words written Worldchanging ally Denis Hayes:

Zeroes are important. A million seconds ago was last week. A billion seconds ago, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. A trillion seconds ago was 30,000 BC, and early humans were using stone tools. America's national debt is now $7.5 trillion, and it's skyrocketing, even as America's population ages. There will never be a better time to start paying off this crippling debt than today.

Coffee-drinkers who want to know more can then hit this interview with Denis on the Starbucks site:

Denis, you’re best known as an environmental leader and a solar energy expert. Given this opportunity to address the nation, why did you choose to speak to the national debt? America’s skyrocketing national debt deeply affects our ability to address every other issue, from protecting the environment to combating terrorism. A bankrupt nation is a weak nation.

Now, I've given Starbucks my fair share of grief over the years, but this is a great idea.

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