The World Affairs Council IS The Rational Middle

By Gregory Kallenberg |


Sometimes I forget the power of the Rational Middle. Sometimes I forget the good it can do, and the idea that the Rational Middle can be the tip of the spear in creating the energy future. This week, I was reminded of those facts. I was also reminded that there are others out there who, like us, are laser-focused on having civil, solutions-based discussions about some of the globe’s toughest issues.

This week, I went on a whirlwind tour of two amazing World Affairs Council groups.  The groups were in Charlotte, North Carolina and Philedelphia, Pennsylvania. The packed-house events featured the showing of “What’s at Stake”( and “The Great Transition” ( These two films are meant to be big, heady pieces and are designed to lead the crowd into deep thought and fruitful conversation about the energy future.

While I’m certainly used to lively discourse coming from these films, I was astounded at how these two crowds started immediately working on the energy future and, in merely 90-minutes, started to work on possible solutions.



In Philedelphia, the crowd and the panel started explore some of the immediate fixes to get us moving down a more efficient energy path. One of the panel members was Adam Agalloco from the city’s sustainability office, and he chatted about the strides we could make in making buildings more efficient. The panel and audience followed suit by talking about how efficiency could be paired with mixing up energy sources to provide the first steps towards a clean energy future.


In Charlotte, we talked more about the different energy sources that exist and how to implement these sources in a logical, environmentally responsible way. While the primary discussion was focused on de-carbonization, we focused ourselves on providing an energy future that is affordable, sustainable and environmentally sound. We also focused part of our conversation on nuclear energy as a clean energy source (an energy source we have yet to look at in the Rational Middle Energy Series).

This summer, we will be touring the Rational Middle to other World Affairs Councils around the United States. I, for one, can’t wait to interface more with this amazing group. More importantly, I look forward to working with the World Affairs Council on the bigger issue of creating the energy future. If this initial small sampling is any indication of the progress we can make, the Rational Middle and the World Affairs Council will make an amazing team.