After enduring an hour of the Green Ball (Planet Green), I made my way uptown to the Cool Inaugural Ball, sponsored by the Sierra Club and Climate Capital. What a contrast. Gone were the frilly ball gowns and tuxedos. The event, billed as "the coolest party in Washington" was held in the gorgeous, yet intimate Butler Parks Center in Columbia Heights, a once dilapidated now restored mansion. The neighborhood, once considered one of the more dangerous in DC, shows what can be done when activists get together to preserve a park. The neighborhood has since taken off as one of the "coolest" and most desirable in town.

The food was great, the wine was really, really cheap and everyone was having a great time. This was a party by and for activists. Instead of peddling a green lifestyle, these people were genuinely celebrating 8 years of hard environmental work in a capitol that was far from friendly to the cause. But just because these guys had been working hard, didn't mean they were about to stop. The party was actually a fundraiser for a new initiative called the Cool Capital Challenge, a way to get people and businesses to pledge to reduce their carbon emissions. As the host said, "It's not that the work is behind us, it's ahead of us!"

Steve Coleman, one of the creators of the challenge, explained below what drives us towards creating a cooler climate, and afterwards the very talented band Northeast Corridor played back up for "Karoake we can believe it." I have to say it was so rocking, that I started to worry that the floor might not hold the weight of a couple hundred activists dancing to "Here I go Again..." Check it out:

Washington activists rock the house (literally)
The Sierra Club, Cool Capital, Friends of the Earth and other environmental activists celebrate a cool future.