Yvon Chouinard and pessimistic action

“There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, ‘Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,’ and an optimist who says, ‘Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.’ Either way, nothing happens.”

That’s a quote from a climber and businessman named Yvon Chouinard.

He’s the guy who started Chouinard Equipment, manufacturing climbing equipment…and then later, and more widely known, the clothing company Patagonia.

Here’s a recent video interview with him:

The thing that I like about Yvon Chouinard is that, even though he has a pretty pessimistic view of where the planet is headed, he is very actively trying to do something to protect and repair the environmental issues he can affect.

I’ve written about Yvon Chouinard before on this blog.  He is the kind of businessman that I can really respect…from what I can tell, he’s in business only to make things better.  That profits have followed his efforts are kind of the icing on the cake.

I’m sure that, like most of us, his business dealings aren’t completely altruistic…but he seems like a pretty good egg who puts his money where his mouth is.  He seems pretty sincere to me…and I like that.

Here’s another short video about his feelings on being compared to Apple…

I loved the quote at the beginning of this blog post.

I had a friend at camp whose Dad used to tell him, “Do something….even if it’s wrong”.

I guess that action is the only thing that ever changes anything.


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