NTB: What aspect of your different jobs gives you the most personal satisfaction? Dr. Trent: That’s a good question. These days I don’t feel as though I have the luxury of purely academic research, given what I’ve learned over the last year about our global predicament. I’m not happy about the legacy our generation will leave to the coming generations and I’m not thinking so much about my “personal satisfaction.”
One of the inspiring speakers in our GREEN seminar series, William McDonough, quoted the former Minister of Oil for Saudi Arabia, Sheik Ahmed Yamani, as saying: “the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.” Indeed, the Stone Age ended because we developed better technologies. We’ll be able to leave the petroleum age if and only if we develop technologies that will allow us to move on. I’m hoping the US will lead the world by embracing change toward sustainable lifestyles and that NASA will be called upon to help develop, evaluate and implement the support systems for this change to sustainability. It would give me great personal satisfaction to see the US move in that direction and to see NASA play an important role in the process. I want to help create the tools that will be valuable to generations to come.