"I realized that my grandchildren's lives, my life, all of our lives are at risk," he recalls. "Long before 9-11, I was feeling a vulnerability of world civilization."
Instead of sitting around and getting depressed about it, Poresky decided to take action, or, AGSHEN, as it were.
"I was looking around at the different groups out there and I said: 'Where are the systems' here?' There's no trade association for the environmental movement, there's no place for strategizing, for planning or for implementing change," Poresky says.
"The idea was to bring the approach we have here at Dan's Camera City to the environmental movement, because it will be the people who force the change, not the environmentalists."
AGSHEN, which stands for the Alliance for a Globally Sustainable Healthy Environment, was designed as an "empowerment system, not an ideology," in that it will operate more like a trade association or a chamber of commerce than a lobbyist group. And rather than just including environmental organizations, AGSHEN will be comprised of businesses and community organizations concerned about the environment.
"It will be about reinforcing the positive elements of environmentalism: it makes you healthier, it saves you money. I'm not saying it hasn't been done before, it's just that it's never been done in this fashion and marketed holistically."
Ultimately, the centerpiece of AGSHEN will be Agshenville, Earth, "a working, environmentally-friendly community and resource center that would be an attraction for environmentalists, scholars, green entrepreneurs and scientists and could be a model for other regions looking to start up similar communities." He intends to set up a pilot project in the Lehigh Valley.
While Poresky will still be involved in Dan's Camera City, he plans to devote more and more of his time these days to the business of taking care of the earth.
For more information about AGSHEN, visit www.agshen.org.