Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Birth of a New Environmental Movement?

With the apparent success of yesterday’s Live Earth concerts, one has to ask whether something new is being born. It is reported that the broadcasts reached 2 billion people. That is almost one-third of the population of the planet. If accurate, that is HUGE. Certainly, a third of the planet should be more than a critical mass to DO something.

That is almost one-third of the population of the planet. If accurate, that is HUGE. Certainly, a third of the planet should be more than a critical mass to DO something.

I have said for a long time that what is needed to make significant change is someone in a position of power to take leadership. Al Gore is doing exactly that, and I believe he is doing it incredibly well. While there are those who would love to see him run for president, I believe he is much more effective right where he is.

I believe that the United States, and the world, needs a high visibility, highly credible, highly connected, voice to actually move us along the necessary path for planetary survival. Al Gore meets all of those requirements and he is fully committed and truly passionate about global warming. He is also totally focused on that ONE THING.

Maybe he could "save" the United States, and maybe he couldn't, but the Presidency would hamstring is ability to be that leader that is needed.

The release of "An Inconvenient Truth" started an avalanche of change. The words "global warming" now find a presence on the evening news, and even weather reports. The words (particularly in weather forecasts) were assiduously avoided before that. The Weather Channel even has "Forecast Earth" now, which is expressly focused on global warming.

The Live Earth concerts, with its web site connections, and building of neighborhood and community action groups, will hopefully provide a reinvigorated push in the right direction. I am waiting to see what Gore's next big push will be. I am sure it is planned, and in six months or so, it will be needed. It is too easy for folks to go back to "business as usual." Further, we do have elections coming up in the United States. I would be amazed if there is not a dramatic effort to push candidates to take up this banner as one of the top (if not THE top) issue for the 2008 elections.

All of this media, and the changes in reporting, are having an effect. While national and global leaders seem to largely avoid the issue of global warming like old socks, the people are not likely to let that happen. Al Gore has recognized that the change necessary is not going to come from the designated leadership. It will only come from a tidal wave of public pressure. Now THAT is a big recognition for a career politician to make.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at July 8, 2007 1:32 PM
Comments
Comment #225315

Good article Rowan.. And by George, those pesky celebrities seem to have done it again. “We Are The World, Farm Aid”..etc
I believe you’re going to get some very interesting responses on here….hope you’re prepared.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 8, 2007 2:24 PM
Comment #225318

Like most social changes, it has to come from within the populace, not forced down by the government. Voting in people to ‘do something’ in the government will ensure nothing gets done. This is a perfect example, with little or nothing being legislated, we are becoming more aware on our own, becoming more green on our own and taking care of the issue on our own.

You suggest we vote for people who ‘take up the mantle of climate change in 2008, to what end? What do you want our leaders in Washington, DC to do about the issue? What kind of laws, laws used to limit freedoms instead of enhancing them, are you wanting to see put into place?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 8, 2007 2:49 PM
Comment #225322

Rhinehold is right. If we let people in DC do the work it will never get done. We have to take it in our own hands to clean up our own act.

Posted by: KAP at July 8, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #225331

Wow, if those numbers are right, those numbers really are huge…we all have to stand up and fight for this cause..each of us in our own way…yes each of us should change our bulbs and stuff like that, but we should make people, especially businesses feel uncomfortable if they don’t take obvious measures to reduce their carbon-print…bring back bumper stickers mocking gas guzzling cars,start protests in front of car dealerships that sell Hummers,Suburbans,etc…protest local utility companies for not having more “earth-wise” energy sources,tangle up city council meetings demanding that city vehicles be converted to CNG…we had it right in the 60’s truing to save thousands of lives in Vietnam…NOW WE HAVE TO FIGHT FOR THE LIFE OF OUR PLANET!!!

Posted by: hawaiian don at July 8, 2007 5:52 PM
Comment #225340

Rowan,

I think Al Gore is a marketing genius. He has duped millions into buying into this. He got a major network and the entertainment elite to run a 24 hour informercial for buying into energy alternatives. I’m not saying that is a bad thing. We could use a lot more of that. I just think he stands to make a mint from this and is laughing his ass off all the way to the bank.

Posted by: wolf at July 8, 2007 8:41 PM
Comment #225343

1-Three Mile Island
2-Dirty Coal full of sulfur
3-Auto Pollution
4- Raw Sewage in the Rivers, Lakes an Oceans
5-Mining Co. contaminating ground water an streams
6-Lead in Paint
7-Asbestos
8-The Canadian Gov. just issued a warning, not to
let children eat fish from Lake Ontario because of
high levels of Toxins.
The Corporations, Home Owners, an Drivers Trashing the Highways,
All Required {Laws to prohibit All these Actions}
There must be consequences for polluters
for ever, an the general public like some here,
do not believe in the Big Picture as doom an Gloom.
How many people died from chemical spills because Union Carbide went to India so they could
avoid strict laws we have here.

I believe the Concert last night helps the idea
of a clean environment, but lack a continuing an
long lasting effect. All this leads me to believe
that the Government must keep ever vigilant in
protecting it’s people, even if some of you do not
believe in Gov. controls.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 8, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #225344

Rhinehold-
I think the real world is neither top down nor bottom up, but a combination. Even if everybody is thinking the same thing, it often helps to have a person in power come right out and say it, and thereby motivate and unleash the momentum.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2007 8:58 PM
Comment #225353

Carbon tax. If you care about global warming, those are the two words you need to know. Having celebrities jet around the world to sing rock songs is just commmentary. How much CO2 did they use for those jets?

BTW - offsets for individuals are BS. It is like the fat guy eating all he wants because somebody else is not eating as much as he needs.

Posted by: Jack at July 8, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #225357

Take away the environmental component of these concerts, and people still would have watched them.

I could buy talk about the birth of a “new evironmental” movement if millions of people paid admission fees and tuned in to watch scientists debate and lecture about the environment. But tuning in to watch Madonna simulate sex onstage? Traveling to a concert to see her? What does that signify except the tawdriness of idol-worship and the wasteful stupidity of our consumer culture?

This was like a weight-loss convention that served chocolate sundaes. According to a Washington Post article today, we’d need to plant 100,000 trees to make up for the environmental toll of the Live Earth Concerts.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 8, 2007 11:19 PM
Comment #225359

It’s hard to say what effect such events will have. Long term, it may cause a number of young people to think seriously about the issue. I can’t help but think that anything that calls attention to this issue is a good thing.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 8, 2007 11:55 PM
Comment #225361

Gerrold, I’m all for people “thinking seriously” about any issue, but it’s just mind-boggling to believe that either ‘thinking’ or ‘seriousness’ has anything to with rock concerts or the orgies of idol-worship, consumerism, or massive self-indulgence that go along with them.

Hey, I enjoy rock concerts. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve been to enough of them. But they are a gigantic waste of resources. Those who defend this might say: well that’s just symbolism, and the message is what matters.

But that’s nonsense. A rock star preaching conservation to his fans is like a hooker lecturing her customers about abstinence. The message is nice, but the finger is pointed in the wrong direction.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 9, 2007 12:28 AM
Comment #225368

LO-
It seems like Abstinence only is not just for sex-ed programs any more.

Here’s the thing: at the end of the day, this isn’t about using less energy, but using less fossil fuels to get that energy, perhaps none if we can help it.

In short, it’s not merely about how much energy you use, but also about where you get the energy from.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2007 1:21 AM
Comment #225369

LO,

My, you are awfully cynical ;)

Posted by: Gerrold at July 9, 2007 3:22 AM
Comment #225372

LO,

This whole global warming thing was clearly caused by the music industry. ;)

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 9, 2007 6:27 AM
Comment #225380

But what will we do about global warming on the globe known as Mars? It too is heating up, and it ISN’T something anyone (with enough of a budget to make a movie based on bad science) can pin on the carbon our species emits.

Stop buying into a well-tuned sound bite. Start questioning everything, then stand in awe at the awesome power our sun holds over the earth we live on. It is, after all, the driver of global warming (and cooling) on all the globes in our solar system.

Posted by: EdB at July 9, 2007 10:11 AM
Comment #225386

For years I thought the Goracle was a dumbass. I was wrong. The man is brilliant.
He set himself up as the high priest of a new religion (ala L. Ron Hubbard) and drew the gullible, the credulous and the stupid into it.
After seeing what a bunch of rubes his followers are he and his acolytes set up a scam to make Ponzi “green” with envy.
Now he can maintain his jet-setter lifestyle without spending his own money.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

http://www.intelligentgiving.com/the_buzz/the_blog/what_on_live_earth_is_going_on

Posted by: traveller at July 9, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #225387

EdB,
Oh I get it, your saying the heat actually comes from the sun. Good argument. I’m on your side now. I’m glad we have some scientific minds in this debate.

Posted by: Schwamp at July 9, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #225388

Rowan Wolf- You seem to have conjured up all the
negative spinmeisters at one time, I guess there
is no hope for some, although a great many of your
silent readers, the ones that count are impressed
with your article an the caring of the environment!

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 9, 2007 11:48 AM
Comment #225400

This was like a weight-loss convention that served chocolate sundaes. According to a Washington Post article today, we’d need to plant 100,000 trees to make up for the environmental toll of the Live Earth Concerts.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 8, 2007 11:19 PM

That was funny! I have lots of trees on my acreage in Texas and am willing to sell carbon offsets to those on this blog for half-price. YOu must pay the moving cost however or pay a monthly maintainance charge. P.T. Gore is one successful huckster. Sure wish he would use his talents in the Middle East. OH wait, no money for him in that. When the local weather prognosticator can accurately predict the weather on a consistent basis maybe I’ll start to place some credence on all this B.S. man-made global warming and civilization ending crap.

Posted by: Jim at July 9, 2007 12:37 PM
Comment #225457

So, plant the trees. I was watching Battlestar Galactica S1 dvds, you can not blame it on me.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 9, 2007 4:21 PM
Comment #225529

This is not the birth at all. It is the maturation of the Green movement with roots dating back to the author of Walden’s Pond, Rousseau, and others even further back to Ancient Greece, and Egypt and Mayans who perceived the intricate interwoven and interdependent design of the natural universe which like a stringed instrument, with one string plucked, the others also resonate with its reverberations.

All that is happening is that science is catching up with the wisdom of the naturalists, ancient and modern, proving with new correlative probability and statistical methodologies that our physical world is a single entity with interdependent facets acting and reacting to each other like ripples in a pond.

Modern humans are understanding the interactions better, there cause and effects, and recognizing that the whole affair is far more complicated and intricate than our 5 senses combined with a brain can take in as a whole. To see the whole, one must let go of the focus on the parts. A lesson more and more scientists are beginning to embrace.

Frank Herbert, the author of Dune, may be right. The future evolution of our species may be in the re-merging of science and religion, which allows the soul capable of taking in the whole of the universe, to work in concert with the brain of modern science capable of examining the interactions of the parts, and let go of the illusion that tweaking some parts will gain control of the shape of the whole.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 9, 2007 9:34 PM
Comment #225561

David, that’s too funny.

You put it nicely:

This is not the birth at all. It is the maturation of the Green movement with roots dating back to the author of Walden’s Pond, Rousseau, and others even further back to Ancient Greece, and Egypt and Mayans who perceived the intricate interwoven and interdependent design of the natural universe which like a stringed instrument, with one string plucked, the others also resonate with its reverberations.

The words are pretty. But as somboedy who has read Thoreau backwards and forwards, I can’t help but laugh at the idea that the “maturation” of the Green Movement was not with Thoreau or the other figures you you name but with Madonna simulating sex onstage with a guitar.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 9, 2007 11:45 PM
Comment #225681

L O- One FACT did become evident an that being,
many more people have herd that the Environment
may have problems.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 10, 2007 3:44 PM
Comment #225682


——having problems—-sorry
_

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 10, 2007 3:46 PM
Comment #226247

right, 2 billion. Right. That’s like the million man march that came up with less than half million but claimed it made the million. The park service has since stopped counting the crowds because it embarrass the liberals when the park service says “NO WAY”.

So Al Gores Junk Science “man is melting the globe” crap is popular ehh? Gee, I guess that means I need to pay higher and higher and higher taxes, elect socialists to government, and do everything it takes to make the US a second class economy with a second class life style.

No thanks. It’s still junk science that hundreds of well educated, peer reviewed, scientists are now standing up and speaking out AGAINST.

Posted by: Stephen at July 13, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #226918

Stephen- I have to assume that the Scientists who
number in the thousands would all want to defend
their jobs. I will not bother naming the products
that may be hazardous to your health. Seems to be a
battle between the “Good, Bad, an the Ugly.” Excuse
the puns. We all want good safe Science, with integrity, which is less likely to happen as the
past has well shown!

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 19, 2007 11:53 PM
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