Posts Tagged ‘media’

Where have you been Al? With the elections and all, you have dropped from the scene.

A little over two years ago, I attended your presentation of an ‘Inconvenient Truth‘, at Stanford University. I had not been wanting to go. Could care less about that environment stuff. But went because Amy, my husband’s ex had organized the event, and the whole family was going. The room went dark. Amy and a bunch of important people spoke first. Lots of people clapping at the end of each introduction. I thought, why am I here? Then you came on stage, looking like the university professor I remembered from your times running for President.

And delivered a speech so powerful, and presented images and graphs that were so convincing, that I came out of the event a changed woman. You really got me here:

Inconvenient Truth

Lots has happened since then. Your name has become synonymous with the climate fight cause, and you have earned worldwide recognition, last with the Nobel Peace Prize. That’s all good, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all you have done.

Now, I am asking you to go further. Many of us greenies are getting annoyed with the lack of attention given to global warming by the media. The San Francisco Chronicle is saying, ‘Media Consigns global warming to back burner‘. Move On is calling for its members to mobilize. Representatives from the press are coming up with all kinds of reasons.

Here is what I would like you to do. Forget trying to get the press to cooperate. Instead, use the power of advertising, and buy your way through the media landscape. If Clean Coal can do it, so can you. Build a coalition of the most creative ad agencies around, and ask them to come up with the best ad campaign ever. A campaign to keep up the awareness of global warming, and to persuade people to take a few simple actions that may add up to big cuts in emissions. A campaign that will also reach the most influential people, the politicians, the business leaders, the philantropists, the influencers, those with the power to make big changes fast. A campaign to make sure that global warming will remain present in the public consciousness, at all times. We may all suffer from the limited worry pool problem, but we can’t resist the power of advertising.


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I just recently made mine the old slogan, ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.‘ These twelve simple words have had quite an effect. Now, I think twice before flushing, and the sight of yellow gets immediately translated into a ‘don’t flush’ command. I have even become a militant, having toilet conversations with whoever wants to listen. Darmok and I had a brief but funny toilet exchange yesterday.

Slogans are old tools of the advertising trade, and it struck me that I can’t recall a single green slogan, other than ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘. The problem with those two words is just that, they are inconvenient, they are party spoiler, and not what people want to hear. ‘Inconvenient Truth’ was successful in capturing people’s imaginations and instilling enough fear in them, that they had to stop and listen. It worked with me. It convinced me of the urgency of the crisis, and of the need of becoming personally involved. Now, other words must take over, to make people want to become green.

Nadine, who just discovered La Marguerite, made an inspiring comment. Nadine has been a long time greenie, and spreader of the Green Word. She brought up the importance of using sweetness and humor, when trying to inspire green changes in others’ lives. I agree with her one hundred percent that humor can be our way into a greener world. The reason the yellow mellow slogan works, is that it’s funny in a quirky kind a way. What’s needed is a green slogan, that will make people laugh so hard, that they will want to share it, and think about it during their everyday activities. Any ideas?

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Green, green, green is everywhere. In the paper, the blogs, the social networks, in the venture capitalists’ mouths, on the buses, at Walmart. It seems that everywhere I turn, I hear, see green. That not much has changed, and that we are still headed for disaster if we don’t act, gives me a case of greenitis. Green overload, with no satisfaction.

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American Positivism, French Authenticity

One of the hallmarks of the American culture is its unflinching belief in the value of positivism at all costs. Everything is fabulous, mothers congratulate their kids for blowing their nose, and God forbid, any hint of negativism is frowned upon. Coming from France, a country where we are taught to practice the art of the litote, from a very young age, this has always felt like fake and forced communication to me. The French are more into subtleties, and minimizing their appreciation. If they think something is really good, they will say, ‘Not bad’. French are also more free about voicing their opinions, whether good or bad.

Is positivism good for green?

I am noticing a lot of positivism in the green American media. Another blogger told me once that I would do well to be less negative. Couldn’t I talk about all the good things I am doing, rather than focusing on what is not going so well? Of course, I could. My question is, how relevant is it to the current problem that is facing us all? This admission of ‘sins’ is the first step in all life changing programs. Major religions have it in one form or another. Twelve steps program have made it their foundation. And good old logic says, identify the problem first, the solution will come next.

Authenticity and Green

Denial and lies will not get us anywhere. In psychotherapy, one way to facilitate authenticity, is to give the patient the permission to be completely him or herself. To that end, the therapist will sometimes engage in self-disclosure, revealing uncomfortable part of him or herself, and indirectly modeling a more authentic behavior for the patient. Being positive is good. Being authentic is even better.

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How to Save the Planet in Five Easy Paragraphs‘. Now, that’s one catchy headline. No Impact Man‘s done it again. He got me hooked and reading his post, and all the comments below. Could it be that the answer to our big problem, lie in five easy paragraphs? I was hoping. It turns out, it is not so simple. Global warming is a big monster with many heads, all of which need to be dealt with, at the same time. No matter how we look at it, there is lots of work involved, for all parties involved. Scientists need to work like mad to develop groundbreaking technologies, many of them. Businesses need to market the right products. Governments at all levels need to set in place courageous policies. Influencers need to continue spreading the good word. And citizens need to take personal responsibility for their action, and stop consuming like there is no tomorrow. Because of the number of actors and roles involved, the complexity can become mind boggling. And my fantasy of a Super Green Conductor, that we could just follow blindly, has yet to materialize.

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