Where Was the Environmental Movement at Live Earth?
by Democratic Courage, Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 07:36:10 PM EDT
We have so much to be excited about Live Earth - above all, it brought the message of a climate in crisis to more than 2 billion people worldwide - and that's something that even Ann Curry's excruciatingly stupid interviews with Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg couldn't stop.
Thanks to Al Gore, Alicia Keys, and Madonna, there are many more people today who know that the planet is in danger than yesterday, and know there are simple things they can do about it: change their lightbulbs, "stop driving so many big-ass cars" (Chris Rock), and even tell our political leaders to take action.
The world is a vastly better place for it.
But there was one big thing missing from the concerts: the environmental movement.
We heard vital messages about how we can make our personal lives more eco-friendly, and how political action is necessary, but we didn't hear from the organizations that are actually making it happen. Because of that, many people won't know the single best way they can make a change: by joining others to create collective action.
It's all well and good for millions of people to make changes alone, separate from one another, or to contact their elected representatives with a lonely phone call or late-night email. But real change comes when people act together in communities, in nations, and around the world. Politicians and corporate decision makers aren't afraid of individuals, even when there's lots of them; but they tremble at the idea of millions or billions acting together in an organized fashion.
But amidst the admittedly important calls for unplugging our appliances and turning down the thermostat, we didn't hear anyone telling us to join our local chapter of the Sierra Club or Greenpeace or political organizations like MoveOn.org that are also mobilizing to face the climate crisis. These are the groups that have been fighting the good fight over the long haul - and will continue fighting it beyond the 3-5 year campaign envisioned by Live Earth organizers.
They've been saving forests, cleaning up rivers, and getting people together to make the changes in our homes and in our nations necessary to save the planet. But as big and successful as Sierra Club, Greenpeace, MoveOn and others are, they need far more people to have the power to face down the corporations and politicians who got us into this mess.
That's something that Live Earth hasn't yet delivered - but it's something that organizers urgently need to do if they're going to build the movement necessary to save the planet.
Thankfully, Live Earth won't be the end. Organizers know more needs to be done. To truly realize the awesome potential created by this event, they'll need to tap people into the environmental movement - locally, nationally, and globally. They can start by emailing, texting, and calling all those who got involved through this spectacular event, and letting them know what they can to join the organizations making the difference on the ground.
That's what the movement needs, that's what the planet needs, and that's what can make Live Earth remembered as the truly transformative event we all hope it was.
To help, here's how you can get started:
- Glenn Hurowitz