Where Was the Environmental Movement at Live Earth?

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:

Get involved with Sierra Club here.
Get involved with Greenpeace here.
Get involved with MoveOn here.

- Glenn Hurowitz

Tags: Al Gore, alicia keys, chris rock, Climate change, Global Warming, greenpeace, live earth, madonna, Michael Bloomberg, moveon.org, Sierra Club (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

So true

This was an event that I have watched closely but I did not even see what was missing. I needed you to point this out.

This is why we need the media to report on the news truthfully and completely, because even when we try to stay informed we can miss the simple things.

by kevin22262 2007-07-07 07:45PM | 0 recs
Very true

But at least MoveOn is seen as too "political" MoveOn did host house parties for it so that's something.

by Populista 2007-07-07 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Where Was the Environmental Movement at Live E

I think that the purpose of the the event was to raise personal awareness and personal responsibility. While I agree that there was a notable absence of the mainstay environmental organizations I think that the message itself appealed broadly.

by DoIT 2007-07-08 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Where Was the Environmental Movement at Live E

I think this may have been deliberate.  It would have detracted from the focus on personal responsibility and actions that everyone can take to the activists in the various organizations.  I think those activists now can do things with their organizations if they want to attract more people.  

by pioneer111 2007-07-08 11:08AM | 0 recs

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