Monday, April 28, 2008

Is Pop Culture Going Green?

If Vanity Fair magazine is representative of pop culture, then it is going Green in a very strange way.

Some my have noted that I will, on occasion, reference a post by David Roberts at Gristmill. He has a guest blogger role at Vanity Fair (Green Beat) going on and today's makes an interesting point about Global Warming and the Media. The short piece is here:

But is is worth posting in it's entirety.
What I Learned from the Mainstream Media About Global Warming

1. Efforts to address climate change will be enormously expensive, and will raise costs for ordinary families.

2. Politicians are B.S.’ing about it; none of them will tell the honest truth about the enormous costs.

3. Everything we’re currently doing to address the problem is utterly futile.

4. Most solutions, like driving a Prius, are mere affectations of do-gooding elites.

5. The public doesn’t care about global warming; they find it dispiriting and disempowering.

What nobody in the mainstream media ever seems to do is pause and wonder whether their relentless repetition of points 1–4 has anything to do with point 5.

(For the record—and more on this later—No. 1 is false. Nos. 2 and 3 are half-true. No. 4 is false. No. 5 is about 75 percent true.)
Well so much for Roberts' opinion. Now, where you you put Vanity Fair in the list of Green publications? Well, they did put out a Green Issue with a photo of Madonna on the cover. Huh?

On the other hand, Vanity Fair does do some good investigative reporting and this week's story entitled "Monsanto's Harvest of Fear" should be required reading.

Still, going back to David Roberts and the Green Beat, it seems that Vanity Fair is convinced you have to use celebrity to sell everything. e.g. the following:
You get the picture by now. I wonder just how much this use of celebrity to carry the Green Message helps the cause and how much it trivializes is. I guess that we will not know because no one will do the research and report on it.

(Posted earlier today to EcoAction Committee Email List.)

1 comment:

Emily Fano said...

I came across your blog and liked what you wrote about how everyone thinks you have to use a celebrity to sell a cause, especially a green cause. I belong to a group called the Holistic Moms Network. We're all regular folks living holistically and as green as we can, being that we're parents and having children in the Western industrialized world usually involves consumption. But we recognize that we all have choices, between cloth diapers and disposables, store-bought cleaners or homemade non-toxic ones (which are cheaper), buying expensive organic food or growing your own, and on and on. We all share information, advice, and support on these issues and help to spread the word about sustainable living across the country through our chapters. Other groups like Eco-Moms in Los Angeles seem to have gotten Robin Wright Penn and Sean Penn to help them make a movie about composting. That's great if it helps to spread the word about composting. We don't have celebrities making movies for us, but plenty of our members do compost anyway. I just came across a group called www.1sky.org. NASA scientist James Hansen is on their homepage calling for urgent action on global warming. That's one "celebrity" I wouldn't mind seeing more of!