The Dirt

We campaign hearts the planet, and Al Gore

Picture it, spoken in Al Gore’s distinctive baritone monotone: “I've been deeply frustrated. I suspect a lot of you have been too. We're facing such huge challenges and all you hear through the media are demagogic chants like ‘drill, drill, drill.’" So says Gore in his email outreach for the We campaign from the Alliance for Climate Protection, one of Gore’s projects.

The organization aimed to raise $80,000 online to air a climate change message on cable TV and on 60 Minutes and 20/20. Promising news is that the people had already donated $150,000 in the first six hours following the email outreach. Here’s the message that they’re planning to run:

Continue reading We campaign hearts the planet, and Al Gore

Election season brings out the green-talkin’ stars

In this election season when even McCain acknowledges the human link to global warming, we now have vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin who said, on global warming, “I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made." She has since flopped to this response: "Show me where I have ever said that there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect, or no effect, on climate change."

These and other Palin quoteables and actions are bringing the celebrity opiners out of the woodwork.

The wholesome Jessica Alba came out with her series of ads for Declare Yourself with a shocking-to-some bondage theme, to get people to vote. The closest she comes to criticism is, "If you don't register and vote and make a difference, and hopefully change the bad things that are happening in our country, you are essentially just binding and muzzling yourself."

Continue reading Election season brings out the green-talkin’ stars

Solar Power Takes the Cake

As your devoted blogger writing this post from a statewide, week-long Lousianna blackout in the wake of Hurricane Gustav—hooked up to LSU’s generator power—I’m now even more impressed by efforts to get off the grid. Solar panels always look good from an environmental and money-saving standpoint, but they look downright fantastic when the grid’s not working.  

And musicians have been getting in on the action. The latest group in the music industry to go solar is Cake. The sixth album by the alternative act is being recorded using 100% solar electricity. What’s that, you say, Cake has five records other that that one in the 1990s with their hit “The Distance”? Apparently, it’s true. 

“What we don’t use goes back to the grid,” reads the text in a video about the solar panel installation on the Cake website. The group selected Borrego Solar to help them, as their site says, “break away from our dependence on the city’s energy grid.”

“Working on a new album, we feel satisfaction in the common denominator of together embracing the unlimited resource of the sun.” Wow, they’re hippies! Well, good for them.

The band also provides facts about solar power and links to renewable energy professionals, the National Renewal Energy Lab, a solar power magazine, the Home Energy Saver to help reduce waste before going solar, and financial solutions to the expense of solar-panel sytems.

Like Wilco, the band also offers a carpooling service on their website. Unfortunately at the moment the threads about the individual shows seem to be getting a lot more page views than the amount of actual rides being set up. In one of their website’s most recent newsflashes, they also call out the phrase “cradle to cradle” to promote waste-free manufacturing processes. In fact, a lot of their newsflashes are environmentally themed. In another one, the band recommends ripping out your lawn to conserve water. And earlier this year, the band gave away trees.

On a somewhat-related-but-not-really note, here’s a video of a cake being baked by solar power. That device would come in handy right about now in Louisiana, too…

George Clooney: The most dreamy environmentalist in Hollywood

On the solemn occasion of the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation (and the eve of another hurricane with the potential to be equally devastating) and at the conclusion of the DNC, one man rises above the drama and the grandstanding: George Clooney.

He’s an electric-car-driving environmentalist, a liberal, and an Obama supporter. But unlike fellow Hollywood libs Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon, Anne Hathaway, Spike Lee, and Darryl Hannah, Clooney chose not to attend the DNC. He’s all the way over in his other home country of Italy promoting his new film with Brad Pitt, Burn After Reading, but when asked whether he wanted to attend the convention, he replied, “I like watching conventions on television. I think the stars there should be the people who have been elected.”

Continue reading George Clooney: The most dreamy environmentalist in Hollywood

Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour generates huge carbon footprint

Believe it or not, Madonna just hit the half-century mark. She was recently shortlisted for the Greenest Star on the Planet Award from Playhouse Disney’s Playing for the Planet Awards, but apparently, she was shortlisted too soon. Her new Sticky and Sweet tour, which debuted this weekend in Cardiff, reaches new heights in excess, with nearly 50 dates across the globe over the next four months. It’s Madonna’s entourage and supplies that are raising eyebrows, just slightly more than a year after she was pretending to care about global warming during her performance at the Live Earth concert. They include: “250 staff members - including nine wardrobe assistants, 12 seamstresses, a personal trainer and a masseuse - 30 wardrobe trunks and the tour's stage set flown around the world.” estimated that team Madonna alone will generate a carbon footprint exceeding 1,500 tons of emissions, not to mention the considerable emissions generated from the audiences at each show.

The UK’s Daily Mail compared the amount of carbon generated by Madge’s entourage to the footprint that 160 regular folks create in a year, and compared it to leaving a standard light bulb on for 1,000 years. Madonna’s jet alone will generate 95 tons of carbon.

Continue reading Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour generates huge carbon footprint

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Issue 25

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