The greener good, the bad, and the blackout

Daylight savings now affords us another hour of light, though its power-saving intention appears debatable. Taking matters a step further, musician Rufus Wainwright proposes “Blackout Sabbath.” Inspired by the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the singer/songwriter has concocted a plan: unplug for 12 hours, from noon to midnight, on the summer solstice, June 21st. This really only means it’s dark for a few hours, but shutting off TVs, radios, computers, and other appliances will be tough on many, even if it’s Saturday. During this sensory deprivation, he suggests we think about saving the planet, claiming his approach is a down-to-earth alternative to the growing “glitzy” green movement.

“Let’s cut the crap.” That’s George Carlin’s tagline for his 14th HBO special, It’s Bad for Ya. The ad shows the venerable 70-year-old comedian taking a stand (so to speak) in a steaming landfill of electronics and piles of unrecycled stuff. The live show aired last week, but catch repeats of his taboo-smashing humor throughout March.

While Charles, the Prince of Wales, has addressed Parliament on renewable energy investments, pledged $5 billion for sustainable initiatives, and banned foie gras from the royal kitchen, the United Kingdom’s 3rd viscount of Brenchley, Lord Christopher Monckton, former advisor to Britain’s old PM Hatcher, attended last week’s International Conference on Climate Change in New York, sponsored by the Heartland Institute skeptics…

The viscount discounts scientists’ claims about global warming, contending that humans have not contributed to the environmental crisis, and that being a good steward of the earth requires the “courage to do nothing.” He states the ecology is a “non-problem” and mocks Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth as a load of sci-fi comical horror movie rubbish, responding with his own film, Apocalypse? No! Speaking of horrific comedy, conference attendee John Coleman, head of The Weather Channel, recommended suing companies selling carbon credits for perpetrating a hoax. Isn’t extreme weather good for ratings? 

Hugh Jackman’s latest X-Men movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, currently in production in New Zealand is participating in a case study for the film biz, assessing the environmental impact of waste on sets and developing a strategy to maximize recycling and establish a “green screen” template. Seems the initiative was brokered after Queenstown authorities discovered a cache of explosives not included in the film’s lease agreement. Actor Liev Schreiber, who plays the Marvel superhero, is zipping about on an eco friendly 65-75mpg scooter. Marvelous.

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Just a note -- John Coleman was one of two founders of the Weather Channel -- he is no longer affiliated with the outfit, having packed off a year or so after the channel launched. He's a weather guy at a station in California now, and he does push the notion that global warming is a 'scam.' Go figure.

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