Wednesday, February 28, 2007


This video features a group of fourth graders in Brooklyn, NY, who are taught by Ben Youngerman. He and I put this video together and entered it in the Seventh Generation Convenient Truths video contest. Check out all the entries here. and give us a vote!

Overall the contest seems like a smash success - there are pleanty of healthy green videos for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar the Grouch

So last night was the first ever carbon-neutral Oscars ceremony. Great. One thing struck me that I thought was pretty funny:

James Taylor performed a song called "Our Town" from the Pixar movie 'Cars'. Not only was the song fucking horrible and sickly sweet, but also so was the entire construct of the situation. "Cars" is a movie that plays upon our excessive love of the automobile by making them seem like they have individual personalities and stories. That is something that happens for real in garages all around the country every day, but this movie is indoctrinating a whole new generation with the concept that cars are unequivocally awesome, fun and that using them less would be a kind of tragedy. The cars would be sad. No one likes it when Owen Wilson is sad.

Furthermore, the song "Our Town" reached even new heights in extolling and celebrating the traditional "American Way" - a way that the fight for carbon neutrality is trying to change. I'm seeing a new rendition of the "Four Freedoms" painting series - one image is of a family passing a gas can around the dinner table and another is a father and son hopping into the car to drive down their 15 foot long driveway to pick up their mail.

Anyway, the very next performance was the theme song from an Inconvenient Truth, sang passionately by Melissa Ethridge. I'm not saying this song had any less of the too sweet, mainstream movie sing-along aspects to it, but I will say that Melissa at least looked like she gave a shit. And if she and James Taylor got in a fight, I think I know who'd win. I mean James Taylor doesn't even stand up when he plays his damn guitar.

The ultimate triumph of An Inconvenient Truth and its cheesy theme song was definitely a step in the right direction. Al Gore once again came off as a class act, miles from his former wooden self. For a minute, just a hot minute, he made me believe. And that is so fucking important that I can't put it into words.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


So yeah. I'm pretty much an asshole. I love to talk about green living and carbon footprints. I love reading about new developments in alternative fuel technology and quoting statistics from "An Inconvenient Truth". I even have some "green media" of my own in the works. But when it comes down to it, I'm a giant hypocrite. Thus far in 2007, all of my major freelance gigs have involved airplane travel. And I'm not talking New York to DC. I'm talking about 4 cross-country flights and a roundtripper to south Florida. So much for not owning a car and living in a small apartment - I'm still kicking out a size 12 carbon footprint. I'm talkin' Timberland size prints here.

The problem with airtravel is that it dumps pollution into the upper atmosphere - right where it can do the most damage. What really sucks is that there are certainly no hybrid 747s going to be rolling off the production line any time soon. Changing airplane design is going to take decades. Airplane travel, as much as it has taken a hit in the last 8 years, may truly be in its heyday. I think we'll look back on $159 flights from JFK to Burbank as one of the greatest deals in the history of transportation.

I read recently that airplane fumes account for about 4% of air pollution. Not particularly high, but it feels like a number that will only continue to grow as globalization increases its stranglehold on the world economy. I, for one, would be broke right now if flying were exorbitantly more expensive. I'd be eating out of a can. Or I'd be eating out of a can more often than I already do...

Anyway, leave it to treehugger to drag up some good news. Perhaps it's a bit dreamy in that "I want to make biofuels and rub them all over my body" kind of way, but maybe it is getting at a solution. Check it out here.

To Miami!