[youtube width=”425″ height=”239″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-253uBJap8[/youtube]
Question: Is the net effect of celebrity support in eco causes a positive or do they put off as many people as they attract?
There is a great article on The Guardian’s Green Living Blog, Hypocrisy of champagne environmentalists is deceitful and distracting. Its author, Ed Gillespie, writes about how celebrities and public figures beg us to live a more sustainable lifestyle and yet enjoy a lifestyle most of us can only dream of. He offers several examples of eco-celebrities and their extreme consumption.
Jubbling posted an article in May 2010 about the hypocritical nature of Hollywood’s preaching and its reality – Hollywood Love$ Green Message$. How Does It Feel About Jubbling?. Being an eco-celebrity seems to be the 2000’s equivalent to the 1990’s recovering addicts; it gets you in the news. I have a feeling that Eco-Celebrity Rehab is just around the corner.
Greenpeace and Green Celebrities Aligning To Encourage Facebook To Power Data Center With Renewable Energy… Via Facebook (Again)
Treehugger.com has a post, “Celebrities Tell Facebook to Ditch Coal”, about a new push to get Facebook to move out of its mostly coal powered data center into one that uses an increased level of renewable energy. We wrote about this issue back in September 2010 when it was just Greenpeace leading the effort. But now, green celebrities are taking to Facebook and asking people to join the push too. Here is a video from Ed Begley and his wife, Rachelle Carson regarding the issue:
Jubbling gets it but for some reason, we’re having a hard time making sense of it. We had the same problem with this back when Greenpeace stood up against the new Facebook data center because in both cases, they’re taking their protest to Facebook. It’s kind of like driving a gas guzzling car cross country to protest the fact that there are too many gas guzzling cars. Think about it. Maybe making a stronger statement would be to leave Facebook in mass in order to make your statement; I’m sure MySpace would appreciate this.
Anyway, I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg is listening too closely. I’ve seen The Social Network and Mr. Zuckerberg probably loves seeing the spike in activity; positive or negative but always on Facebook. What he would be more apt to understand and respond to is watching users leaving his site to protest what Facebook is doing. That would require a commitment from the celebrities involved and I don’t think they’d be able to stomach that move.
Thank you CSRwire for reminding me of one of the reasons I got into Jubbling. They just posted an article about the entertainment industry’s internal efforts to produce television programs and movies more sustainably by using some combination of improved efficiency, use of renewable power sources and carbon offsets. Jubbling is all good with this, with the exception of carbon offsets, and we hope they are only met with success.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
But wait, what about consumption? If a studio was approached with a can’t miss idea that would consume $400 million in resources but would make $2 billion – would they bite on it? Of course they would. Now imagine that movie was going to have a pro-environmental message – could they still swing it? Of course they could. That is the irony of it all and why it’s so difficult to buy into the entertainment industry’s statements that sound good but are not rooted in Jubbling. Consumption is justified as long as a movie is successful – it’s ultimately about the bottomline.
This is where the actors/actresses come in. It sure would be nice to see all of the Prius driving, electric car loving, eco-Hollywoodians take a stand against producing or starring in movies built on consumption in order to support a consistent message. Not just about asking for a smaller trailer with solar panels or hiring a green caterer, but really showing the same commitment to Jubbling that they want to show in their personal lives.
Batman: The Dark Knight
Now I’m not suggesting that actors share a tent on a movie set but maybe they could use their clout to convince the studio that blowing up 2 cars can be just as effective as destroying 10. Or convincing the director that bringing down a CGI building will have just as much impact as demolishing a actual structure. Even further, maybe studios could share sets and technology so they don’t have to duplicate their efforts in order to produce films. An extension of the “open source” idea found in software development.
I’m probably way off base to suggest this and extremely naive to the inner workings of the entertainment industry. And it’s difficult to not kick my own ass and feel a little hypocritical when I am in line waiting to see one of these huge Hollywood blockbusters. But these changes could be seamless and the movie or show’s message can still be delivered. And then productions could be appreciated for what they didn’t consume in order to entertain us.
The root idea behind Jubbling is to encourage people to try and consume less. It’s not a competition and that is why we have to applaud any effort to reduce. Even so, it would be great to see the entertainment industry take a stand and immerse themselves into Jubbling rather than just dabble in it so they can finally put into practice what their stars like to preach.
Ireland’s fab four, U2, is redefining the rock concert in more ways than one with their newest world tour called the 360° Tour, produced by Live Nation. U2’s website touts that they’re committed to a net zero emissions goal for the global tour with suggestions that fans carpool to their concert dates and refill aluminum water bottles instead of buying plastic bottles at the venue. A marketing firm called Music Matters is acting as U2’s official “Environmental Advisor.” “The crew has embraced a lot of our initiatives and has even been developing ideas of their own they would like to implement,” said Lucy August-Perna, Music Matters touring Greening Manager. Their initiatives include backstage and bus recycling, battery and electronics recycling, refillable water stations, composting in catering, analyzing truck and bus operations to reduce their environmental footprint.
U2 inspires us at Jubbling, as they do so many others. They are, by far, my favorite band dating back to the early 80s when I first heard their entire Boy album on a Philly radio station. They’re still socially and politically conscious, musically innovative and they continue to strive for excellence and relevance as younger hearts and minds replace their original fan base. So why do I have the long face? Does Adam Clayton even care?
Maybe George Costanza’s remarks from a 1990 Seinfeld episode can best sum it up – “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Music Matters’ emissions target for this tour can be far reaching but consider the amount of manpower and machinery it takes to power a world tour of this magnitude. In fact, check out this video clip of U2’s main stage being erected and then tell me that battery recycling is really the answer to reducing impact:
Don’t get me wrong; I love the band and I have paid my money to see their shows over the years but there is some hypocrisy to hyping a tour with net zero emissions and then flying away on private jets. See my carbon offset story for more details.
We have to admit to ourselves that entertainment in the form of arena concerts uses lots of natural and man-made resources to keep shows exciting, especially in a culture where bigger is better. This beginning attempt by U2 and Music Matters may be enough to make other big acts wake up and take notice, especially if it saves money in the long run. Simply paying off a show’s impact with carbon credits is not the answer! The tricky thing is keeping a live show interesting enough for audience members while at the same time cutting the environmental impact. That’s a Jubbling puzzle we all face when we look to lessen impact in our own lives. Personally, I already have tickets to their Seattle show in June 2010 and I plan on taking public transportation and wearing an extra pair of adult undergarments so I don’t have to miss a beat.