"This is Our Moment" For Clean Energy Legislation (Video)


NRDC Action Fund is pulling out all the stops on 
pressuring the Senate to pass clean energy legislation and, as you can see above, has employed a healthy dose of celebrity endorsement to get everyone to pay attention. If you're a regular TreeHugger reader the reasoning in the video is probably nothing new, but it's certainly worth spreading around to everyone you know. As the campaign very rightly says "This is our moment" to start implementing more renewable energy.The campaign goes beyond this video to a full-fledged social media onslaught:

The online community can also engage by spreading the message. This is Our Moment is designed to create a virtual army of climate activists through an emphasis on social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, a rotating display of user-generated videos, and the video player itself, which is an embeddable widget for websites, social networking pages and blogs.

A couple things to think about though, which I think need to be considered in terms of messaging:

Oil Dependency Itself Far More a Problem Than Where We Get It
1) in promoting the video NRDC writes, "Everyone knows we have a dependence on oil we buy from countries that don't share our values. This threatens our security and our integrity. And it needs to stop. We know it does. Still, we've seen our dependence on foreign oil grow and pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. But we can change that. Now."

If I were writing that I would entirely eliminate the part about buying oil from countries that don't share our values. It's not dependency on just that oil that's a problem, both politically and environmentally, but dependency on fossil fuels regardless of source. Not to mention it frankly feeds into an us versus them xenophobia--that is also painfully invoked in many discussions about cleantech: "China's going to eat our lunch on windpower" sort of thing--which just is not helpful in dealing with transnational pollution issues.

I understand the motivation in trying to tap into that me and mine mindset for getting to where we want to be in terms of getting clean energy legislation going, but in the long term it sends the entirely wrong message--one of atomization and isolation, not connection and interconnection. It stresses zero-sum competition not cooperation.

2) Going along with that, in the video itself, right after Leonardo DiCaprio says something very similar to the part quoted above, the ever-funny Jason Bateman pops up with "...and kill our soldiers."

It seems like a misstep to me. Would those soldiers even be there if it weren't securing access to oil? Or at least if that weren't a high motivation for many recent conflicts? It's now doubt included to appeal to populist sentiment but it seems intellectually dishonest and simplistic. No one wants to see soldiers killed (from any nation), don't get me wrong, but there is murky territory here.

Beyond that though, it's 95% right on.

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Tags: Congress | Global Climate Change | Green Jobs | Renewable Energy

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