Photo via Daquella manera via Flickr CC
Social networking and social media are proving to be among our most powerful tools for mobilizing people to action. Twitter has helped groups engage followers for good causes, such as charity: water's twestival, and there are even social networks created specifically for green causes like WiserEarth and MakeMeSustainable. A new group of people are looking to make social networking key for stopping Amazonian deforestation - Team Earth. Launching officially in November, Team Earth is a collection of businesses from Dell to Starbucks, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) including Conservation International, politicians and student activists who hope to utilize the power of social networking to slow tropical deforestation.
Reuters reports that the participants feel too many groups are all working towards the same goal but not relying on one another's strengths - a social network can be greater, and more effective, since it brings all the separate efforts together.
In addition to its own site, Team Earth will also use Facebook and Twitter - two essential tools for anyone wanting to use social networking in a meaningful way - to get people involved in climate change, water issues, and health in addition to deforestation.
From Team Earth:
Guided by the wisdom of a blue-ribbon panel of the world's leading scientists, Team Earth is designed to harness the power of social networking and global outreach to incite action and create momentum around efforts to address the great challenges of our time. Team Earth's initial collective action campaigns will focus on saving forests as a tool to slow climate change. Watch for further rallying cries around energy use, fresh water, and the way we consume.
Harrison Ford is lending his voice to Team Earth as well (quite literally in the video below), saying "Our individual efforts have been fruitful but history shows that real change is not accomplished through individual efforts but through movements."
With hefty corporations involved like Dell, Starbucks, Pepsico and Wrigley, it's wise to be very open-eyed about what the group is working to accomplish. Hopefully the reputable groups involved like Rocky Mountain Institute and Conservation International are enough of a watch dog that the best interests of rainforests - and not companies - are kept at the forefront.
More on Stopping Tropical Deforestation
Tropical Deforestation Brings Economic Boom, Followed by Human & Ecological Bust
What's Your Green IQ?
African Tropical Forests Store As Much Carbon as Their Amazonian Counterparts: That Rate's Increasing Too
Global Shoe Brands May Be Unwittingly Causing Deforestation in the Amazon: New Greenpeace Report Says