Bloggers of all stripes grab a piece of the climate pie for Blog Action Day 2009
Maybe you’re a medical student in Hungary who finds release by detailing your daily life online. Or you’re an avid chronicler of the latest baby-name trends. Whatever your background or topic of choice, you’re a blogger — and you probably have an audience of at least one.
Now multiply your blog times 9,000 others across the world. Now imagine all of these blogs agreeing to post about the same important topic on the same day, in order to raise awareness and create a dialogue for change with their millions of readers. Bingo: you’ve got Blog Action Day.
The theme for this year’s Blog Action Day (BAD) is near and dear to Grist’s own heart: climate change. Now we can’t promise we’ll write anything about climate today, but if you cross your fingers and click on over to our Climate and Energy section, you might just get lucky. And because we write about this issue all the time, we decided to look for intelligent blog posts about global warming in unexpected places. Here are a few who surprised us:
- The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Mike Schramm took to the pages of TUAW.com, which normally stalks anything and everything Apple Inc., to point out five iPhone apps that teach readers about the problems — and some solutions — around climate change. iPhone apps and solving climate change are a natural fit, according to Schramm, because “Apple’s products (and to a larger extent, technology in general) are all about finding easier and better ways to do things, and so when it comes to finding apps on the App Store to solve a problem, including the problem of climate change, there is always an app for that.” But why does it matter that TUAW’s readers are talking about climate on this one day? “Apple users, and by that I mean our readers, are smart folks … we’re ‘the crazy ones,'” Schramm said. “When it comes to solving any big issue, you’re going to want the Mac users on your side.”
- BloggingStocks: This stock-tipping blog isn’t just advising its readers to snatch up a few solar stocks and be done with it. Nope. Instead, it’s recommending an innovative but more indirect player in the climate game — IT company Autodesk Inc. Its software “makes it much easier to design things for lower carbon output and better efficiency,” according to clean tech guru Rafael Coven. How so? By allowing engineers and designers to assess and improve building and product sustainability before they’re built, cutting out waste at the earliest stages. Seems like you can put stock in that tip, but don’t blame me if the market crashes again.
- inSide iSoccer: For all you football/soccer fans out there, here’s a bit of climate action kicked your way: iSoccer interviews GreenLaces founder and professional soccer player Natalie Spilger. She makes an important point about the role of sports in bringing people together around environmental goals: “athletics, especially soccer, is a timeless social unifier that connects cultures and countries across the globe.” And as blogger Abe Geiger puts it, “Soccer truly is the world’s game, climate change … the world’s problem.”
- Web Teacher: Virginia DeBolt, who also posts on BlogHer, usually speaks the language of web code, and trains others to do the same, on her blog. But today, her deep-seated environmental concerns came out <strong>. As did her hope for meaningful action out of the Copenhagen talks. For her web-savvy audience, connecting social action through social media makes a lot of sense, and Blog Action Day is pretty much her case in point. “I think that people who care can lead us into a more sustainable place,” DeBolt said. “I’m working for that goal in every way I can, including using my blog as a social action platform on occasions such as Blog Action Day.”
- Luxist: For a blog dedicated to the finer things in life, like perfume, antique art, and the Estate of the Day, Luxist wins Grist’s Most Surprising Blog About Climate Award for its post on four green hotels that do more than opt not to change your sheets. It also gets kudos for its unstated motto, “Stop buying cheap crap and save the world by investing in this really, really nice stuff we’re telling you about.” No, wait, that still won’t work.
- Sojourners: This blog on faith, politics, and culture has deep social-justice roots, so it makes sense that a look at climate inequality in the Senate climate bill would spring from their pages today. They also want you to pray for Glenn Beck so that he’ll get behind health-care reform. All in a day’s work.
- TMZ: Putting aside its snide, shameless celebrity gossip for a day, TMZ is focusing on the greener elements of — oh, who are we kidding. It’s Letterman interns and coke overdoses all the way.
Considering that over 9,000 blogs in 150 countries with more than 12 million readers were participating in BAD this year, we’re most certainly missing out on some fantastic — and also BAD — climate discussions hiding out in the blogosphere. Let us know if you spot any! Meanwhile, we’re just going to enjoy the warm fuzzies from knowing that somewhere out there a climate skeptic could be converted.