Matthew Follett, Green House Network
Thursday, 23 Sep 1999
We have reached the point where all of our frantic behavior has become counterproductive. The Green House Network has planned a benefit concert and incorporated the visit of an ambassador in an effort to direct attention toward the issue of global warming. We have done everything humanly possible to make our event a success. Now we just let the ball roll.
The scramble we have gone through the last two days to get media attention has led to some outlets for our message. The Portland Oregonian will be doing a small write-up on Ambassador Lionel Hurst’s visit in the Friday paper. We have a phone interview set up with Tidepool (thanks to Ted Wolf at Ecotrust), and an interview with public radio’s “Marketplace.” This certainly eases my concerns.
The world of media is difficult to get a handle on. We learned that the folks at the media firm that had been working to publicize the ambassador’s visit did everything they could to generate interest, but the fickle nature of the business prevented them from actually being able to make anything happen. To them, I owe a sincere apology for doubting their efforts.
Two days ago, I received a call from Sam Andrew of the band Big Brother and today I got a call from Molly of Pele Juju. They both were very excited about coming to Portland for this benefit concert. The power of music to assist people in opening up and becoming more receptive to a message is astounding. We are fortunate because both bands are deeply concerned about the dangers of global warming.
Now that I am releasing control of the vision and letting the pieces fall as they may, I can feel the excitement and positive nature of our benefit. This weekend is going to be an enormous amount of work … I mean fun!
What do we want out
of our benefit and visit by Ambassador Hurst this weekend? We want people to walk away with the message that the issue of global warming is very complex and confusing, but that it is very real.
Due to the immense nature of global warming and its varied repercussions, we feel it is important to personalize the issue by bringing global warming home. If people understand the impacts of climate change on a local and regional basis, we believe they will become more concerned about the issue — they’ll have a vested interest. The hope is that as people are armed with the facts (a great place to get information on climate change from a Northwest perspective is Climate Solutions), they will connect changes in their environment, such as unusual weather patterns, to this global problem.
The Global Climate Coalition and other groups opposed to actions that would help curb global warming have spent millions misinforming the American public about the immediacy of the problem. This publicity campaign has surrounded the issue with so much controversy that it is not being actively addressed by our national government. As we and others work to clear away this misinformation, we hope the American public will demand action on this very urgent issue. This is our mission.