Friday, 24 Sep 1999

PORTLAND, Ore.

In a number of ways, putting together a benefit concert is like trying to tackle the problem of global warming. There are so many intangibles that need to be dealt with and yet can’t be. In the end, all you can do is put together the pieces as well as possible and hope that everything works out.

The parallel continues in that both endeavors require the work of experts in a variety of fields. And yet, just as there is no guarantee that expectations for the benefit event will be met, there is also no guarantee that sophisticated computer models will provide accurate predictions about climate change.

In my diary entries this week, I have provided an intimate, uncensored version of my trials and tribulations as I’ve worked to set up a benefit concert and other events to raise awareness about climate change. My intent has been to share the passion I feel about the issue of global warming and the urgent need for action to curb our rising greenhouse gas emissions.

A rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, which is being called for by the Earth Day 2000 campaign, is as essential as ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. What we truly need is a paradigm shift. We need to become more efficient in our use of energy, technology, and resources. We need to internalize environmental and social costs. We need to act like stewards to the earth. We need to show the responsibility of ownership and protect that which provides us with life, the complex web we are barely beginning to understand.

This is where all people — environmentalists, clergypeople, industrialists, homemakers, academics, scientists, CEOs, farmers, athletes, musicians, marketers, ranchers, philosophers, legislators, and children alike — meet.

I leave you with one final question. If your house were treated like the Earth, would you stand for it?