We have so much to be excited about Live Earth -- above all, it brought the
message of a climate in crisis to more than 2 billion people worldwide -- and
that's something that even Ann Curry's excruciatingly stupid interviews with
Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg couldn't stop.
Thanks to Al Gore, Alicia Keys, and Madonna, there are many more people
today who know that the planet is in danger than yesterday, and know there
are simple things they can do about it: change their lightbulbs, "stop
driving so many big-ass cars" (Chris Rock), and even tell our political
leaders to take action.
The world is a vastly better place for it.
But there was one big thing missing from the concerts: the environmental
We heard vital messages about how we can make our personal lives more
eco-friendly, and how political action is necessary, but we didn't hear from
the organizations that are actually making it happen. Because of that, many
people won't know the single best way they can make a change: by joining
others to create collective action.
It's all well and good for millions of people to make changes alone,
separate from one another, or to contact their elected representatives with
a lonely phone call or late-night email. But real change comes when people
act together in communities, in nations, and around the world. Politicians
and corporate decision makers aren't afraid of individuals, even when
there's lots of them; but they tremble at the idea of millions or billions
acting together in an organized fashion.
But amidst the admittedly important calls for unplugging our appliances and
turning down the thermostat, we didn't hear anyone telling us to join our
local chapter of the Sierra Club or Greenpeace or political organizations
like MoveOn.org that are also mobilizing to face the climate crisis. These
are the groups that have been fighting the good fight over the long haul --
and will continue fighting it beyond the 3-5 year campaign envisioned by
Live Earth organizers. They've been saving forests, cleaning up rivers, and
getting people together to make the changes in our homes and in our nations
necessary to save the planet. But as big and successful as Sierra Club,
Greenpeace, MoveOn and others are, they need far more people to have the
power to face down the corporations and politicians who got us into this
That's something that Live Earth hasn't yet delivered -- but it's something
that organizers urgently need to do if they're going to build the movement
necessary to save the planet.
Thankfully, Live Earth won't be the end. Organizers know more needs to be
done. To truly realize the awesome potential created by this event, they'll
need to tap people into the environmental movement -- locally, nationally,
and globally. They can start by emailing, texting, and calling all those who
got involved through this spectacular event, and letting them know what they
can to join the organizations making the difference on the ground.
That's what the movement needs, that's what the planet needs, and that's
what can make Live Earth remembered as the truly transformative event we all
hope it was.
To help, here's how you can get started:
Follow Glenn Hurowitz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/glennhurowitz