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Kerry Trueman Headshot

P. Diddy: Beverly Drillbilly?

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Image: Eco Hustler for Creative Accelerator/ecohookups.com

The fact that rap mogul Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy, stepped in a pile of dog crap on a midtown Manhattan sidewalk the other day would not seem to be an especially newsworthy event, IMHO. But what do I know? The photo of Combs stepping in dog doo made the cover of Saturday's New York Post, with the caption "Poo-Diddy! Rap Heavy Steps In It Big-Time."

For my money, Combs already stepped in it big-time last month with the execrable video he posted on YouTube lamenting the fact that rising fuel costs had forced him to park his private jet and fly commercial. He takes the opportunity to beg his friends in oil-rich nations to do something about the price of oil to spare him the trauma of having to fly American.

I don't know what's more tragic: America's insatiable appetite for vacuous celebrity "news," or the inanities of the celebrities themselves. Talk about a missed opportunity. As Eco Hustler noted over on Current :

Diddy's youtube video would have been a perfect platform to say that he supports the need for alternative fuel, to stop global warming or to buy cool eco-friendly products etc...Just imagine the audience he would have reached. Our problem is way bigger than the price of oil.

Yeah, our problem is that most of the country has yet to grasp the urgency of global warming and seems to think that we can drill our way out of this disaster. Why are we taking our cues from celebrities, anyway?

Maybe because they're the only people we recognize. As 17 year-old filmmaker Niaz Mosharraf documented in his wry short America For Dummies, his peers could all identify photos of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, etc., but were stumped by images of world leaders and politicians.

True, we've got more celebrities than ever giving "green" a more glamorous sheen, as the website Ecorazzi documents daily. Sadly, though, as Eco Hustler points out, the majority of these folks are white: "Are Morgan Freeman, Lenny Kravitz, Don Cheadle and The Roots the only eco-friendly celebrities of color?"

The thing is, we need to find a way to get everyone to understand the challenges we're facing and how our own choices can make things better--or worse. But asking people who are coping with their own domestic meltdowns, from foreclosures to lay-offs to lack of health insurance, to get worked up about melting glaciers in the Himalayas, well...good luck with that.

I don't know how you can convince people to care, but I'm pretty sure it's not by parading around with a bag like this one I spotted in a shop window on my way home from the farmers' market this morning:

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This is about as persuasive as those "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers so beloved by drivers of SUVs.

Just think, if Diddy had a sense of humor, he could design a t-shirt for his Sean John clothing line that says, "I'm flying commercial. What are you doing to curb your carbon footprint?" And then he could donate the proceeds to a non-profit dedicated to fighting climate change, like, say, 350.org.

Diddy was said to be upset when he spotted photographers documenting his encounter with a pile of dog crap, and reportedly pleaded with them not to publish the pictures. I guess it's kinda embarrassing to have your picture in the paper with the headline "Diddy The Crap Star." It should be beyond embarrassing, though, to post a video of yourself on YouTube in which you essentially echo the creepy GOP chant "Drill, Baby, Drill." Why not "Chill, Baby, Chill?" We need to make conservation cool.

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