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Greening Hollywood: This Is Our Moment

February 3, 2010

This Is Our Moment

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As Obama said, “the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.”

WIND

We say, all eyes on China:  The world’s largest wind power project is currently in Texas (with a capacity of 782 MW), but China “is in the midst of building a wind corridor that could grow to a staggering 20,000 MW, 25 times the size of Texas’ Roscoe Wind Farm.” This wind farm in China is expected to have a capacity of 5,000 MW by the end of this year.

SOLAR

And in the fall, China announced plans to build a 2000 MW solar photovoltaic farm, “33 times bigger than the world’s largest today, a 60 MW farm in Spain.”

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Thoughts from Zachary Shahan

Hollywood

Well, coming out of left field with this one, this is my final idea of who might be more powerful than Obama. Of course, like “the media” this isn’t a single person. Nonetheless, it is something to consider.

As we all know, climate change rose to the top of national and even global concern when Al Gore made “An Inconvenient Truth” and people saw this movie on the topic. This, without the flash and flare of Hollywood even, was a prime example of how popular forms of media can affect the population and politics.

Millions of people watched Obama’s State of the Union speech, but how many millions more saw Avatar?

The popularity and influence of Hollywood could be a stronger force getting more people behind climate and clean energy legislation than Obama ever could (at least, in the population at large — the people who do elect members of Congress).

A new video on the web has just come out along exactly these lines, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Felicity Huffman, Forest Whitaker, Ed Norton, Justin Long, and others. I am writing about that in my next post, so stay tuned. If “Hollywood” continues on this path, I think it alone could drive the necessary public support for climate and clean energy legislation, but they need to really get behind it, (do more than a youtube video).

Well, it is a string of thoughts here. And I guess the point of it is, we cannot only pin our hopes and disappointments on Obama or even Congress. We have to look at the issue more broadly; tackle tragic media coverage of these issues; engage in our democracy more ourselves to get people in all sectors energized around the fact that if the US doesn’t give Obama and Congress some support and some push, China is going to win the game before we realize we’re playing with them; and hope that some bigshots in Hollywood or other popular arenas help get the common citizen behind strong climate and clean energy legislation.

 

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