While spending Earth
Day at the Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference, held at the Ritz Carlton
in Laguna Niguel, California, I couldn’t help but marvel at how far
we’ve come since I started covering the trash beat on Earth Day, 1997.
Listening to Bill Clinton’s keynote on climate change, and hearing executives from IBM, GE, and WalMart tout their impressive sustainability initiatives, one could not help but feel a glimmer of green optimism.
Yes, green washing
is still a reality but I am more concerned about a practice someone
dubbed green hushing. That’s the tendency to talk up a company’s
green side in the confines of environmental gatherings, but not take
that message out to the public. What’s wrong with that? It
misses both a chance to show stewardship as something to be proud of,
and an opportunity to support green programming that, if more widely
accessible, could inform and inspire millions of Americans.
Where’s the green to back green radio?
Can you name
any corporate brands that have put their money where their mouth
is to sponsor a national show focused exclusively on environmental news
and views? Or even a syndicated green minute? I can tell you it hasn’t
happened because bringing green content to network airwaves is what
I’ve been trying to do for a decade, with mixed results. Meantime,
think of all the business, sports, celebrity and so-called “reality
shows” clogging airwaves, while our future hangs in the balance.
My efforts to green the country’s radio waves have been both costly and confounding. But that was then, this is now. We have a green president in the White House, corporate America is waking up to smell the co2, and hope is in the air.
At last month’s Fortune Green conference I invited the most proactive companies to walk the eco talk by supporting a show that would bring more Americans into the conversations about conservation, widen the tent, and grow the choir from coast to coast. Isn’t that exactly what’s needed next?
I plan to follow up
with all of them but want to first arm myself with evidence of demand
for an all green talk program. I know interest is out there but need
to prove it by capturing thousands of signatures on a petition we’ve
posted on FaceBook Causes.
Green Radio at the Not-OK Corral
With the other end
of the roadblock –media managers - in mind, in March I attended the
Radio & Records Talk Radio Seminar held in Los Angeles.
Take a look at my laying
down of the Green Gauntlet to big market GM’s - who hold the keys
to the nation’s airwaves – imploring them to carry at least one
eco-focused interview program. The respondent in this short video
clip is Phil Boyce, owner of a group of Rush Limbaugh
friendly stations. His retort is candid, revealing, provocative,
and ultimately motivational! See what you think…
The cockiness (and cluelessness) is ironic since these executives spent much of the conference lamenting the potential demise of radio due to diminishing ad revenue and an ever shrinking market share. Perhaps offering a program focused on the most pressing issue of our times – planetary survival - would be a fruitful way to stay relevant!
Facebook Cause – One Green Radio Show!
If you agree that
at least one company purporting to embrace sustainability should
step up to help fill the dearth of regular green programming in mainstream
media outlets by underwriting such content (with attached advertising
opportunity), then please sign our pledge at FaceBook Causes …
By signing our petition, and forwarding it to your circles, you are pledging to programmers that you will in fact listen to a green program that has a track record of success, farm fresh content, reliable information, credible sources, big market experience, and a friendly, engaging, even humorous, style. We need thousands of signatures but I know the support is out there. Three years ago my Air America program attracted some 50-thousand listeners and that was before the Green Rush!
Together, using the power of en-viral marketing, let’s join our voices in a resounding response to the contention that “no one will listen”. Let’s shout back “yes we will!!”
Thanks so much for your support.
As glaciers melt,