J500 Media and the Environment

Rock the Vote! by michellec1
October 23, 2008, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Business + Politics, Energy + Climate, Society + Media | Tags: , ,

I first learned about the power of “messaging” when I ran for the prestigious office of Student Council Vice President. I quickly learned how hard it was to communicate my beliefs and opinions to my constituents in a way that differentiated me from my running mate. It was especially challenging when it came down to the very important issues such as homecoming themes and snack options in the cafeteria.


In this presidential election year, we have been bombarded with campaign slogans and carefully crafted phrases that either gain our wholehearted support or fuel our passionate disagreement on important political issues that will resonate far beyond the halls of high school. One of these issues is energy. Both Barak Obama and John McCain have energy plans that they describe with terms such as efficient, clean, and renewable. Both sides claim that their plan is in the best interest of your neighborhood, our nation, and the planet.  In today’s energy conversation, who is telling the truth, and who is simply promising us Twinkies at lunch to get our vote?


Maybe the best chance we have at answering that question is go get more people talking. Blogging and discussion forums about energy issues are a way to give everyday people a voice that might not otherwise be heard. It can be a lot easier to trust someone who is speaking their mind with nothing to gain than to trust a politician with an election on the line.  Politicians can help us by hiring scientists and advisors to bring new facts and information to the table, but we can help them by doing our part to better understand the issues and discuss possible solutions with others around us.



-Michelle Chisholm


2 Comments so far
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Michelle. Well put. I just posted my blog asking the question – what is each individual’s contribution to this ongoing issue. And you, without knowing it, gave one solution – communication via blogging and online discussion forums. And I love your suggestion that politicians hire experts in these areas. I believe they are doing that and have been hiring such folks for decades. However, one has to wonder if these “experts” for hire are telling their “communicator” the truth OR if they are being heard at all.

Rebecca Lynch

Comment by rebeccaly


You bring up a very good point about how loud of a voice enviornmental experts have in a political campaign. I think this year, they are finally really being heard. It’s true that they will probably have a very clear bias about what they think are the best solutions and it will probably reflect their particular party’s views. After all, we all like having the people that work for us agree on how things should be done. It brings up a great point about how valuable it is to reach across party lines in order to really find unbiased views and the best solutions. As the energy debates continue, I hope both sides will have the courage to listen to someone’s view point other than their own and carefully weigh contrary information so that viable solutions are not overlooked just because the other party thought of them first. Different people have different versions of the “truth” so it is never as clear cut as we’d like to think it is.

Comment by michellec1

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