Filed under: Society + Media
Trends make people do crazy things. They make people wear silly clothes and get ridiculous haircuts for the sake of seeming just a bit more in-tune than other people.
Social trends are really no different – they make people say and do crazy things. But unlike fashion, the influence of social trends isn’t measured by ridicule, but by the emergent properties the trends produce.
A USA Today article outlined the top 25 Trends That Changed America. Among them: establishing diversity, fighting for equality and trying curb smoking. The list also contained global warming and going green.
So, given some of the others on the list, why does environmentalism as a trend have to be a bad thing?
Like it or not, trends hold tremendous power. Trends are trends by definition because people are influenced by them, people talk about them, and people advertise for them. What environmentalism needs more than anything is discussion. Discussion yields action. And action gets the attention of legislators, who have more power to get this ball rolling. Check out this list compiled by the Presidential Climate Action Project, which outlines everything President Barack Obama has the power to do.
We need policy, but in order to have policy, we need people. If we want environmentalism to stick around long enough to be as influential as the civil rights “trends,” we need to cater to those who will make a difference – individual people. We can’t overwhelm them with statistics or doom and gloom forecasts. We have to continue to give them answers, simple ones, as to how they can help.
It might be adding fuel to the trend train, but at least it’s carbon free.
Of course, this may give credence to those saying environmentalism as a trend undermines the importance of taking care of the planet, but frankly I’d rather have bad rap videos about going green than nothing at all.
Thanks to In Between Meals for the photo.
Thanks to You Tube for the video.
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