Has Going Green, Gone Bad?


Just hours after presenting my green-centered research agenda to my fellowship steering committee, two disturbing articles came to my attention, that begged me to question, “has going green, gone bad”?

This first article highlights the fact that Discovery is dropping its “Planet Green” channel and re-introducing it as “Destination America”… Destination America will include shows about extreme BBQ competitions and super-duper thrill rides… REALLY? So I was curious to know why Discovery felt this change necessary.  Here is a statement from Team Planet Green: 

“Planet Green was launched in the midst of an exciting environmental trend in the U.S. and what we found is that while consumers enjoy sharing information and best practices with other like-minded fans, they prefer to do that via online tools and social media.”

OK, got it, I guess… The second article titled “Alternate-Energy Group to Avoid Clean, Green in Campaigns” looks at the Accelerating Energy Leadership PAC’s avoidance of catch words – – clean energy and green energy – – that its treasurer, Tim Greeff, feels “set people off in the wrong way”. The PAC seeks to help candidates who support “diversifying American energy sources,” which includes solar and wind power, biomass, nuclear and natural gas. But after the failure of the stimulus-backed Solyndra, the GOP and its “big oil” supporters have made it difficult for progressive politicians who support alternative energy innovations. Thus forcing the PAC to find alternative ways to brand alternative energy. Therefore, as I embark on this research journey, I must consider the polarization that exists within our country’s “green” discourse, as the various ideological enclaves form around issues of energy, climate change, and other environmentally centered topics and policies. Likewise, if “green” remains such a loaded term, will we be forced to re-frame the movement in such a way that it loses its original meaning and passion? 

Planet Green story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/sns-rt-us-planetgreenbre83400u-20120404,0,5139401.story

Alternative Energy PAC story: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-04/alternate-energy-group-to-avoid-clean-green-in-campaigns

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