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Today Is Earth Day
Today is Earth Day…..in fact it is the 40th anniversary of the date inaugurated in 1970 to foster awareness about ecology and the environment. In its inaugural year, the concern about “saving the planet” was secondary to the protestors energizing college campuses in a push to end the war in Vietnam. In those days, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson's bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries. Capitalizing on the emerging consciousness and channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement, Earth Day 1970 put environmental concerns front and center.
Fast forward to 2011 and the debate over global warming and climate change is foremost in the national debate, along with a concern over dwindling oil reserves and the eventual transition to cleaner energy sources. Mirroring events that will be held around the globe, the Green World Campaign (www.greenworld.org), in partnership with Earth Day New York (www.earthdayny.org), will launch an initiative to “ReGreen the World.” Earth Day New York will dedicate a full hour of its live programming and public service time on its Times Square partner screens to the Green World Campaign’s innovative cell phone initiative inviting people to “text TREE” to fund global tree-planting. This work supports the United Nations Year of Forests 2011.
Spectators will experience the Green World Campaign’s dazzling motion graphics of vivid leaves and branches swirling across Times Square screens operated by Toshiba, NASDAQ, Reuters, MTV, CBS and CNN, turning the urban environment into a virtual forest at regular intervals. By way of the same “text2give” technology successfully used by the Red Cross for Haitian relief, people in Times Square and around the country will be invited to “text TREE to 85944” to plant trees in environmentally damaged areas of the world. A one- time donation of $5 will be debited from their cell phone bill to fund the planting of five trees on degraded land from Kenya to Mexico. This will help restore the ecology and economy of some of the world’s poorest places.
Green World Campaign-produced screen content includes a PSA designed and donated by leading ad agency David & Goliath (L.A., Frankfurt, London) and Stockholm-based FilmTecknarna. Production was funded by a grant from the U.K.-based CBD Charitable Trust. Technical coordination of this complex project will be overseen by Tal Yarden, a leading New York video designer and multimedia programmer. Project partners include EarthWays Foundation, CauseCast, the One Spirit Learning Alliance, Culture Shock Marketing, the Streaming Museum, Iva Kaufmann & Associates, and Imagination, Inc.
Numerous films on the topic can be viewed online including the world premiere of INTO THE COLD: A JOURNEY OF THE SOUL. This powerful films follows environmental advocate and adventurer Sebastian Copeland and partner Keith Heger as they venture more than 400 miles on foot through sub-zero temperatures on a harrowing journey to the North Pole. A moving story of endurance, courage and commitment, the film transports us into the mind of an explorer facing insurmountable odds in a rapidly vanishing environment. To view the film, visit: www.intothecold.org. Other websites that are hosting videos and interactive projects can be found on www.ecology.com, www.cohearth.com/eco-tube.html, www.wri.org, www.csupomona.edu/~library/websites/ecology.html and www.ecositeawards.com.
Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Circuit Editor
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