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I woke up to an NPR piece about Fox going green this morning. When I first heard Murdoch’s announcement in May, I passed it off as yet another corporation greening up (which is all well and good, just not news anymore): News Corp will employ an increasingly standard approach, reducing their carbon footprint 10% by 2012 through conservation measures and going carbon neutral by 2010 through investments in carbon offsets.
What struck me about the piece this morning, was the excerpt from Rupert Murdoch’s speech, which spoke to including green messages in News Corp’s entertainment content. In his words,
“Our audience’s carbon footprint is 10,000 times bigger than ours … Imagine if we succeed in inspiring our audiences to reduce their own impacts on climate change by just 1 percent. That would be like turning the state of California off for almost two months.”
While I am not convinced of the degree to which green messages will be integrated into television programming, I see potential in their ability to mainstream them: the OC makes it cool to buy organic/vintage clothing and John Madden can convert his bus to bio-diesel, turning his fear of flying into a green crusade on Sunday football (I don’t see him giving up his Thanksgiving Turducken for a Tofurky, but who knows?).
Let’s face it, America’s anti-intellectuality makes it far easier for households to accept green messages (although passively) delivered through entertainment than presented through a nuanced debate or documentary.
I see no harm in embracing proposals such as these, just as long as we make sure to provide scrutiny of them in practice. I look forward to seeing what they come up with…
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