MUSIC COMMUNITY MOBILIZES, THOUSANDS OF FANS TAKE ACTION
Numerous well-known artists have joined Mike Diamond (aka Mike D. of Beastie Boys) in an action with the Save Our Environment Coalition to oppose President George W. Bush’s energy plan. Some of the artists include: Alanis Morissette, Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys, Jackson Browne, Barenaked Ladies, Dave Matthews Band, Moby, Trey Anastasio of Phish, James Taylor and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Dubbed the New Power Project, the innovative effort uses the artists’ popular web sites, fan email lists, and concert tours to rally hundreds of thousands of fans and other supporters to sign petitions and to fax their members of Congress and the Bush administration, expressing outrage over the plan’s disregard for environmental protection and failure to support conservation and renewable energy programs.
“President Bush’s energy plan recommends drilling for oil in the biological heart of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, increasing reliance on nuclear power, cutting research spending on alternative energy, and basically causing irreversible damage to the planet, heading us back to a time when humanoids dragged their knuckles on the ground,” says Diamond.
The music community has allied with the Save Our Environment Coalition—a collaborative effort of over a dozen of the nation’s most influential environmental advocacy organizations. Mike D, Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morissette and others are writing letters to their fans asking them to oppose the Bush plan, and have posted the letters on their web sites and in emails to their fans.
As a result, thousands of fans are visiting the saveourenvironment.org/ live action center where they can make their voices heard by sending a fax to their Members of Congress and Administration officials; over 40,000 faxes have been sent opposing the Energy plan so far. Congress has recently dealt several blows to the plan, with the House voting to oppose the plan’s provision in National Monuments, but Republicans rammed the drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve through committee, and a final showdown is expected on the floor. The Save Our Environment Coalition is also coordinating volunteers to gather opposition to the plan at the artists’ concerts.
Gene Karpinkski, Director of the U.S. PIRGs and a Coalition member says, “These artists are helping people understand that President Bush’s energy plan is dirty, dangerous, and doesn’t deliver for consumers. It’s a recipe for more drilling, spilling, asthma attacks, nuclear waste, and global warming.”
According to the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, “Mike D and the artists and fans can make a real difference stopping the flawed Bush energy plan and building support for a solution to our energy needs that is cleaner, faster, cheaper and safer.”
The New Power Project artists will further its efforts by engaging environmental activists at their concerts nationwide. Recent shows by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Atlanta, James Taylor on Long Island and Trey Anastasio in San Francisco have featured a petition-signing and information component. Alanis Morissette will play an important show for this campaign on July 31st in Anchorage, Alaska, just a short plane ride away from the endangered Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
In talking to her fans about her involvement in this effort, Ms. Morissette points to a lack of openness on Bush’s part to explore alternative sources of energy: “The sunlight the earth receives in 30 minutes is equivalent to all the power used by humankind in one year. George Bush has chosen to ignore this by cutting renewable energy research by 37% and energy efficient research by 30%.” According to a recent Department of Energy report, 60% of future electricity demand could be met by increasing efficiency and production of clean renewable energy.
Meanwhile, Diamond suggests harnessing power of a political kind. “This is our world. If each person goes to the saveourenvironment.org/ live web site right now and sends a message, we can stop this.”
Members of the Save Our Environment Coalition are:
American Oceans Campaign, American Rivers, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, Environmental Defense, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, National Audubon Society, National Environmental Trust, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Ocean Conservancy, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club, The State PIRGs, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Wilderness Society, World Wildlife Fund.