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Propaganda and Nonsense – or Empowering?

20 February 2009

Recently the environment minister of Northern Ireland has come under some scrutiny for banning a climate change ad campaign, calling it “propaganda.”  His complaint is that the ads, which ask people to fight phantom load by unplugging their televisions when not in use, gives people the impression that their actions make a real difference – and I quote:

“That is patent nonsense.”

I understand where he’s coming from – I really do.  With a problem as, well, global as climate change, it seems kind of ridiculous to tell people that changing light bulbs and unplugging appliances will make a difference when it comes to the billions upon billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide that flood our atmosphere every day.  The thing is, IT REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Here in Minnesota half of our state’s carbon dioxide emissions come from residents – from our homes and our cars.  Half! How can we expect to create any lasting solutions without individuals getting involved?  We have tremendous power, not just to save money in our homes, but to change the way we use energy in our state.  Think if every legislator got a call from every single one of their constituents saying “I’m practicing energy efficiency and I think the state needs to, too!”  They would have no choice but to create change.

Don’t listen to people who tell you that you don’t make a difference – your actions matter more than you may realize now.

:: Grist

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