Let’s Just Sell the Sun.

24_6sun

The stars that shine are yours and mine
The rainbows in the sky are yours and mine

 The song of springtime
The lullaby of Fall

The sunshine of summertime Belong to us all

 The moon above Is yours and mine

The right to fall in love Is yours and mine

The hope of finding the dream

Our hearts desire

All this is Yours and mine

                        Yours and Mine – Billie Holiday

 

If the intent is to save capitalism at all costs, Let’s Just Give The Sun to the Oil Companies.

They already assume they own the right to the earth.

Before you dismiss this absolutely mad idea consider the dilemma – this is for the whole, habitable, Blue Marble.

When I happened upon this essay from Chris Agnos, so many pieces fell in place, I was spinning.

Of course expert economists, industrialists, investment bankers and politicians will dismiss it without a second thought. But, consider this; it was Winston Churchill as Admiral of the British Navy, who had the foresight to retool the entire British fleet from coal-fueled, steam engine technology, in anticipation of Hitler’s stirrings of fascism1 , to save the free world.

And what’s the difference? Capitalists2 already believe in major ownership of at least one body in our solar system. But for at least two reasons, selling solar radiation is a brilliant idea.

One, It challenges the very idea of who even owns the earth – and the right to poison the water, air and health of all and everything that live here?

And two, by selling (or leasing) this solar resource, owned by all humanity, it just could provide a critical mechanism to peacefully unwind fossil fuel reserves, leases and investment infrastructure.

And why not? We sell off and mine the Earth, corporate satellites orbit our atmosphere and futurists envision someday mining asteroids and planetary objects (if we are still around).

So let’s call the energy industry’s bluff and offer to buy out their leases and devalued assets. Let’s call the Sun, Humanity’s Capital (it always was). Have this fund our climate change obligations to make island nations, indigenous cultures, coastal cities, farming, fishing and displaced fossil fuel industry communities and nations – resilient.

Finally, if the (US Secretary of State and fmr. Exxon CEO) Rex Tillerson, wants to talk to Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur and US Presidential advisor) about a deal with the rest of humanity along with every other sun-rich and even petroleum-rich nation…we might be willing to consider it.

 

References:

1 The Quest David Yergin

2 Capital In the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty

Let’s Just Give the Sun to the Oil Companies is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Chris Agnos and ChrisAgnos.com.

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Think small (again).

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In semi-defense of advertising on Earth Day.

On his passing The New York Times wrote this headline;

Julian Koenig, Who Sold Americans on Beetles and Earth Day, Dies at 93.

To be the Guy who came up with Earth Day and Think Small is a remarkable legacy. At the time of seeing the first photos of our home planet in full, Joni Mitchell singing Woodstock, passage of civil rights legislation and The Wilderness Act, we had enough time then, to heed scientist’s major warnings of climate change and much to feel hopeful for.

Somehow along the way the virtue of sharing and simplicity became passé. But more recently, perhaps of necessity, a younger generation is discovering the practicality of less is more, as in a deeper connection to things they value.

Creative people like Julian and the other writers and art directors of the Mad Men era managed to make wit, the desired commodity.

I’d like to believe enough of us want to see our country and the world stop the climate catastrophe and that this crisis will awaken the necessary response. That wit, talent and simple honesty will reappear with sufficient force now that we need it most.

Advertising is a changed business as much as any other today in one very important way. Corporations no longer see their main purpose to serve the best interests of customers or country, at least in the main. And to be fair there are philanthropic aspects of commerce and market efficiencies are sought. But no surprise here – profits trump humanity. And that has no place in a quarterly earnings statement – the businessperson’s report card. The only reason to be green is if it makes money.

A t-shirt my daughter bought me during the Gap RED campaign reads;

 WHAT WE
COLLECTIVELY
CHOOSE 2 BUY,
OR NOT 2 BUY CAN
CHANGE THE
COUR$E
OF LIFE
& HISTORY
ON THIS
PLANET.

 Change buy to sell and It should hang in every corporate boardroom.

You might say social engineering has been what advertising has been up to all along unwittingly having arrived at this frightful moment. And though pundits rail at the suggestion of “mind-control” mankind is quite capable of creating a successful response to energy use. With cleverness, persuasion, improvisation, fury, love, faith, comedy, art, science, music and every motivational tool and a whole lot more than good intentions.

Industrial nations must confront their primary role in undertaking the planet’s sixth extinction and find ways to dramatically alter a consumptive civilization. Especially in light of the developing world’s emergence and expectations of a planet-wide consumer culture.

Since the Second World War there have been a great many PSA (Public Service Announcements). Advertisers leap at the opportunity to be authors of them.

"We can do it!" Rosie the Riveter Poster smokey_poster Save a Planet

 

Classic campaigns from the Ad Council and one of mine for the Time Environmental Challenge.

 

climatenamechange.org

 

One of The Guardian top 10 climate change campaigns.

Where to begin?

“This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers this morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you might find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”

— Joseph Campbell