April 13, 2010

The New "Environmental Leader," Part 1


Wendy McHale, Publisher

Once upon a time, asking "Who didn't love John Denver?" was kind of like asking, "Who didn't love, "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain""?

Both today are but somewhat distant memories.


For those who remember - like the picture above - there was something so sweet about John, so pure. Through the passion of his songs, he came to represent the spirit of our natural environment. We hummed along to his graceful melodies and in doing so, became aware how precious our natural resources were. And how badly we were tearing them apart.

John Denver was our first modern-age environmental leader.



"The Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky mountain high"

Mr. Denver stood for something, so it's that much more sorrowful that his own personal destiny mirrors the self-destructive impact we've each wreaked upon our environment

He was a god-send to the environmental movement. He was also God's side-kick, playing the person God selected in the film "Oh God" to give the world a message. It was destined to become a classic especially with the role of God being played by George Burns!

Aside from the humor, if John was with us here today, what would that message be?


"Almost heaven, West Virginia,
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River.
Life is old there, older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains, growin' like a breeze".


With Earth Day (April 22) still close enough to see in our rear-view mirror, we can all pat ourselves on the back for buying the "Green Issue" of Vanity Fair with Leonardo DiCaprio on the cover. We did our part and read about how bad things are... and then at the same time expressed our anger about there weren't any heavy-paper-stock coated scratch-and-sniff perfume inserts in it!

Tsk, tsk... Today it's all about being politically correct as evidenced by Graydon's choice of "maintaining the integrity" with the editorial theme. No scent strips. After all, it'd be somewhat of a downer having May's issue hunkered down and chock-full with thick inserts, considering that each one sucks up enough paper to kill a giant Redwood or two.



So now it's June. We can now go back to focusing on the other green we think about in the other 11 months of the year. But in reality, where will this inevitably leave us?

Well life's on a farm is kinda laid back
Ain't much an old country boy like me can hack
It's early to rise early in the sack
Thank God I'm a country boy

Most just pay lip-service and talk trash about global warming, blaming the government, the big oil companies and everyone else except themselves. We even cast a scent of cynicism at our much-adored celebrities who legitimately try to bring attention to the issue and then go flying all around the world in their own personal jet just to prove it to you.


It's become somewhat of a joke. To some degree, that's what John Denver allowed others to make of him. The media and various special interests turned this simple country boy into a dancing puppet. And he made us laugh and smile all down the slippery slope of popular opinion. We preferred to look at the talented singer, actor and comedian like that instead of looking closer and see how this man was tearing himself apart.

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm standin here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin, It's early morn,
The taxi's waitin, He's blowin his horn
Already I'm so lonesome, I could die"


But Mr. Denver's legacy remains and his efforts were not in vain. People got his message and began doing something about it, slowly at first but now with ever growing, positive results.

In the last cycle we see one company emerge, www.EnvironmentalLeader.com who's taken an incredibly intelligent view of how to change things in a way that John would appreciate.


Environmental Leader's publisher, Paul Nastu told us recently about it:

"We (EL) provide information on corporate environmental initiatives, research on consumer behavior, policy, and environmental studies, and an overall barometer on the state of the corporate green movement in general. We couldn't find many publications targetting corporate sustainability, environmental, communications, and marketing executives. On a pragmatic level, there's not much out there that informs top executives about what the competition is doing or that provides ideas on what they could or should be doing.

That's the hole that Environmental Leader fills".

Tomorrow we go into what is going on at www.EnvironmentalLeader.com and the companies and marketers they cover who are doing something to make a difference.

"You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again"


Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!

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