Friday, October 19, 2007

Action Reaction

Following the Blog Action Day on the environment on Monday, here's how it went:

20,603 blogs participated ...
There were 23,327 posts (some bloggers posted more than once - guilty as charged, m'lud) ...
Reaching an approximate readership of 14,631,038.
There's more - the Day was also picked up by all forms of traditional media around the world including TV stations, radio stations and newspapers.

And yet more - Blog Action Day was officially supported by the United Nations Environmental Programme.
'UNEP welcomes the simple yet powerful concept of Blog Action Day and calls on bloggers around the world to participate.'

So what - if any - tangible difference did all this make?
There are obvious limitations to this kind of initiative.
There's a strong possibility that we're preaching to the converted.
There are no guarantees that anyone previously sceptical may have been converted to the cause simply by reading a blogpost.
And there's a danger that - as with events like Live8 - people will sit back and feel smug - they've done 'their bit'.

In response, each of us should resolve to do at least one more thing for our planet than we currently do. It's not like there's any shortage of choice:
recycling, using energy efficient lightbulbs, not leaving appliances on standby, not using the car for short journeys, buying local produce, avoiding excess packaging, not taking plastic bags, turning down our thermostats by one degree, changing to a green energy supplier ...

If every one of those 14,631,038+ people implemented one or more of these suggestions, that would make a tangible difference.

But the main outcome we have to hope for is that initiatives like this contribute to such a groundswell of opinion that they lead to a cultural shift, whereby pressure is put on governments and corporations so that it becomes impossible not to factor in the effect on the environment of new policies, projects, products etc.

Now that's what I call making a difference.

1 comment:

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

We seem to have recently gone into recycling overdrive, along with eat only organic and switch things off rather than leave them on standby. And, having become a fan of reclusivity I can safely say I hardly drive anywhere these days. I hope that counts. Would that most other people I know in real life would do the same thing. I suspect blog action day saw a lot of preaching to the converted.