NOT YOUR FATHER'S ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT
Anita Sharpe on Making a Difference
It's Earth Day and, so far, it doesn't look much like the heyday of Greenpeace.
One vignette: Jean-Michel Cousteau, who is carrying on his dad's work to save the oceans, spoke today at The Carter Center in Atlanta. While Cousteau was largely preaching to the choir, we could be forgiven for thinking we had stumbled into a Fortune 500 shareholders meeting. The mostly middle-aged audience was neatly attired in suits and ties or hose and heels. In fact, much of the audience seemed to work at big companies or law firms.
Which doesn't mean it wasn't a passionate crowd. Applause was long and loud. I even saw tears on one face as Cousteau showed videos of littered beaches and dead animals, including bird carcasses whose stomach cavities were filled with plastic and metal.
Still, the make-up of the audience seemed illustrative of Cousteau's closing comment that 'the old days of fighting between the industrialists and the angry environmentalists are over. We're working together; we're taking care of the house.'
Not everyone is so sure about that. As one Fortune 500 executive turned social entrepreneur quiety remarked, 'We still need the activists. Nothing really changes without them.'