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Punk rock environmentalism

January 07 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

In the late 70s music consisted of a few monster rock bands, over-produced concept albums and laser light shows... then along came punk rock.

Punk rock meant DIY (do it yourself), it wasn't something you could buy at a
store. You had to make it. You had to create it. This brought a democratizing factor into music... it meant anyone could participate, from a math nerd to a skater. Punk rock took the artificial spotlight off the rockstar and pointed it back to the seemingly random individual... and empowered them. What happened is new bands sprung up out of thin air, new ideas flourished, vapid rock bands were exposed as such and the music industry as a whole grew.

For me punk was about the idea of creating a new route, a new approach... something fresh
. The fashion angle, which seemed to many to be the whole story, was really a byproduct of the larger theme of creating something new and different.

The idea of creating something new brings with it energy, creativity and fun. There was a palpable sense of control shifting away from corporate-rock to something that was juuuuust about to be created.

For me punk was an invitation to participate. It was an onramp.

Yes, it has since been packaged, marketed, cheapened, glamorized, diluted and sold to anyone that will buy. But the original germ of the idea still resonates with me... and I see it's application in the environmental movement.

No, I'm not suggesting that greenies start wearing safety pins...

I'm suggesting that we, the collective we, should enable and allow for non-traditional approaches in the environmental movement. We should make sure that we enable EVERYone to feel a personal connection to the oceans, waves and beaches. I don't care if you are a seven year old or a seventy year old. We literally want the entire globe to find a place to plug in.


Environmentalism MUST offer an invitation to participate. We need celebrate different approaches to this problem as it's a... big problem. We need all hands on deck. We should welcome as much diversity as we can get.

Of course you could say "Jim, um... punk rock isn't exactly current thinking, that was 30 years ago" and that would be an excellent point. The idea behind punk is what I'm pointing to and you can see this flowering today with our gillion MySpace pages, rogue High School clubs, fresh artistic creations, etc.

We need to build onramps for people to join this movement. We need to help people find some personal way to plug in, some issue that resonates with them. What do you care about? What are you already doing? How does your current set of habits intersect with the environmental movement? Does it? Create something...

It must become... yours.

Make it personal.

Make it yours.

Do it yourself.

The Ramones took rock and roll, knocked it off it'd pedistal and make it thiers. What will you do to make the environmental movement yours?

Hey Ho Let's Go!

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