Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When Green Turns Red

Alexa doesn't blog. She emails. But I get the emails. I do blog. I told her I might share. And she didn't object.

She wrote today that green is turning red. Environmentalism is adopting a wartime language.

When she watched Thomas Friedman speak a few weeks ago, "the tone and narrative was utterly cold war." And, as she reads, she can't but feel the drumbeat of an advancing new metaphor:

Saving civilization will take a massive mobilization, and at wartime speed. The closest analogy is the belated U.S. mobilization during WWII.

That's Lester Brown: quote from an excerpt from a chapter from a book. The excerpt is called A Wartime Mobilization. The chapter is called The Great Mobilization. And the book is called Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization.

Alexa wonders "if this is a necessary part of social change - if language must always be 'grafted' - the same old narratives with a new set of nouns."

And that is a fascinating question.

I can't say I have an answer, but I do think it's worth keeping in mind that world war is not only this country's only frame of reference for mass collective effort; it's our only frame of reference for economic reinvention and turnaround.

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