A Wider Audience

It is time for environmental to groups start looking for resources to take the message to a wider audience. Efforts until now have done some good. However, to make major changes in our society and to save mankind from extinction, most of the society has to be engaged. Attending the Rice Design Alliance event on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at the Museum of Fine Arts was an uplifting event which drew an almost entirely white middle class audience.

The efforts of the Houston Advanced Research Center, the United States Green Building Counsel and the rest of the environmental community are too narrow. I propose:

1) writing curriculum for K-12 and the universities,
2) making videos for the popular market,
3) web sites that contain more information,
4) producing shows for the Public Broadcast System and the major networks and
5) writing books. I advocate a special effort in engaging our poor and working poor. Otherwise, the environmental effort is doomed to slow or no growth.

I envision walking into Blockbuster to see a section, “Science, Technology and the Environment”.

I envision web sites with detailed information. After the event is over, there is no reference source to use again. I heard superb presentations from Pittman McGehee and Brian Yeoman on July 20 but that was the end of it. The Rice Design Alliance has none of the text of their presentations on their web site.

Someone in Houston’s environmental community should approach the Houston Business Journal offering weekly or semi-weekly environmental news as a regular feature.

Make a special effort to engage the poor and working poor by talking to them and social workers to make presentations that appeal.

All of this will take resources and attention away from future activities. Some painful adjustment is necessary to go beyond presentations to elite audiences and reach out to those who are now only marginally concerned.