|Monday May 3rd 2004
Global Green USA has established itself as quite an influential
environmental power house in the entertainment industry in the last couple
of years, enlisting the participation of such stars as Leo DiCaprio and
Cameron Diaz. How did this come about?
In today's cluttered media environment, we recognize that you have to be creative to harness the power of communication. Working with figures in
entertainment industry that have a deep commitment to the environment has
provided a great opportunity to reach millions of people with a message
about sustainability, and life style choices.
What are the connections, if any, between your group and what the Earth Communications Office and the Environmental Media Association have done in
We know both organizations well, and are supportive of each other's
The founder of Earth Communications Office, Bonnie Reiss, is now the
Governor of California's chief of staff... is Global Green USA in touch
We have been in touch with Terry Tamminen, who has been asked to
Gov. Schwarzenegger's environmental platform.
Governor Schwarzenegger promised to transform one of his Hummers into a
hydrogen burning vehicle. Do you know what happened to that promise? Any
insight as to why Terry Tamminen, Califonia's new Environmental Protection
Agency director appointed
by the Governor put this campaign promise on the
As we have read in recent reports, the Governor still has not converted
Hummer to hydrogen. Personally, I think greening a Hummer misses the point
as it represents excess to an extreme degree. The cost and energy needed
make the Hummer clean also makes it cost prohibitive to be done by those
except the most wealthy at this point.
Terry has a tall order to fill given the ambitious plan, and the forces in
the Governor's administration that may not feel that these plans are the
best use of political capital. Terry however is dogged and determined to
In our correspondence, you mentioned interest in AC Propulsion's t-Zero
pure electric convertible sports car with standing start
of 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.4 seconds. Do you think the t-Zero might
a future as the new "it" toy for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills?
I think it does. Tom Hanks mentioning the car on Letterman has gotten a
of attention, and I've heard other people in the entertainment industry
about the car recently. It certainly would take our desire to make ZEV and
hybrid vehicles sexy to a new level given it is a sports car.
The Green Stars, Red Carpet campaign Global Green USA sponsors has gotten
lot of media attention since the Oscars, but as to be expected, it has
been poopooed by the conservative press. How do you answer your critics on
the right who accuse green celebrities of hypocrisy driving hybrids while
also traveling by private jets?
The reaction shows that we succeeded in our communications campaign to
that hybrid cars can be sexy. We received dozens of emails from around the
country, and have talked to dozens of others that saw or read about the
campaign, who loved it. Many were inspired by it push them toward getting
hybrid, including a Republican I know. The issue of battling conspicuous
consumption by putting stars in hybrid cars was also a central point. I
don't know if these stars fly in private planes, but through our campaign
are both helping stars open their eyes - Tim Robbins got his own hybrid
after last year's Oscars and our first year of the campaign - or
their already growing commitment.
A team of Japanese engineers built a pure EV limousine prototype called
the KAZ, which can reach speeds of 190 mph, and cruise comfortably at 90 mph
up to 300 miles on a single charge. The limousine industry in America is
independent from the Big Three
in Detroit, with custom shop scattered all
over Southern California. Does this mean we can soon expect pure electric
limousines on the red carpet?
I think it would be a fantastic opportunity to find another way to show we
can do things differently. We will still however promote cars that are
accessible to the general public.
A concern I often read on listservs, both from the right and from the
left, is that Global Green has Mikhail Gorbachev, an ex-KGB Soviet Union president, on its board of directors. Tell us about the man himself. How
he come about such concern for the environment?
Gorbachev saw the destruction Soviet policies were causing to the
environment, and Chernobyl was the clearest wake up call of all. Growing
on a farm and working the fields gave him an early connection to the Earth
and nature. He also sees that politically the environment has to be a
priority for governments, businesses and individuals alike. Gorbachev is
considered by many -- including President Bush Sr. -- to be the most
critical figure in ending the Cold War, and his closest partners in that
period were Republicans. The environment should not be a partisan issue,
but given the current Bush Administration's horrific record on the
environment, it is hard not to see it in this light.
The name "Global Green" scares anti-globalization demonstrators as well as Globalists alike. Some on the left feel Global Green is using the
environmental movement as a pretext for globalization, while those on the
right feel Global Green is but a cabal of anti-corporate bleeding heart Hollywood liberals. How do you reconcile the two?
We are the US affiliate of Green Cross International. There are 29
affiliates that comprise a global network of organizations all focusing on
issues that are critical in their country. In Russia, it is addressing the
legacy of the Cold War and safely destroying chemical weapons and helping
the communities around CW stockpiles that are deeply impoverished.
Green Cross Bolivia is working the issue of water by coming up with
solutions in semi-arid regions to provide drinking water to poor villages.
They are using cisterns and catchment basins.
The US comprises 5% of the world's population yet uses 25% of the world's
energy makes. Therefore, in the US we are promoting green building, fuel
efficiency, and renewable energy as a solution.
Green Cross International is committed to addressing the 3 greatest
challenges facing humanity: weapons of mass destruction, lack of clean
and climate change. And our focus is not just on nature, but how we ensure
the future survival of humanity for one simple reason: man can not live
nature, but nature can live without man. The question of balance is how we
find balance between our market economy, government policies, and
choices around the globe.
Here's the simple answer to your name question: Were it not for a
restriction on Green Cross in the US (it is held by the National Safety
Council for its Green Cross workplace safety campaign), we would be Green
Cross USA. In the countries were there is a tradmark restriction on the
Green Cross, we have created Global Green as our alternative
name. This is the case for Germany as well, where the national
is known as Global Green Germany.
Thanks Matt... we appreciate your candor and courage in answering these
For more information about Global Green:
GLOBAL GREEN USA
US Affiliate of Green Cross International
2218 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90405
310.581.2700 Fax: 310.581.2702