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Dria El
September 6th, 2001, 12:02 PM
Rock Stars Oppose Bush's Energy Plan and Ask Fans to Join Them (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/06/arts/06ROCK.html?todaysheadlines)

By NEELA BANERJEE with BEN SPIESS

HOLMDEL, N.J. — David Crosby, the mustachioed, silver-haired third of Crosby, by Stills & Nash, claims not to think when he plays. "Gets in the way," he said.

So on a cool night at the PNC Bank Arts Center here recently, he said he was on autopilot of sorts, tapping into something visceral, when he stepped up to the microphone after the trio's third song, "Déjà Vu," and urged audience members to sign a petition at intermission against the Bush administration's energy policy.

"You'll find that most of us, most musicians, are very vocally opposed to not just what's laughably called an energy policy," Mr. Crosby said later, "but to this administration's complete disregard for the planet."

Riled by an energy plan they call a sop to business and a grave threat to the environment, Crosby, Stills & Nash and about a dozen other popular bands joined together over the summer to stir their fans to action, as Congress prepares to consider significant energy legislation this autumn.

Part of an effort, organized by the drummer Michael Diamond, or Mike D., the founder of the Beastie Boys, with the help of several major environmental groups, performers as disparate in style and following as Jackson Browne, Moby, Matchbox 20 and the Barenaked Ladies have permitted volunteers to canvass their concerts for signatures against the energy plan. Most, like Mr. Crosby, have urged fans to sign petitions at the stadiums or online.

More than 30,000 signatures have been sent to Congress as a result of such efforts, said Stuart Trevelyan, a spokesman for Save Our Environment, the coalition of environmental organizations working with the musicians. Mr. Diamond, the singer Alanis Morissette and the Dave Matthews Band are sending e-mails to fans asking them to log their protests with the Senate via electronic postcards on saveourenvironment .org. The Dave Matthews Band alone has a 400,000-member e-mail list it plans to tap, Mr. Trevelyan said.

Built on the assertion that the United States is suffering its worst energy crisis since the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the White House energy plan includes a range of measures that administration officials say balances environmental protection with the production of fuel supplies while also bolstering economic growth. The administration has taken some steps on its own, but it is up to Congress to introduce legislation that fleshes out a national energy policy. Environmentalists were rankled recently by a House energy bill that they said gave more than $30 billion in tax incentives to energy companies while calling for drilling in protected federal lands.

It remains to be seen whether the celebrities' campaign influences the energy plan, especially the aspects that most worry its critics, like opening more federal lands to oil and gas exploration. But so far, environmentalists are pleased to have such marquee names on their side.

"We're about to have critical votes in the Senate," said Gene Karpinski, executive director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, an advocacy organization. "And we need as many voices as possible speaking about the plan and reaching out to different people, and that's what these artists are doing."

Activism among musicians is hardly new. But if musicians 15 years ago rallied fans around heart-rending causes like famine in Africa, they have recently embraced more complex approaches to political and economic issues. Bono, the lead singer of U2, has joined advocates and economists to lobby industrialized countries to forgive the foreign debt of developing nations. The Beastie Boys, Moby and others regularly organize and play at benefits to aid Tibet. Sting and the Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir have performed to raise money to protect rain forests in the Amazon.

Fighting a Republican administration on the environment at a Crosby, Stills & Nash concert may seem like preaching to the choir, but as latecomers rushed to their seats in the PNC Bank Arts Center, most merely smiled at the Sierra Club's request for their signatures and then strode on. Still, the canvassers expected to get 500 to 600 signatures from the 17,000 people attending the concert that evening.

People stopped every few minutes to sign, despite the fact that the concert had already begun. "He's given away $33 billion in tax credits to big oil," a Sierra Club volunteer, Steve Ember, told Eileen Ford, 48, as she signed the petition and her husband, Kevin, waited his turn.

Mr. Ford, who said he worked in management, needed no argument. "The fact that we rejected the Kyoto protocols was extremely shortsighted," he said, referring to the international treaty on reducing emissions linked to global warming.

Mr. Diamond seemed to reach the same conclusion as he read about the details of the Bush energy plan when it was published in May. In a telephone interview from New York, he said he was particularly concerned about President Bush's proposal to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling as a response to the electricity crisis in California. "If you think about it for more than a minute," Mr. Diamond said, "you realize that a pipeline that starts in Alaska is not going to get here for another 5 or 10 years."

Mr. Diamond contacted Adam Werbach, a former president of the Sierra Club, who, in turn, introduced him to the Save Our Environment coalition. Mr. Diamond cast around to other artists and said that because of their own concerns, they were easily convinced of the need to unite against the energy policy.

On the Internet, Mr. Diamond calls on fans to act: "Dear peoples, though I rarely do stuff like this, pestering the masses, this is a topic that is too vital, too central and too important to our entire planet to ignore," his online letter says. "I'm asking for your help to stop George W. Bush's energy plan."

In legislation backed by the White House that is thick with arcane tax and economic- incentive schemes, drilling in the Arctic refuge in Alaska has become the most accessible symbol used by environmentalists to convey the clash between their priorities and those of the Bush energy plan. The message seems to have taken hold.

Taking a pen held out at the New Jersey concert, 21-year-old Joshua Storch signed the petition and said, "I know all about Alaska and I'm totally opposed to drilling there."

In late July, when Ms. Morissette performed in Alaska, she spoke out against drilling in the refuge. Midway through her set at the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage, she urged the crowd to get involved in oil development issues and to sign the petition circulating in the lobby. But in oil- friendly Alaska, the pitch drew a mixed response of cheers, polite applause and a smattering of boos.

"This is the state that oil built," said Patrick Gillan, 32, who refused to sign the petition. Mr. Gillan pointed out the importance of oil in the state's economy: "Most Alaskans are pretty honest with themselves — We need oil, and we need ANWR," he said, referring to the wildlife refuge by its acronym.

Ms. Morissette tuned in to the debate over the refuge in June, after Mr. Diamond contacted her about the energy plan. She began researching the issue and digging into the environmental movement, reading "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," a book by Thom Hartmann about the environment and spirituality.

Meanwhile, Mr. Werbach, the former Sierra Club president, also contacted Ms. Morissette about fighting development of the refuge. Her role, Ms. Morissette said, is as publicist, not policy expert. "By taking part in it myself, I hope I encourage people to do the same."

Ms. Morissette's message resonated with many in the Anchorage audience, including those who had worked in the North Slope oil fields. Those circulating petitions said they gathered about 300 signatures, or roughly 70 percent of those they approached.

"One place in Alaska, one place on earth, should be left alone," said Rodney Jones, 46, as he signed. Mr. Jones said he had worked in the oil fields of Alaska in the 1980's.

Amy Lynnbille, 26, said that she had relatives who worked in the oil patch but that she opposed refuge development. "When have we done enough?"

Myst
September 6th, 2001, 12:07 PM
Interesting, but I certainly wouldn't consider Crosby a "rock star" :)

Kudoes to them for having the courage to speak up!

Swanspirit
September 6th, 2001, 01:10 PM
That one of the responsiblities that comes with the gift of fame is to use it constructively ........ KUDOS to the ROCK STARS !!!!!!!!!! Music is a wonderful means of raising peoples awareness .....
and the Sierra Club has been on the forefront of environmental awareness for a long time ...... My father belonged to the Sierra Club !!!!!!so maybe my "fam trad" is just earth lover .....
:sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :heartthro :heartthro :heartthro :heartthro :heartthro :heartthro :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny:
Love and Light
Swannie

sherry
September 8th, 2001, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by Willow Raven
Interesting, but I certainly wouldn't consider Crosby a "rock star" :)




Just wondering WHY NOT??????
or is it just my age showing?!!!!

sherry
September 8th, 2001, 11:39 AM
Whenthe ROCK STARS get involved it seems to draw more attention to an issue, so maybe it will this one too!!!!

Then just maybe the young people will be involved more !!

Shoot it worked with the literacy problems!! (in Ohio anyway it made a difference):)

laserhazel
March 22nd, 2004, 08:17 PM
The only energy policy I know, is the chai, or is it CHI policy? Prana was too, WELL, how do you say, "fishy"?

Know real, the AI world is too prevailant, but that could change.

The internet experince is so far, regional; I think that is sad, the regionally exclusive internet is an energy system, so I respect it, as if it were real.

I wish I could say original, but it is based on stuff that no one really likes. Though it is new, to something, it is not original.

pawnman
March 26th, 2004, 10:06 AM
I can't help but wonder...since when did having a good voice and some musical talent convey the ability to solve all the world's problems to a person? If I take up guitar, could I solve world hunger? It always worries me when celebrities use their status this way, because they talk like they understand the entire issue and the fans listen to the stars.

That said, I'm not keen on most of Bush's energy plan either. I do like the idea of building more nuclear plants, though.

Bainidhe Dub
March 26th, 2004, 10:36 AM
Actually I think it's good that the fans listen to the stars - because they reach the younger generations to inform and encourage them to take a stance on issues like this.

pawnman
March 26th, 2004, 10:47 AM
I confess, I don't know the specifics of these stars. But, I don't think its a good idea when rich and famous misguided idiots (again, maybe these particular buys know what they're talking about) lead other people, using their fame as credibility. I don't see how strumming a guitar transfers the wisdom to form domestic policy.

Bainidhe Dub
March 26th, 2004, 11:05 AM
I confess, I don't know the specifics of these stars. But, I don't think its a good idea when rich and famous misguided idiots (again, maybe these particular buys know what they're talking about) lead other people, using their fame as credibility. I don't see how strumming a guitar transfers the wisdom to form domestic policy.

Morissette did put a lot of studying in on the Alaska deal, actually. And true, strumming a guitar doesn't give one the wisdom - but just because someone is in a band doesn't mean that they don't read and keep up on current issues - it just means that they are using their celeb. status to encourage this generation to take a stance, instead of (the celebs) giving interviews about their clothes/love life/etc., or getting put in jail for various reasons.

Antoninus
March 26th, 2004, 12:54 PM
Just wondering WHY NOT??????
or is it just my age showing?!!!!
Umm...would it make you feel old if I told you I had NO idea who the hell Crosby and those other two are outside of being musicians?

And I think the rock stars have something going. Theyre idols to millions of people, they can do things that ordinary protestors cant do or can accomplish.

gurlygurl2004
November 21st, 2005, 10:16 AM
This post is ironic, because it's cliche for a rock star to oppose such an establishment such as the presidency, especially if it's a conservative one. Hell, they should even oppose a more, or supposedly more liberal president.

SilverMaiden
November 21st, 2005, 11:21 AM
I can't help but wonder...since when did having a good voice and some musical talent convey the ability to solve all the world's problems to a person? If I take up guitar, could I solve world hunger? It always worries me when celebrities use their status this way, because they talk like they understand the entire issue and the fans listen to the stars.

That said, I'm not keen on most of Bush's energy plan either. I do like the idea of building more nuclear plants, though.

I don't understand this attitude towards people with high profiles and artistic talents. What makes you believe that because they are artists they are ignorant of issues that affect their lives and beliefs too? Why should they be silent?

XanderAmon
November 21st, 2005, 11:34 AM
I was afraid of clicking this topic because I was sure I'd find tons of "MUSICIANS NEED TO SHUT UP AND PLAY" comments. Nicely surprised that most people seem in support!

If someone uses their notoriety to try and advance a cause they believe in, bully for them.

aluokaloo
November 21st, 2005, 12:08 PM
I don't understand this attitude towards people with high profiles and artistic talents. What makes you believe that because they are artists they are ignorant of issues that affect their lives and beliefs too? Why should they be silent?



Because they are cool, and celebrities and humankind often fol;lows the examnple of celebrities whether partyuing hard all night and day or raising funds for AIDS people are most likely going to follow. They would basically be considered classic rock for those who don't who they are, I guess. So they are fully aware of how to petition and how to raise awareness, 60/70s.

Calen
November 21st, 2005, 01:11 PM
I think it's great if celebrities want to get active with issues they care about, but I do think that if they are going to stray from music to activism, they have a responsibility to know what they are talking about. If they do their homework before addressing the masses, I think it's wonderful.

Alaiyo
November 21st, 2005, 01:29 PM
I agree.

Aelfoak
November 21st, 2005, 02:01 PM
I always thought you had to be fairly intelligent and gifted to play and write good music. In the past, musician's have always been the ones to get things done i.e. Band Aid, i don't remember any politician throwing their hat in the ring to help those Ethiopians, it was up to talented musicians to make things happen.

In my opinion they are doing a good thing.

Valnorran
November 21st, 2005, 02:32 PM
I don't understand this attitude towards people with high profiles and artistic talents.
There's a certain historical precedent for it.

What makes you believe that because they are artists they are ignorant of issues that affect their lives and beliefs too?
I think Pawnman's point was that being celebreties doen't make them experts in these topics.

Why should they be silent?
No reason at all. Just as there's no reason at all why anybody should listen to them. They have ever right to speak out. Others have every right to either listen to them or ignore them. What I think Pawnman was getting at was in our culture of celebrity worship we automatically assume they know what they're talking about.

Doctor Jeep
November 21st, 2005, 05:41 PM
I was afraid of clicking this topic because I was sure I'd find tons of "MUSICIANS NEED TO SHUT UP AND PLAY" comments. Nicely surprised that most people seem in support!

I think most people got that out in the Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger thread over the summer. :rolleyes:

Doctor Jeep
November 21st, 2005, 05:51 PM
I don't understand this attitude towards people with high profiles and artistic talents. What makes you believe that because they are artists they are ignorant of issues that affect their lives and beliefs too? Why should they be silent?

I've always been puzzled by this too. But then, with certain people here at least, you have to consider the source of the attitude. Here, people like Jagger should just shut up and play guitar, but Charlie Daniels is a wise old sage.

stella01904
November 21st, 2005, 05:55 PM
Interesting, but I certainly wouldn't consider Crosby a "rock star" :)MM ~ He is a little folky (well, REAL folky) but he was at Woodstock so he's in. :smoke:
BB, Stella

pawnman
November 21st, 2005, 06:20 PM
I've always been puzzled by this too. But then, with certain people here at least, you have to consider the source of the attitude. Here, people like Jagger should just shut up and play guitar, but Charlie Daniels is a wise old sage.

It's more that people instantly think talent equals brains. Just because you can sing doesn't mean you have an informed opinion about politics.

Jenne
November 21st, 2005, 07:42 PM
It's more that people instantly think talent equals brains. Just because you can sing doesn't mean you have an informed opinion about politics.

And that sword cuts both ways.

pawnman
November 21st, 2005, 09:53 PM
And that sword cuts both ways.

Because you know alot about politics doesn't mean you can sing?

Jenne
November 22nd, 2005, 01:58 AM
Because you know alot about politics doesn't mean you can sing?

no, silly--just because you have a performance talent doesn't mean you don't have a brain! :D

:rolleyes:

pawnman
November 22nd, 2005, 07:54 AM
no, silly--just because you have a performance talent doesn't mean you don't have a brain! :D

:rolleyes:

There are a few I respect. Bono is a good example. I'm not sure if I agree with his aims, but I feel like his positions are well-researched and he knows what he's talking about when he advocates a position.

Most of them are pretty well twits. Somehow our culture has equated fame with smarts.

Serendipity
November 22nd, 2005, 08:24 AM
I confess, I don't know the specifics of these stars. But, I don't think its a good idea when rich and famous misguided idiots (again, maybe these particular buys know what they're talking about) lead other people, using their fame as credibility. I don't see how strumming a guitar transfers the wisdom to form domestic policy.

I actually agree with you. Ronald Regan, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Charlton Heston, Toby Keith. The list of hollywood idiots goes on forever.

:smoke: