Where’s St. Al?

If you want still more indicators that environmentalism is totally passé, look no further than Time magazine’s current issue featuring their latest draft picks of the World’s Most 100 Influential People. If climate change is, as Al Gore (and legions of others) claims, the greatest threat facing mankind evah, why isn’t he on the list somewhere? Or Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN’s climate circus? No Amory Lovins? No Bill McKibben, or any other carbon crusader?
The only environmental figure who turns up on the list is EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and that’s practically a gimme. Ten years from now no one is going to remember Lisa Jackson, come what may from the EPA.
Time magazine lists like this are easy to mock for their dreary and predictable conventionality; their list includes the obvious–Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah–along with the usual celebrities. Sting is there, but wait!–Bono is missing! (Also missing from his place in past Time lists is the fraudulent Greg Mortenson; Time‘s cup of tea must have got cold.) The absence of the Green Hornets is still significant for the simple reason that Time, above all other news mags, has beat the climate change drum hardest, with at least a half-dozen major cover pieces about climate doom over the last two decades. (I quit counting.) It seemed every time they were stuck for a cover story, the editors just said, “Let’s do another ‘world to end tomorrow’ photo of a drowning polar bear.” Sooner or later, I’ve been predicting for a while now, the editors would be in a cover meeting and someone would finally say, “Nah.” (It has been widely known in the magazine publishing industry that special “green” issues are the worst-sellers on the newsstand of the whole year. That’s one reason Vanity Fair discontinued their splashy annual “green” issue.)
It also appears that green heroes fare poorly in the readers’ online poll Time ran. 203 people make the Time poll; Al Gore is not among them. Lisa Jackson appears again, about the only environmental figure on the list, at #118, below Levon Helm (#103) and Ricky Gervais (#99).

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