Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

Furry Vengeance: Anti-Growth Activism with a Side of Chocolate Milk

A new, kid-friendly comedy, Furry Vengeance, hits theaters April 30, chronicling a cast of loveable critters as they conspire to make the life of a developer (played with maximum evil buffoonery by Brendan Fraser) a living hell.  But don’t take it from me, here’s how this lovely bit of slam-the-developer is being marketed:

This hilarious film depicts the inventive and clever ways forest animals fight back against thoughtless humans whose development plans encroach on their habitat.

Of course the story line doesn’t mention EIRs, open space dedications with management endowments in perpetuity, or any of that boring stuff.  Instead, it’s another piece from the same folks that brought us An Inconvenient Truth, targeting our kids with an eco-activism message. The movie’s marketing plans include a “Social Action Network” complete with materials and games to teach kids how to vilify development.  No, really.  Its goal is to “educate and engage future environmentalists” and to help kids – your kids – “develop skills and deeper knowledge of habitat and animal protection issues.”

Here at LP&A, we happen to think habitat and animal protection is a stellar idea.  We’ve been involved in the approvals of new communities whose developers have set aside a combined 350 square miles of protected open space – more by far than the producers of Furry Vengeance have protected, we’ll wager.  We just don’t like it when one-sided messages go straight from Hollywood to the next generation, complete with suggested school curricula and Furry Vengeance stuffed animals and lunch boxes.

Kids are Key

While we disagree with their one-sided, anti-development message, the Earth Goddess evangelists of Furry Vengeance got one thing right: Young kids are a powerful audience that shouldn’t be overlooked.  Reaching out to them can spread goodwill, combat rumors, and have a surprisingly positive impact on your approval process.  The alternative is to let a talking squirrel from Hollywood get the last word on your well-balanced proposed project.

Are your conservation messages in line with today’s decision?

I’m here at the highly anticipated board meeting of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where they just decided to declare a “Water Supply Allocation Plan Level 2.” This means Met will reduce deliveries to member agencies by 10 percent beginning July 1.

You can hear a collective sigh across the Southland, because this represents a considerable improvement over what water wholesalers and retailers in Met’s service area were anticipating just one month ago.

What Does This Mean For Your Conservation Message and Outreach?

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Which is the better conservation messaging strategy: raising fears or relying on trust?

The San Diego County Water Authority’s “Save it or Lose it” campaign takes an aggressive approach to promoting water conservation, as you can see.

The campaign’s dry sand and sun-bleached skull are certainly attention-getters, and that’s a good thing. Commanding attention is a considerable challenge in this era of information overload.

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