'dadgum Trees' And Iwo Jima

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THE VINE APRIL 18, 2008

'dadgum Trees' And Iwo Jima

As you can see, Time magazine's latest cover has used the evergreen image of American troops heroically claiming the beach at Iwo Jima for allied forces, and retooled it for a new environmental purpose.

But let the recycler beware. Green is not, contrary to the cover story by Bryan Walsh, the "new red, white and blue." Replace the flag with a redwood, and there is hell to pay. Support-the troops hordes have been filled with outrage, saying the image trivializes the military sacrifices made during World War II, and claiming that those responsible for the ad "are going to hell." One angry, angry veteran told the
Business & Media Institute: "That
global warming is the biggest joke I’ve ever known... [W]e’ll stick a dadgum tree up
somebody’s rear if they want that and think that’s going to cure
something."

That vet is righter than he knows. Remove the green graft, and you'll see what American environmentalism needs right now: not the tree, but the people who prop it up. And as you can read, pissing off the soldiering class is not a good way to convert new choir members.

Ironically, the ire at Time is doubly misplaced. The Energy Action Coalition has been using that image--to greater effect--for almost a year now. (I have my handy PowerShift T-shirt to prove it.) Their take, using a wind turbine rather than a tree, and hard-hatted silhouettes rather than, um, soldiers, is also far more palatable to the people that most need targeting. When will we learn?  

--Dayo Olopade 

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