Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Photo Ops Don't Make Gavin Green

The opportunity was just too good to pass up. In the heat of his posturing against the SF Clean Energy Act, Greenwash Gavin went downt to Chrissy Field to help unveil a new climate change art exhibit. He even got a flashy award for a citywide reduction in carbon emissions that, at best, he's failed to muck up. The event used the full greenwashing playbook. There were photo ops with sculptures of the earth, the actions of a city were co-opted to make its mayor look squeeky green, there was a march of corporate sponsors and plenty of emphasis on the "little things" that add up to big change. (Funny how we forget that sometimes big things, like dumping a dirty power company, also add up to make big change.)

I showed up decked out in a gorrilla costume with a giant Gavin mask and a "Photo Ops Can't Make Gavin Green" sign. Someone, I think Eric Jaye, promptly told me that I was disgusting, but the reporters all seemed interested. I handed out a flyer with talking points, gave out my contact info along with a few soundbytes, and generally worked the crowd. Once I'd clarified that I didn't want to start trouble cops and park rangers came up to me and showed support, along with a good chunk of the crowd. I tried but failed to get in a shot with Gavin. Some scrawny, dude in a pinstripe claiming to be "part of the mayor's security detail" kept blocking my way and I didn't want to start trouble. (Seriously, this guy looked like he was going to collapse under the weight of his own hairgel. Any security that he had was far from apparent.)

Moral of the story- a little prep, a little research and a little timing can work wonders.
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