GO
Loading...

Singing Crow

Friday, 18 May 2007 | 2:18 PM ET
AP

The Sierra Club is asking U.S. automakers to build cars with something called an integrated starter-generator. Why? Well, to lower the idling time in cars of course. It would save gasoline, cut down on greenhouse emissions and help combat global warming.

The lovely and talented Sheryl Crow recently called for a ban on excessive toilet paper use. I'm not sure about the calculus on this one -- but somehow that's supposed to combat global warming too.

Ask yourself this… Which proposal, if enacted, might actually do something to help solve a complicated problem? If you said Number 1, you are CORRECT!

Now ask yourself this question: which proposal would generate more headlines around the world? If you said Number 2, you're right again! Everyone's talking about Sheryl's squares. Here's how it read on the Drudge Report: "WIPE OUT GLOBAL WARMING: CROW PROPOSES LIMITS ON TOILET PAPER."

Now I have nothing but praise for Sheryl Crow. She's working hard to make a difference. She's touring the country, trying to raise awareness for a very serious problem.

But that was quite a fumble there…

She could make appearances for a year and probably move public opinion on global warming all of about three inches. It's an honorable three inches. But environmentalists are up against clever adversaries. The critics have made their own science of poking holes, finding qualifiers, spreading doubt and turning environmentalists into cartoon characters. So when our beautiful siren sings a tune of toilet paper (and yes, now she says she was kidding), Crow can lose her precious three inches of progress in an instant, and get all environmentalists -- from Al Gore to the Sierra Club -- repackaged as a bunch of tree-hugging, hippie, fruit loops in the bargain.

Someone wise once said, and it bears repeating for everyone at the forefront of a controversial issue… "Never, NEVER… give 'em a stick to beat you with."

Questions? Comments? donny@cnbc.com