A Call to (Web-Savvy) Arms: Blog for the Environment & It's Working
There was a time not so long ago when everyone was questioning whether blogging could be useful for anything at all—my parents asking me what, exactly, a blog did when I started writing here a year ago is evidence of that. Now, of course, the questions about blogging regard entirely different matters: how to tell if they're credible, which are worth reading, which get the most page views, how do you make them profitable, etc.
Point is, blogging is by far our generation's most versatile, user-friendly, and accessible mode of spreading information. And it's given us an invaluable tool in bringing important environmental issues to public attention.
A perfect example of this principle in action: anti-clean coal activists using blogs and social media to spread awareness online to counter Big Coal's well funded "Clean Coal" ad campaigns. Sustainablog found that the majority of organic searches that turned up (8 out of 10) for the search query "clean coal" yielded results that debunked the clean coal myth. Which is a major victory—considering that the coal industry plans on spending around $20 million on its clean coal ad campaign this year alone.
,p>Leading the charge? You guessed it—young bloggers. They're largely responsible for dominating the search returns that debunk coal's PR machine.
The younger generation is far more likely to be tech-savvy and apt to blog—and know how to promote their posts with Digg, Stumble Upon, Twitter, and so on. And it's the very same younger generation which is much more likely to consider environmental issues "very important"--during the election, a Pew Research Poll revealed that 64% of voters under 30 said exactly that, as opposed to 55% of older voters.
Essentially, we have the tools, the willpower, and we can make a real difference—just by blogging. Which is more important now than ever: this is a pivotal moment in the green movement, and big, polluting industries like coal and oil still have the lion's share of the resources, and they're not going to go quietly into the night as clean energy technologies start honing in on their market share. So we're going to need every last one of you web-savvy environmentalists to spread the good green word.
Start a blog for free by heading over to Blogger or WordPress. And for tips and pointers on how to get your work seen by searchers, check out Google's guide (PDF) to optimizing your posts for online searches.