Sign The Guestbook
View The Guestbook
Archived Guestbook
Submit An Article
Staff List
Privacy Policy


Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., ( a television company which executive produces programs and consults with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc. is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.

April 5, 2007

It’s a green, green world and getting greener all the time…

April 5, 2007, it was announced by Discovery Communications that they were re-naming digital network Discovery Home something like PlanetGreen with a complete re-launch in January of 2008, stoked up with new programming and new attitude to deal with the rising awareness of the need for green in today’s world.

Being a moderate man and thinking of myself as a responsible human, I have been recycling for about as long as recycling has been cycling around. But green wasn’t something I gave much energy to when it came to television programming. Not that I hadn’t tried a couple of times but the message in the media community was pretty much that it was “uncool.” It only takes so many negative reactions before the pragmatic salesmen in me goes: okaaaayyy….neeexxxxtttt…!!!!

But then I started consulting LPG and, as I mentioned several columns ago, Carolyn Hailey, intrepid Director of Development there, began to pummel me with her velvet hammer; her determination and gentle persistence wore me down until I began to work with her to explore green ideas. And I wasn’t easily convinced. And once convinced, it wasn’t easy getting any attention – we too were told by network executives that people just didn’t care. [One green show was turned down by an executive who seemed proud that her truck got twelve miles to the gallon.]

However, something has been going on in the fabric of society that has been changing the way people want to look and think about “green.” While it didn’t start there it did seem to gain critical momentum with AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, Al Gore’s filmed lecture that walked away with the Academy Award for Best Documentary. At a cocktail party at the oh so trendy Soho House in lower Manhattan a vacuous individual chatted over a martini that they’d been about to buy a Hummer until they saw AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and then just decided all the cool people were going to be getting green so they got a Prius.

Carolyn, kudos! You saw that the world was going green. And it is. And not in a tree hugger sort of way. Not in that earnest, you have to be Earth Day Green; you can be now green in a cool, cool way.

ECORAZZI.COM is a website devoted to celebrities, launched six months ago, without any fanfare, by two earth caring individuals who met each other in a Green Chat room and decided to launch a site devoted to green star power. [LPG struck a deal with them to develop a television show; good move!] In a demonstration of the power of blogging, the site grew virally and now has about a 100,000 uniques a month – pretty darn good for no promotion and only word of mouth.

So good, in fact, that it got Ecorazzi invited to the “Green” Oscar Party and earned its founders, Michael and Rebecca, an invitation to dinner with the President of GM and the Heads of all its Divisions, as the motor company wooed them to spread the word about their green efforts in re-making General Motors – they seeing green as the wave of the future.

And it is, by necessity. If everyone on earth consumed as much as Americans do, I heard this week, we would need the equivalent of three planet earths to support us. As I suspect we’re not going to get an additional supply of planets soon, we need to scale back. Being human, which includes this selfish streak [not all bad, I suspect it’s part of that self survival thing] we want to do it with a lack of discomfort mixed with style and flair. Making Green “cool” is one way to start the process before we’re supply impoverished and are forced into a “Solyent Green” sort of world. Yes to PlanetGreen and no to apocalyptic visions. We do have choices; best to exercise them ourselves before worse is forced on us. And great if we can do it with panache!