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Sheryl Crow Gets Us Halfway There

Sheryl Crow makes the Wall of Fame today with a song and video from her new album, Be Myself. The song is Halfway There, and there is a lot to like about it, and a little to nitpick.

But you know what’s best
And I know what’s best
Let’s just agree to disagree
And we all know the rest, yeah

First of all, I love the image of Sheryl in her small, electric car, next to a giant, gas-guzzling Hummer on monster truck tires, exited by a suited capitalist. While the imagery is patently obvious, it isn’t an exaggeration of the differences today between the environmental stewardship championed (but not enough) at the progressive end of the spectrum, and the profit-at-all-costs, rape-the-land, regulate-me-not position championed at the “conservative” end.

You pull up in your Hummer and you park next to my Volt
Wearing Armani 3 piece, I wear Levi’s full of holes

Then there are the contrasting iconic images of trees and wildlife on the “left” and packed skyline on the “right.”
trees and wildlife on left, crowded cityscape on right

If you really care
Baby, if you dare
Won’t you meet me halfway there?

Yes, it’s frustrating to have this polarization and so little cooperation in setting public policy. We do need, desperately, to find a way to govern together.

Could you meet me down the river, hash it out over a beer?
Could you smoke from the same peace pipe til our anger disappears?

Here’s my nitpick, though: We’re facing an environmental crisis of epic proportions. Climate change is on track to render this world uninhabitable. We’re extinguishing other species at a mind-blowing rate, pumping aquifers and major rivers dry, and losing fertile soil at an alarming rate. This environment we’re plundering isn’t some “nice to have” park; it is our critical life-support system.

The biosphere is under siege, and meeting halfway so it’s only under semi-siege isn’t really going to cut it. It might buy us a few years, but won’t avoid the collapse of this civilization. Compromise in governing a large group makes so much sense, except when your very existence depends on getting things 100% right. It might have worked when there were just 3 billion of us and we weren’t living so large. So the challenge is much greater than portrayed in this otherwise wonderful, well-intentioned song and video. Maybe it’s a start. Sheryl, I hope you’re inspired to write the sequel. How DO we get together and do the hard work of shifting from a culture of hell-bent-for-leather growth, to a culture of enough?

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Dave Gardner

Producer of the documentary, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. Dave writes and speaks regularly on the subject of growth addiction, including the pro-growth media bias that perpetuates prosperity-from-growth mythology.

Comments (1)

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    Brian Sanderson

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    Be like Han Solo. When negotiating at the bar, be sure to bring your blaster:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la7uuFsCIrg

    Agreeing to disagree about a substantive issue is nothing less than capitulation…

    Reply

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