- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008


LOS ANGELES — The leaves on the trees outside my office - once a marvelous shade of green - have begun to turn red, brown and yellow, the frightening hues not coincidentally found on the flag of Hades. Thousands of these leaves lie on the ground dead, martyrs of human excess. I predict many more to fall to the ground as “la Dia de la Muerte” approaches.

Something in the Los Angeles air has the strong whiff of local warming, the feverish son of global warming, the vengeful godfather of climate change and the unforgiving stepfather of the coming weather apocalypse.

Yet sadly, while presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama drone on about some financial-bailout plan and a war in a very, very hot place, the No. 1 issue facing our planet - cataclysmic, life-altering, irreversible climate change, according to the true president, Al Gore* (see Diebold, 2000) - is being completely ignored by the two presidential contenders.

Someone needs to go to jail.

“We are entering a period of consequences,” Mr. Gore warned in 2005. Yet we ignore him three years later - after a summer filled with 90-degree days. And winters filled with snow falling like volcanic ash on the mountaintops. The flowers in the spring only create a false calm that summer eventually incinerates. It’s a yearly cycle we ignore at our own peril.

Though Mr. Gore endorsed him, Mr. Obama barely pays lip service to the crisis. And Senator John McSame … well, he’s just another Bushie in the bushes bushing with the other Bushes crafting a deal to drill under the Liberty Bell. While President Bush and family continue to hoard Utah oil shale in their Prada bags - America watches TV instead.

No one wants to deal with climate change because everyone understands that Hollywood is mostly to blame. That’s right - Hollywood. Even the sign is made of dead trees.

Just last week, the Nobel Prize-winning and Academy Award-adjacent (“An Inconvenient Truth”) Mr. Gore told students, “The world has lost ground to the climate crisis,” and made a dramatic call to action:

“If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.”

But even if those coal plants are in foreign lands like Ohio and Pennsylvania, it doesn’t mean we Southern Californians must stand still and let the planet implode in front of us. That’s why I’m taking Al Gore’s lead and starting Code Green, a Hollywood organization whose purpose is to use civil disobedience to thwart the unnecessary use of energy in the entertainment industry.

Inspired by Jodie Evans, who started the antiwar group Code Pink, the menopausal performance artists known for interrupting public debate, Code Green will demand oversight over her group because, after all, her tidy little rage club is based in L.A.

No more trips from L.A. to Minneapolis on Northwest Airlines to protest the Republican National Convention. (I saw you wearing that tiara - in first class!) Mother Earth coughed up some smog while you chanted at the GOP, “Not one dollar, not one more, Don’t you dare buy Bush’s war.”

You are now not free to move around the country.

From now on, Jodie and Arianna, too, will be bashing their Bushes from home, telecommuting their unrequited anger by way of solar panels and the Internet.

The days of hoarding electricity and gas are over, including by the truest believers. Carbon credits are now as worthless as Lehman stock.

There are new rules that we will all have to adhere to, whether we like it or not.

Here is the Code Green four-point “Gang Green” mandate:

1.) Directive: Stop film and television production.

This will be the first sentence of the rewrite of the Kyoto Protocol.

Each show or movie leaves a massive carbon footprint that cannot be erased even by the best CGI masters. There will be no more “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoffs, nor will there be any more labored attempts to squeeze out lame sentimentality from child actors pretending to be smarter than us. They will now have to work at Pinkberry, where those little saps belong.

Solution: RECYCLE! We have more than enough collective product from the last 80 years to repurpose. For instance, “Alice,” starring Linda Lavin and the late Vic Tayback, never gets old. The movie “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh” is a forgotten classic. Gabe Kaplan and Stockard Channing give great performances, back when both had hair.

These are just two instances among tens of thousands of classics that show why recycling will work when Code Green ends the entertainment industry as we know it.

2.) Directive: Eco-martial Law.

We need to close the streets to normal motor-vehicle traffic. If this problem is as serious as Leo DiCaprio told me once on his G5 en route from Davos, Switzerland, to Van Nuys, Calif., then we have no choice!

Solution: Bicycles, big wheels, unicycles, rollerblades. Work from home using solar energy to allow for telecommuting.

We need to harness the massive energy generated by L.A.’s rampant heroin addicts’ incessant scratching and channel it to power vegan eateries around L.A. No longer will Pam Anderson have to beat back her hep C with a kale shake in dim light.

Sex addict David Duchovny could generate electricity for Burbank all by himself. Or with someone else.

Ed Begley Jr. will teach us on the Venice Boardwalk how this all works.

3.) Directive: No more business trips and the end of tourism.

Get rid of your Lear and your G5. Say adios to your Range Rover and Prius. Say goodbye to Cannes and San Sebastian. Unless you choose to move there by bike caravan, say goodbye to Sundance, too. There are enough pictures on the Internet of these beautiful venues.

George Clooney is going to have to make a choice: Lake Como or Toluca Lake?

Solution: images.google.com, coffee-table books.

4.) Directive: No more Oscars. No more Emmys. No more Grammys.

Hot air and self-congratulation are ozone depleters.

Solution: Call up Jake Gyllenhaal from time to time and tell him he did good work. He can pass it on to his plainer sister. And so on. It’s how the oral legend worked, so many centuries ago.

It may take a while for greedy Hollywood to comply with this simple plan to end climate change. But Code Green will be there to throw green paint on those who refuse to comply. The best part will be our Code Green ladies. They will be rich and angry and self-righteous - Daryl Hannah-like in age and stature - with a special thing for being impervious to the other side’s argument.

Just like our Code Pink sisters.

Only when Big Hollywood - the center of the world - stops its excessive energy use will a smiling sun take notice that humans are taking the necessary steps to replenish the planet and finally begin to give us a break.

Andrew Breitbart is the founder of the news Web site breitbart.com and is co-author of “Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon - the Case Against Celebrity.”

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