(Kari Birdseye is the new National Press Secretary for Earthjustice. An 11-year veteran with CNN, she was comforted by the familiar, hectic pace she experienced in her first week with Earthjustice communications.)
What a week. What a first week at work for Earthjustice. Even before I entered the doors, I knew the Gulf Oil Spill anniversary and Earth Day promised to expiate my learning curve.
At the beginning of the week, instead of learning my new computer or taking the tutorial on the databases, I faced an immediate trial by fire: the Republicans introduced a bill to allow indiscriminate development in 40 million acres of our remaining “naturally” beautiful wild lands.
Then late Tuesday night, a blowout at a natural-gas well in Pennsylvania, caused by fracking, spewed thousands of gallons of fluid containing chemicals into a nearby stream, dredging up the nightmarish memories of exactly one year prior. Let’s get some press on it! Wait, which way is it to the bathroom again?
John Muir’s birthday this week was an obvious occasion for an organization such as ours to reflect upon his legacy and we did so. Then came the star power of actor Mark Ruffalo, who offered his perspective on the horrors of fracking, as did popular blogger TXSharon. Yikes, it’s Thursday and I still haven’t recorded a voice message on the phone I have yet to figure out.
All the while, I’m surrounded by some of the smartest, hardest-working lawyers and communications pros, experts in new media and traditional. All of them completely dedicated to their meaningful work, but who somehow found the time in their hectic schedules to help the new girl.
Because the earth needs a good lawyer AND the world needs to learn about the importance of our fragile environmental future, it’s our mission here to daylight the efforts to deregulate environmental regulations throughout the country. At the same time, voters, newspaper and magazine readers, and web-surfers alike are reaching out to educate themselves about environmental issues, often learning about the growing number of environmental setbacks and tragedies. Most importantly, we are to prevent more environmental degradation and blaze trails for others to join in these efforts.
There’s a reason why the Earthjustice website gets 100,000 people a month. It’s the same reason we have nearly 30,000 friends on Facebook and 12,000 followers on Twitter. People care about the future of the planet, protecting wildlife and magnificent places, and think that humans also deserve a healthy environment. Alert the media! And that’s my new job.