Vanity Fair’s Green Issue

The May 2006 issue of Vanity Fair has been dubbed its first “green” issue. It easily stands out from the magazine racks — the cover photo of Al Gore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Robert Kennedy is tinged in deep and pervasive green.

Inside the issue, VF trumpets 22 eco-heroes, including many of the usual suspects. Frankly, I’m exhausted of hero worship, and I find the celebrity idolatry of periodicals such as this one to be yet one more element of 21st Century American culture gone seriously awry.

Yet, this issue of VF does one very useful service: it paints a picture of what the world might look like in the future: specifically, how Manhattan might look, with sea level rise from global warming.

Manhattan Underwater from Global Change

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. If seen by enough eyeballs, disturbing images like these can perhaps shock the public into more serious thinking, conversation and action on the critical energy and environmental matters that face us for the foreseeable horizon. Have a look and forward it on.

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