Will Going Green Lose Some Gusto?

"The majority of the people at the rock concert -- they believed that it was good information, but they're not going to change their lifestyle because of it," he said.

Wide but Shallow Movement

Michael Levine, a veteran publicist who has represented public figures from Charlton Heston to Jon Stewart, said that the celebrity involvement in the movement, like that at Live Earth, was just an attention getter, but not one that will keep people interested.

"I believe this environmental movement is very wide, but very shallow," Levine said. "It gets their temporary attention. It's not sticky."

But celebrities aren't the only ones jumping on the green bandwagon. This fall, Women's Health, which declined to speak to ABCNEWS.com because it was just beginning its planning process, announced Monday that it will release a "blue" issue this fall, focusing on issues surrounding water.

Similarly, bottled water, both for its nonrecyclable containers and its production costs, has become an environmental hot topic. High-profile mayors like Gavin Newsom in San Francisco and Rocky Anderson in Salt Lake City banned the use of bottled water in government offices, while nationwide some restaurants are eliminating it from their menus as well.

In a report last week, ABC News crunched the numbers on bottled water -- taking into account mileage and fuel requirements -- and found that even before you drink that one-liter (or 33.8 ounce) bottle of French water in Chicago, you've already consumed roughly 2 ounces of oil, which doesn't include the petroleum used to make the plastic. In addition, the entire process -- bottling, packaging and shipping -- creates pollution and greenhouse gases.

Will blue then become the new green? Only time will tell. History, however, tells a more interesting story of how causes have been embraced by the popular culture only to be discarded later.

This isn't the first time green has gone chic, according to Robert Thompson, the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.

"Of course we've been through this before -- the whole consciousness about pollution [when] we had the first Earth Day" in 1970, Thompson said. "There was a real kind of environmental awareness. Then it began to sort of fade away."

"Causes that have long-term staying power tend to be those that are affecting our everyday life in ways that we actually recognize," Thompson said. Typically, the environment has not been one of those causes, he continued.

As long ago as 1972, the waning attention span of the American public for environmental issues has been reported. That year, Anthony Downs, a Brookings Institute scholar, wrote a paper called "The Issue Attention Cycle" about how environmental issues are perceived by the public.

The paper details five stages from a public unaware of the problem to an enthusiastic response and finally to waning enthusiasm. The cycle has held up with environmental issues over the years.

Many causes -- such as Ethiopia famine relief that resulted in a LiveAid concert in 1985 -- have "burned brightly and sort of disappeared," Thompson said.

Show Me the Money

What largely determines what stays in the forefront of people's minds, according to Thompson, is what the media decides to cover, although celebrity support doesn't hurt.

Still, Thompson said that he believes this time around the pop culture carousel will be different for one reason: politicians.

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