The New Yorker headline reads, “Alan Weisman’s Thought Experiment Becomes a Reality–The writer’s 2007 best-seller, The World Without Us, imagines what Earth would look like if everyone vanished.”
“Say a Homo sapiens-specific virus—natural or diabolically nano-engineered—picks us off but leaves everything else intact,” he wrote. “What then?”
How would the planet reclaim its surface? What creatures would emerge from the dark and swarm? How would our treasured structures–our tunnels, our bridges, our homes, our monuments–survive the unmitigated impact of a planet without our intervention? In his revelatory, bestselling account, Alan Weisman draws on every field of science to present an environmental assessment like no other, the most affecting portrait yet of humankind’s place on this planet.
Since the pandemic began, Weisman’s iconic book has experienced a renaissance. People have been citing it online—posting references to it alongside images of flowers pushing through cobblestone, deer in Grand Rapids, a coyote in Chicago, and Weisman is receiving calls from media outlets around the world.
“The empire’s crumbling, but with luck we’ll pick up the pieces and figure out how to make them fit a whole lot better,” he adds.
Author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best sellers The World Without Us and Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, Alan is an award-winning journalist whose reports have appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Discover, and Orion, among others, and on National Public Radio.
We’re thrilled to be working with Alan again, please contact Kathlene Carney to schedule media interviews.
Are you looking for a publicity campaign for your environmental or social justice organization? Call today for a free consultation to discuss your Green PR needs. Call 510-426-4100 or send us an email.
One of Catstudio’s famous whimsically illustrated pillows was recently featured in an outdoor sofa makeover on MarthaStewart.com.
Ashley Poskin wrote a lovely article, How to Restore an Outdoor Sofa, featuring our client’s colorful Lake Michigan pillow displayed on the final product. She said the hand-embroidered pillow had “the charm of a summer keepsake.”
Catstudio’s signature products are their original geography-inspired pillows. Considered fine art objects not just decorations, they have developed a cult-like following. Retailers report that fans include celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Lionel Ritchie, Taylor Swift and of course, Martha Stewart.
Juxtaposing local kitsch icons and historical monuments, each piece of artwork is hand-drawn and created with an insider’s perspective. They work with residents, mayors, friends, business owners, and customers, to create designs that locals can proudly display in their home, and visitors will cherish as keepsa
This media placement was one of many we secured during our national publicity campaign for catstudio.
Are you looking for a publicity specialist? Call today for a free consultation to discuss your PR needs.
Our client, climate psychologist and activist Margaret Klein Salamon, has done many interviews but this one with filmmaker Adam McKay for NowThisNews remains one of my favorites. Margaret and Adam call on Congress to declare a climate emergency. “Why an emergency?” asks McKay. “Because it is an emergency. And it’s an emergency that’s happening right now.”
“Climate change is happening much faster than most people realize, and it’s accelerating,” adds Salamon.
McKay says, “I think we all had this idea that climate catastrophe might be happening years from now, maybe to our children’s children’s children. Well, you’re wrong, I was wrong, we’re all wrong. It’s happening today.”
“How humans evaluate risk and determine whether a situation is dangerous is by observing the behavior of other people. It’s call the bystander effect. So if a room starts filling up with smoke, but everyone is sitting around acting normally, people will just follow the crowd, stay in their seats, thinking it must be fine.”
Facing the Climate Emergency is a radical new self-help guide to help face the truth of the climate emergency, accept your fears and become the hero humanity needs.
As the climate crisis accelerates toward the collapse of civilization and the natural world, people everywhere are feeling deep pain about ecological destruction and their role in it. Yet we are often paralyzed by fear.
Facing the Climate Emergency gives people the tools to confront the climate emergency, face their negative emotions, and channel them into protecting humanity and the natural world.
Drawing on facts about the climate, tenets of psychological theory, information about the climate emergency movement and elements of memoir, coverage includes:
• How to face the climate crisis and accept your fears, anger, grief, guilt, and other emotions • Turning negative feelings into tangible action to respond to the crisis • Rising to heroism, becoming a “climate warrior,” and maximizing your impact by joining the Climate Emergency Movement • Support material, including further reading, questions for self-reflection, and exercises to complete with like-minded groups
Written for the suffering multitudes struggling to cope and looking for answers, Facing the Climate Emergency provides the motivation, guidance, and support needed to leave “normal” behind and travel the path of the climate warrior, rising to the challenge of our time.
Dr. Salamon and McKay also discuss the climate emergency together on The Young Turks.
Are you looking for a publicity campaign for your climate change or environmental organization? Call today for a free consultation to discuss your Green PR needs.
After his admission, book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan revised their figures and booted Dawson from the list.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. This method of gaming the system isn’t new, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes wrote about the controversial practice back in 2013, but I thought new, improved policies had put an end to it.
More than a million books are published each year, and very few become best sellers. The reason writers strive for the coveted status is because it dramatically increases their credibility and establishes them as thought leaders. In addition to the prestige, becoming a “best-selling author” allows them to charge a lot more for speaking fees and consulting contracts.
Thus, the “bestseller campaign” was born. Initiated by marketing firms, these campaigns enabled people with enough money and contacts to buy their way onto bestseller lists. The campaigns required authors to make bulk pre-sale purchases of their own books. Those sales were then counted on the publication dates and the titles were propelled onto the bestseller lists.
Authors would line up these sales by getting their corporate clients to purchase copies in lieu of their speaking fees, or by buying copies themselves to resell at public appearances.
After the Nielsen BookScan, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal list makers caught on, they implemented new rules and stopped counting bulk sales. So, the crafty “bestseller campaign” marketers learned how to break those orders down into small increments to make them look like organic retail sales. Although apparently The New York Times still counts them but puts a dagger symbol next to the title to denote bulk purchases.
The campaigns are very expensive. An author cited in the Forbes article said he paid $70,000 for his bulk books, plus a $20,000 fee to the marketing firm.
One tell-tale sign that a best-selling title isn’t really legit is that it falls right off the list the following week. The Wall Street Journal created a chart showing three examples of this, Prescription for Excellence, Networking is Dead, and Leapfrogging. In each case, the authors freely admitted to hiring a firm to help manipulate the system with bulk presales.
Soren Kaplan, author of Leapfrogging, didn’t think he was gaming the system. “An executive at Harvard Business School Publishing said ‘everyone’ was doing it, especially for non-fiction business books like mine.”
Others assured Kaplan that “‘Guruship’ came from playing the game in a way that reinforced their personal brands as thought leaders. Ponying up the dough for the bestseller campaign was a small investment that would pay off later.”
He writes, “I took a photo of my foot, uploaded it as a book to Amazon, and in a matter of hours had achieved ‘№1 Best Seller’ status, complete with the orange banner and everything… How many copies did I need to sell? Three. Yes, a total of three copies to become a best-selling author. And I bought two of those copies myself!”
Underwood is a partner in the marketing firm Brass Check, where they’ve helped launch 30 legitimate New York Times bestsellers. He didn’t do this exercise to make his foot famous. He did it to illustrate that you should take any person presenting themselves as a “bestselling author” with a grain of salt.
He also wanted to “illustrate that the best marketing tactic you can use for a book is to write a great book that actually sells over the long term.”
“It’s easy to be seduced by best seller lists, sales numbers, speaking fees, and all the ephemera in this industry,” he cautions. “Don’t let all of that make you lose sight of the importance of quality and authority in your work. Anyone can be a one-hit wonder; focus on crafting a book that will sell for decades.”
Too bad no one told Mark Dawson.
Are you looking for a legitimate book publicity campaign? Call today for a free consultation to discuss your PR needs.
I’m thrilled to be providing publicity services for one of my favorite home decor companies. Catstudio, famous for their whimsically illustrated, geography-inspired home and gift products, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, and they hired us to help spread the word.
Founders Carmel and Terrell Swan say their success weaves their love of world cultures, travel, and art into decorative textiles inspired by vintage souvenir pillows of the 30s and 40s.
Juxtaposing local kitsch icons and historical monuments, each piece of artwork is hand-drawn and created with an insider’s perspective. They work with residents, mayors, friends, business owners, and customers, to create designs that locals can proudly display in their home, and visitors will cherish as keepsakes.
Catstudio’s colorful, uplifting geography pillows are hand-embroidered, made from organic cotton, and it takes over 40 hours to embroider just one. They have developed a cult-like following, and retailers report that fans include celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Martha Stewart, Lionel Ritchie, and Taylor Swift.
Alongside catstudio’s 20th anniversary, Glitterati Editions published Pillow Geography: Dreaming Across America, a stunning coffee table book celebrating their pillows’ status as fine art objects, not just home furnishings or decorations.
While New York City, Texas, and California geography pillows continue to top catstudio’s bestseller list, their new Collegiate Collection is the fastest growing. Capturing the essence of each school, campus, and college community by working one-on-one with every school’s licensing department, the collection delights everyone from incoming freshman to athletic fans and far-flung alumni. Their original art embodies the spirit and uniqueness of each school – the architecture, education, sports, history, and traditions.
Plus a percentage of each purchase is donated back to each respective school – funding scholarships, student activities, or recreational programs.
Glasses, Towels, Pouches and more…
Catstudio’s original artwork is also featured on glassware, dish towels, woven pouches, thermal bottles, fine art prints, and more. This year, they also launched an exciting new modern astrology collection, a beach and travel towel collection made from recycled plastic bottles, collegiate collection fine art prints, and stainless steel thermal tumblers.
Now based in Petaluma, CA, Carmel is a native of Hawaii who grew up a globetrotter, visiting Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia, with frequent trips to the Continental US, by the age of 18. Settling down in Los Angeles after studying art in college, she initially pursued a career with the recording companies, Arista and CBS.
Terrell was born in California and grew up in Texas and Mississippi before setting off on thrilling adventures around the globe. Channeling the sense of fearlessness he had― riding camels and elephants and catching old steam engine trains―into an entrepreneurial spirit, he opened Houston’s trend-setting fashion boutique Cotton Club in 1982, and in 1989, he and Carmel created Swan Magic, a women’s apparel company in Petaluma.
Catstudio is located at 1340 Industrial Avenue, Suite A in Petaluma, CA 94952, and can be found online at www.catstudio.com.
We recently had the honor of working pro bono on an autistic activist’s publicity campaign to encourage COVID19 survivors to donate their plasma.
Jesse Saperstein is a 38-year-old man with autism burdened by countless phobias including spiders, olives, and nonbiodegradable waste such as Styrofoam. But one thing he is certainly not afraid of is needles!
Jesse recently broke his quarantine during the apex of the Coronavirus to film a public service announcement at a blood drive near Albany, NY. As soon as the needle was inserted, he began delivering a motivational speech asking society to join him in a dire, time-sensitive mission.
Jesse’s message is to encourage survivors of COVID-19 to contribute their antibody-enriched plasma. This plasma has proven to accelerate the recovery in even the most critically-ill patients.
Jesse reached out to Carney & Associates because he wanted a publicity campaign to help spread the word through the media. His ultimate goal was to launch a National Convalescent Plasma Drive from survivors willing to give back while using his poised speech as a means of assuaging the common fear of needles.
“The fear of needles keeps plenty of individuals from showing up at blood drives when the pool of plasma donors is already sparse,” explained Jesse. “I created the public service announcement so the public could see someone engaging in public speaking while the blood products are being extracted.”
We were pleased to schedule a TV interview for Jesse with Anya Tucker at ABC News10 in Albany, NY. Her beautifully produced segment ran May 11, 2020.
A national autism advocate, Jesse is the author of two books with Penguin Group (USA), Atypical and Getting a Life with Asperger’s, and has appeared on Dr. Phil. As a result of a lifetime of bullying and rejection, it is also Jesse’s mission to help others and change the stigma of the autism spectrum.
Jesse added, “On a personal note, my much of my 38 years of life have not been pleasant even though I am fully aware that many others have been through worse obstacles. Nothing about me is normal or has made it possible to “fit in” most places. Being kind, considerate, and trying to make a difference has not always been enough to earn acceptance. (Most typical youths are not entranced by blood drives and phlebotomy machines, for example.) For the first time in a long while, there is a chance to justify this flamboyant oddness by making a difference in plasma collection endeavors. Everybody has the ability to battle this pandemic despite their challenges and lack of certain abilities that society deems to be necessary.”
Jesse recently met with the American Red Cross to discuss possibilities of partnering on a campaign later this year.
If you’re looking for publicity services, such as interviews on TV, radio and podcasts, and articles in print and online media, please contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates for a free consultation.
Radio Ecoshock is a popular long-running program that’s syndicated to 94+ radio stations in the U.S. and Canada.
“The author is Professor Marissa Landrigan from the University of Pittsburgh,” he continued. “She’s an engaging American writer whose essays appear in the The Atlantic, Salon, Guernica, and Orion magazines.”
Alex interviewed Marissa recently for his show, where they discussed her journey from vegetarian PETA activist to blood-and-guts-eating omnivore.
Going “against the green stream,” she describes eating ethically is far from simple—and cutting out meat is not always the answer. Marissa criss-crossed the U.S. to get closer to the source of her food, eventually even visiting a slaughterhouse, and hunting elk. She came to realize that the most ethical way of eating was to know her food—whether meat or vegetable—and prepare it herself, on her own terms, to eat with family and friends.
In her book, Marissa also covers the humane treatment of animals, labor rights, global poverty, and how she made the transition to cooking local, sustainable, affordable recipes.
Many thanks for Alex for having Marissa on his show, it was most appreciated!
The goal was to spread the issues and ideas of Speak Out and OVER far and wide, to young and old, to increase awareness on the problems we confront today and to build on solutions that promote human rights — and the rights of all species on Earth. Whether one is working to mitigate the effects of climate change, end child marriage, protect endangered species, or advocating for women’s rights, the Global Population Speak Out helped strengthen activist voices — so all our interconnected concerns were heard.
Speak Out used social media, word-of-mouth and direct action to engage opinion-leaders, scientists and citizens of the world to respond creatively to environmental degradation. Speak Out emphasized elements of environmental protection that are rarely discussed: promoting human rights and human health as strong, indispensable solutions to preserving the rights of other species to exist and the health of the planet.
Speak Out organizers granted the free copies of OVER to people and organizations around the world who became ambassadors of information and inspiration, and promised personalized delivery to policymakers, opinion leaders, activists, allied organizations, and other audiences.
Many of the subjects in OVER are often discussed by environmentalists around the world: materialism, consumption, pollution, fossil fuels, carbon footprints, and more. But OVER and Speak Out purposefully joined two ever-present parts of environmentalism together: the number of the human species and our socio-economic behaviors. The book and the campaign intentionally moved beyond tired arguments that only one side of the equation matters and pictorially depicted the importance of both the number of people and the way people live.
The environmental book became an international media sensation and demand for the OVER books was beyond our wildest expectations – fueled by over 250 mass-media articles, reaching over 1 billion readers in 47 countries.
Examples of media sources that have reported on OVER include Washington Post (online and print), The Guardian (online and print), Buzzfeed.com, Salon.com, News.com (Australia), MSN Germany, Yahoo India, the China Daily News, BBC’s Impact, The Daily Mail Online (UK), Folha de S.Paulo (Brazil), San Francisco Chronicle and Mashable.com.
Ashton Kutcher, actor, producer and investor posted Speak Out content on his Facebook page which resulted in over 31,000 likes, 8,000+ shares and 1,300 comments.
While the media attention was robust, Speak Out organizers believed OVER could really effect change with the citizens and organizations speaking out and sharing their passions for saving the planet and creating a better world for all.
In Europe, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability displayed OVER at an annual congress on climate change adaptation and resilience, thereby “allowing congress participants to peruse the magnificent photos during breaks and have the photos spur thoughts and conversations.”
A library consultant at a prominent international health organization reported that “Word is getting around!” The group was sharing OVER in their campus library, which resulted in requests for copies to be taken to country offices in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Uganda.
An activist in Mexico told how he shared the message from OVER: “The book has a permanent place on the counter in our restaurant and many friends/customers/associates have already entered and began to read with awe.”
Down in New Zealand, a conservationist shared that “This will be a great opportunity for us to further promote the impact of increasing human populations on our fragile ecosystems and on the future of the planet’s biodiversity.”
Many of those who requested free copies of OVER were high school teachers and college professors. One teacher from the UK said “It is a really exciting and inspiring resource for future planning of activities within the Department, and in doing so, raising awareness with young people.”
Global Population Speak Out (Speak Out) united world-class scientists, academicians, opinion-leaders – and thousands of lay environmentalists and concerned citizens – to help bring international attention to the crises posed by overdevelopment and human population size and growth. Speak Out was jointly administered by Population Media Center and Population Institute.
Here’s an excerpt from “The Buried Story of Male Hysteria: When men actually began to be diagnosed as ‘hysterics,’ doctors searched for a cause. They found a chemical that may be on the rise again today.”
When a raving 27-year-old man was committed to Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane in April of 1887, no one thought much of it.
But 12 days later, another man arrived at the door in much the same incoherent condition. When the men regained awareness and could be interrogated, it turned out that they worked in the same nearby rubber factory.
That summer, a third man was brought to the hospital, where he was described as “in a condition of great mental excitement, disturbing the neighborhood by loud noises and violent praying.” He, too, turned out to be a co-worker.
The chief of the Nervous Department at New York’s College of Physicians and Surgeons at the time was Frederick Peterson. He knew these three cases couldn’t be a coincidence, so he set out interrogating the workers on the nature of their jobs. As he suspected, the men had all inhaled a chemical in the factory’s air: carbon disulfide.
Peterson had heard of carbon-disulfide insanity in Europe, so he alerted his colleagues in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (now known as The New England Journal of Medicine) that the problem had come to America. In England, the new term “gassed” had arisen, defined in the Liverpool Daily Post as “the term used in the India rubber business, and it meant dazed.” The British physician Thomas Oliver had recalled watching as people working in rubber factories left after their shifts and “simply staggered home,” apart from themselves. The effect could be deadly. “Some of them have become the victims of acute insanity,” Oliver wrote, “and in their frenzy have precipitated themselves from the top rooms of the factory to the ground.”
A highly toxic chemical, carbon disulfide, has been the life blood of this industry from the start. It also has meant a death sentence for many of its workers. For a more than a century, making viscose has been linked to severe illness, including mental derangement, heart attack, and stroke.
Dr. Blanc discusses the history of the industry and its current rebirth in greenwashed eco-friendly products on the Groks Science Show. He emphasizes the importance of skepticism about “green” products on the market, not just in terms of potential hazards for consumers, but also up the chain in its manufacturing, and where it goes after the consumer is finished with it.
This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.