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Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says
01-14-2013, 04:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-14-2013 04:13 PM by Willinois.)
Post: #1
Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says
I've seen a couple of green pages on facebook react with outrage to this article criticizing the environmental movement for its climate change strategy. I guess we're supposed to take this report more seriously because it comes from Harvard, but it's very easy to pick apart the climate change movement's many failures.

Quote:In a research paper, due to be presented at a Harvard forum next month, scholar Theda Skocpol in effect accuses the DC-based environmental groups of political malpractice, saying they were blind to extreme Republican opposition to their efforts.

Environmental groups overlooked growing opposition to environmental protections among conservatives voters and, underestimated the rising force of the Tea Party, believing – wrongly, as it turned out – they could still somehow win over Republican members of Congress through "insider grand bargaining".

That fatal misreading of the political realities – namely, the extreme polarisation of Congress and the Tea Party's growing influence among elected officials – doomed the effort to get a climate law through Congress. It will also make it more difficult to achieve climate action in the future, she added.

It's true that many in the movement talk a lot of happy horseshit about bipartisan solutions instead of facing the reality that they need to get their hands dirty in Congressional elections. The brief delusion among the pundit corps that the lame duck Congress would pass a carbon tax is further evidence that some movement leaders aren't facing political realities.
The article quotes Bill McKibben bragging that the report recommends the kind of grass-roots effort he's doing with 350.org. But even he was busy putting all the focus on Obama when it was the Senate blocking action on cap-and-trade, so there's plenty of criticism to go around. Other leaders argued, like this writer suggests, that the movement wouldn't be able to effectively mobilize the grass-roots around a weak, compromise cap-and-trade bill.

This article may motivate me to finish my blog posts about the movement's failures and challenges. I have at least as many insights as this academic who merely observes the movement from the outside.
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01-14-2013, 05:21 PM
Post: #2
RE: Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says
Quote:It's true that many in the movement talk a lot of happy horseshit about bipartisan solutions instead of facing the reality that they need to get their hands dirty in Congressional elections.

That reminds me of the coal mine company that unashamedly marched their workers out of the mine (w/o pay) and had them stand behind Romney during a campaign stop in Southeast Ohio. While that stop was billed as a Romney event it had just as much to do with the Congressional elections in that conservative area of Ohio.

The Republicans have no qualms about bending and breaking the rules during the election season. They know that the reward they get is worth the price they will pay (if any) when it is too late to effect the election.

GOTV in 2014
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01-14-2013, 09:11 PM
Post: #3
RE: Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says
(01-14-2013 05:21 PM)pappy Wrote:  The Republicans have no qualms about bending and breaking the rules during the election season. They know that the reward they get is worth the price they will pay (if any) when it is too late to effect the election.

In contrast, the environmental movement doesn't like to spend its resources on elections and the national groups do almost nothing in rural areas. Except when Green Corps sends someone from New York or California with their new degree from an expensive private university to work in a low-income area. Obviously, it isn't always effective.
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01-15-2013, 01:43 AM
Post: #4
RE: Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says
(01-14-2013 09:11 PM)Willinois Wrote:  In contrast, the environmental movement doesn't like to spend its resources on elections and the national groups do almost nothing in rural areas. Except when Green Corps sends someone from New York or California with their new degree from an expensive private university to work in a low-income area. Obviously, it isn't always effective.

THAT. I think people are confused about how the proposals will effect change. A solar hot water heater in every home, people get that. It doesn't hurt anybody and helps reduce energy needs. More taxes and trading and buying carbon credits? Sounds like a bunch of hooey. I think the environment is one of the few places you can get country club Republican support - if it's practical and doesn't hurt anybody or provides help to those who would be hurt, like coal miners.
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01-17-2013, 03:20 PM
Post: #5
RE: Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says
(01-15-2013 01:43 AM)sandnsea Wrote:  I think the environment is one of the few places you can get country club Republican support - if it's practical and doesn't hurt anybody or provides help to those who would be hurt, like coal miners.

The environment is one of the few wedge issues Democrats have to peel off support from the upper middle class. Not many in the national party seem to have caught on though.
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