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.