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Thursday, June 09, 2005 

Is Environmentalism Dead?


If I had to answer that, I'd say no. It's in a coma.

The problem with environmentalism is that it's not about science anymore, at least not for most of the people involved. It's a movement, it's a social experience, it makes you feel good, and it gets rid of the guilt of being a white middle class college student. Many environmental groups have been hijacked by other interests: anti-corporate, anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, radical left wing, etc. That is why Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, quit that organization a while back. He got sick of political interest groups stealing the environmental message for their own use.

If you ever come upon an eco-protest, ask a few questions. Ask them what they think about the urban heat island theory and why that doesn't account for the "evidence of global warming" that they tout. Ask them why global warming is not heating the upper atmosphere, which it should according to the greenhouse effect. Ask them why, in light of the economic damage it would cause, the US should sign on to Kyoto when 100 year temperature reductions would only be .08 - .28 degrees C. Ask them why global warming is causing New York City to have higher temperatures but 140 miles away, Albany is having lower temperatures. I bet that these are issue that they cannot discuss with any sort of intelligence, reason, or scientific support. If you're lucky, they'll chant something at you.

People aren't apathetic towards the environment. Look at this quote from the article:

Hansen points out that voters in 121 communities in 24 states passed ballot measures to create $3.24 billion in public funding to protect land as parks and open space. Since 1996, 1,065 out of 1,376 conservation ballot measures have passed in 43 states, raising more than $27 billion in funding for land conservation. “If you look at the campaign materials for these initiatives, you see little strident rhetoric and a lot of practical solutions,” he says. He might also have noted that in the U.S. today, private citizens support 1,300 private land trusts, which have collectively protected an area twice the size of Connecticut.

People do care. They just don't like a 20 year old with dreadlocks from Brookfield screaming at them about how "Big Oil" is destroying the world and how museums will be the only place we can see trees in the future. If you want a spokesperson for your group and cause, it helps to pick someone who isn't screaming like a banshee (Howard Dean, I'm looking in your direction).

They can have their marches and their rallies. I'll be inside reading the International Journal of Climatology.

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