Posts tagged ‘Ted Nordhaus’

March 31, 2009

The Death of Environmentalism.


Last night I went to a solid movie/discussion at Laurier where we watched “Everything’s Cool“, a documentary on the politics behind the United States’ reluctance to join a global climate change effort.  Appreciably not-too-preachy, and had some great info on how the climate change message was censored to both the government and the public in the US.

In this film we met two emerging thinkers on the big environmental picture (Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus) who wrote a P.R. dream-sounding essay entitled “The Death of Environmentalism”.  Environmentalists are so easy to offend that they must have known this would be a proverbial “stir stick“.  Instead of scaring their readers to action, their central tenant is to develop international clean energy based economies.  Their positives are job creation, improves national security by getting off our dependence on foreign oil, improves human health, developing ubiquitous/open energy sources, and THEN the talk on polar bears.  Eliminating carbon from energy and transportation would put a massive dent in our effort.  Now just eat vegetarian one or two days a week and you’ll really finish the roundhouse kick.

They criticize the environmental justice community by saying their message has been one-dimensional, way too fear-based/doom and gloom, and have not produced a lot of results over the past 20 years.  So instead of showing polar bears and bored ski groomers, they paint a positive economic, political, and cultural picture around clean energy and push its extreme importance.  Nowish.

I’ve been bigpicturing seriously for the last little while, and my opinions on environmentalism have definitely shifted and continue to do so.  But these guys are speaking a language that makes sense and focuses on the right reasons to act and move forward, with no sense of stagnation or dwelling on the past.  Pretty much down, more fun to come.

Read The Death of Environmentalism here (PDF).


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