Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Death of Environmentalism!

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger have something new to say and I'm listening, that the "environmental" movement should die! I'm listening because I know these guys actually do care about the well being of the earth's ecosystems, however, I'm exhausted from being an "environmentalist" and I'm ready for a new label! Or a lack of one... I'm exhausted by years of defending and debating climate change, obsessing over using re-usable bottles and containers and fearing getting run over on my bike in a world that is not suited to such practices.

TIME Magazine's Bryan Walsh wrote an article in 2008 that captures why these "environmentalists" want to kill and re-design their own movement!

" 'The Death of Environmentalism' (and a follow-up book entitled Break Through) argued that for all the media and fund-raising attention, the green movement had failed to make real progress on the most important environmental issue of our time: climate change. That failure was due to an essential misconception. Global warming was not an "environmental" problem like acid rain or local water pollution that could be solved through regulation — in this case, cap-and-trade programs like the Kyoto Protocol. Rather, it was an all-encompassing threat that would demand changes to our global energy system far more revolutionary than anything that could realistically be achieved by regulation. As they saw it, cap and trade, which involves putting limits on greenhouse-gas emissions and allowing companies to buy and sell the right to produce carbon, was a political dead end — no one would accept the kind of high carbon prices that would be required to make a significant dent in global warming.

Far from accepting the idea that high energy prices are a fair short-term trade for averting long-term climate change, a little economic pain at the pump has seemingly been enough to undo the work of Al Gore and friends. In Europe (where even pro-Kyoto nations have struggled to reduce their carbon emissions), and in China and India (where there is zero support for environmental policies that will restrain economic growth), the story is not that different. Environmentalists have made the world care about global warming; they just haven't made us willing to do anything tangible about it.

Depressing stuff, but Shellenberger and Nordhaus — despite the title of that infamous essay — are optimists. The green movement's mistake has been to define climate change in terms of limitations: to our lifestyles, our energy use, our economy. Instead, they argue, what's needed is a shift to "the politics of possibility," fed by epic government investment in energy technology that will make renewables economically viable on their own merits against fossil fuels. That will be a tough battle with the global economy entering choppy waters, but at least Shellenberger and Nordhaus have injected a vital strain of realism into an issue far too critical to founder on green dreams."

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1841778_1841779_1841804,00.html #ixzz1PHWClYJJ

Follow them on twitter @TheBTI
or their blog at: http://www.thebreakthrough.org/blog/index.shtml