THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT IS INEFFECTIVE

by Ginosar  

A few days ago the political director of the highly respected environmental organization NRDC made very positive remarks about the "accomplishments" in Copenhagen. The credentials of the man are outstanding, but with all due respect to him and NRDC I believe he is way off base. The failure to face reality and agree on some 30% reduction, from the 1990 level, by 2020 is setting us back tragically.


May be it was unrealistic to expect this commitment across the board, but at least the Europeans and the US and other developed countries should have agreed on it. We have produced the largest amount of GHG to date. We have accelerated global warming more than all other nations combined. And it would be the easiest for us to reduce our GHG. Remember, each kWh we cut reduce the input energy by 3 kWh.


Optimists about Copenhagen may not like to face the current reality of GW, or they may think that positive thinking would somehow change the situation, or think it may lead us to action instead of despair. I do not believe this approach is effective. Unless we face the increasingly more dangerous reality of GW we will placate ourselves to accept minor "solutions" that would not reduce the danger to humanity from GW.


It is evidently clear that while we are giving positive spin to our international failures, GHG emissions are rapidly increasing. The improving global economics will soon wipe out any past slowdown in the rise of GHG.

President Obama is not involved enough - it is critical that we have a powerful national leader to push our effort against the Status Quo. However, the president does not personally grasp the seriousness of GW. He may grasp it intellectually, but it did not touch his gut yet. You have to feel GW to move to real action, and to take the needed political risk.

Let's be realistic for a change: We are in immense environmental trouble and the evidence is that the IPCC estimates have been too conservative. And we have nothing of value to date.


There is another serious problem, the poor effectiveness of the environmental organizations in the US. Businesses trying to retain the fossil fuel industry have spent some $100 million in lobbying Congress in 2009. They achieved their goal - nothing has changed. The environmental groups have collectively a budget of several hundred millions! What did these organizations accomplish with these immense resources? Very little. The environmental organizations and most of their staff are dedicated and want to reduce GW. But, the environmental movement, the President, and Congress are operating in the Business As Usual mode because:

 

AS LONG AS THE PRESIDENT, CONGRESS AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT ARE NOT RISKING THEIR POSITIONS AND LIVELIHOOD, AS LONG AS THEY ARE BOUND BY THEIR NEED FOR INCOME, POSITIONS, OR POWER - THEY WOULD BE INEFFECTIVE IN THEIR STRUGGLE TO SERIOUSLY CURTAIL GLOBAL WARMING.

 

 

We need massive grassroots pressure on swing member of Congress. I would like to know why the environmental movement does not use its immense financial resources to create systematic grassroots pressure across the country.

They know about this method, I also discussed it with some of the top people in this movement. They said they are doing it - have you seen any evidence of it? I have not.

They have the money. They have millions of members - where are these people? Why Congress members do not hear from them on a mass scale?

 

The environmental movement failed us to date.

 

When will they wake up to the time-criticality of global warming?

 


 

 

 

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