Monday, January 10, 2005

"The Death of Environmentalism"

A paper distributed by two environmental heavyweights, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, entitled The Death of Environmentalism posits that environmentalists need to move from narrow issue-specific messages such as "save the rainforest" or "clean up the water" to a broader message that is incorporated into a larger progressive framework dealing with social and economic justice. The aim is to move the environment from "out there" to "in here." How does working to help the environment help me and my family?

I agree with the authors that the environment has to move from "out there" to "in here." I disagree that it needs to be subordinated to a progressive platform. That marginalizes it. In fact, it should be the central organizing principle in the progressive movement. In a future post, I'll outline exactly what mean.

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