April 22, 2011

SUCH A PURELY INTELLECTUAL PROPOSITION WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A TOUGH SELL IN AMERICA...:

Blame Game: Has the green movement been a miserable flop? (Bradford Plumer, April 21, 2011, New Republic)

What the hell went wrong? For months now, environmentalists have been asking themselves that question, and it’s easy to see why. After Barack Obama vaulted into the White House in 2008, it really did look like the United States was, at long last, going to do something about global warming. Scientists were united on the causes and perils of climate change. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth had stoked public concern. Green groups in D.C. had rallied around a consensus solution—a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions—and had garnered support from a few major companies like BP and Duke Energy. Both Obama and his opponent, John McCain, were on board. And, so, environmental advocates prepared a frontal assault on Congress. May as well order the victory confetti, right?

Instead, the climate push was … a total flop. By late 2010, the main cap-and-trade bill had fizzled out in the Senate; not a single Republican would agree to vote for it. Greens ended up winning zilch from Congress, not even minor legislation to boost renewable electricity or energy efficiency. Worse, after the 2010 midterms, the House GOP became overrun with climate deniers, while voters turned apathetic about global warming. All those flashy eco-ads and all that tireless eco-lobbying only got us even further from solving climate change than we were in 2008.


...but then they cast it as a fight between intellectuals and their skeptics, the latter group being the majority of Americans throughout our history. If they wanted to effect change they should have made it a simple matter of patriotism, of liberating America from dependence on foreign oil and sticking it to dictatorships. But there's the rub, they don't care about the change, just the fight.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2011 5:49 AM
  
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