Environment

Memo to Smug Greens

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJul 1, 2011 2:43 PM

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Here's a delightfully salty essay from a fellow Brooklynite (of course!) which you should chew on while pondering the collapse of civilization. Pay special heed to this:

There is a good reason that the environmental movement in this country -- and those tiny, blonde Northern countries -- do not win the hearts and minds of most Americans, particularly during this economic period. When people who have no money are lectured about how they're doing everything wrong already, and are then, in the lightning round, told they don't have any consideration for anyone other than themselves and their appallingly bloated families -- much less for "the planet" -- it's one of many daily slaps in the face they have to endure. And are then asked to be grateful for the chance at enlightenment. Most people struggling to get by are simply trying to do what they can for their families today, and maybe, if things are going slightly better, a week or two ahead. There is no time, no mental energy -- no fucking money -- to consider the aerial environmental view. Criticizing people under egregious stress is not only an ineffective tactic, it frankly lacks even baseline compassion. And this, in Broke-Ass's view, is fundamentally un-American.

This screed is a welcome antidote to the vacuous preening and chic lifestyle "sustainability" that has come to define 21st century environmentalism. The calcified movement, as I wrote here two years ago, is in desperate need of a reboot:

Environmentalism, for all its success, is still largely shaped by its elitist roots. It also remains a movement made up of upper-middle class whites, something leaders of established environmental groups had cause to lament after Obama was elected president. In recent years, scholars and journalists have written books on how this lack of racial and ethnic diversity has diluted environmentalism's political power and message. If this has prompted any real soul-searching by mainstream environmental groups, I'm not aware of it. If there are any big mission-altering statements or campaigns by any of these groups that have enlarged the green tent, I'm not aware of them.

All still true today.

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