Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: Two Environmentalists Anger Their Brethren

This year's Blog Action Day is The Environment

I've longed maligned the Environmental Special interest groups as bunch of tree hugging wackos that are looking more for headline grabbing notoriety than actually addressing any REAL environmental concerns.

Nordhaus and Shellenberger: Two Environmentalists Anger Their Brethren:

Even if every American SUV owner were to buy a hybrid tomorrow, that wouldn't come close to offsetting the environmental damage being perpetrated around the globe. In fact, all the standards, cap-and-trade limits, and emission reductions that environmentalists have been pushing for may slow, but will never reverse, global warming.

And that is Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger's inconvenient truth.

"There is simply no way we can achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," they write in their introduction, "without creating breakthrough technologies that do not pollute."

Environmentalists, therefore, have missed a huge opportunity. Rather than being leaders in solving the global climate crisis, they are content to be doomsayers and scolds.

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger first aligned themselves with like minded special interest groups to encourage a serious deep pocket investment of funds in developing alternative fuels. They quickly learned that these other groups had more important agendas.

"Labor groups were interested in protecting existing jobs in the US rather than creating jobs in the new-energy economy," Shellenberger says. "Environmental groups were more concerned with regulatory limits on greenhouse gases and raising fuel-economy standards." They had tried to be strategic by forming a coalition of interest groups, but interest groups were, in fact, the problem.

It is painfully obviously that as long as policy was shaped by special interests — including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club — there would be no policy other than short-term, narrowly focused fixes.

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