The Spectacle Blog

No More Mr. Nice Environmentalist Guy

On the main site today I expound on the blamethrowing between the Obama Administration and eco-gogue groups over the expected failure of Congress to pass cap-and-trade this year.

By on 8.10.10 | 1:27PM

On the main site today I expound on the blamethrowing between the Obama Administration and eco-gogue groups over the expected failure of Congress to pass cap-and-trade this year. In the piece I cite Eaarth inhabitant Bill McKibben, chief carbon counter of 350.org, who is one of the most amusing (unintentionally) environoiacs bloviating today (but still taken seriously by his fellow Greens). I quoted a couple of lines from a "no more Mister Nice Guy" piece he wrote last week, but a few more of his complaints and recommended strategies to win politically on the issue were worth a mention here, just for giggles:

  • "They ["moderate and corporate" environmental groups] bent over backwards like Soviet gymnasts."
  • "So now we know what we didn’t before: making nice doesn’t work. It was worth a try, and I’m completely serious when I say I’m grateful they made the effort, but it didn’t even come close to working. So we better try something else."
  • "It is the carbon -- that’s why the seas are turning acid, a point Obama could have made with ease while standing on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. 'It’s bad that it’s black out there,' he might have said, 'but even if that oil had made it safely ashore and been burned in our cars, it would still be wrecking the oceans.' Energy independence is nice, but you need a planet to be energy independent on."
  • "If we’re going to slow global warming in the very short time available to us, then we don’t actually need an incredibly complicated legislative scheme that gives door prizes to every interested industry and turns the whole operation over to Goldman Sachs to run. We need a stiff price on carbon, set by the scientific understanding that we can’t still be burning black rocks a couple of decades hence. That undoubtedly means upending the future business plans of Exxon and BP, Peabody Coal and Duke Energy, not to speak of everyone else who’s made a fortune by treating the atmosphere as an open sewer for the byproducts of their main business."
  • "We also need to make real federal investments in energy research and development, to help drive down the price of alternatives -- the Breakthrough Institute points out, quite rightly, that we’re crazy to spend more of our tax dollars on research into new drone aircraft and Mars orbiters than we do on photovoltaics."
  • "For 20 years environmentalists have operated on the notion that we’d get action if we simply had scientists explain to politicians and CEOs that our current ways were ending the Holocene, the current geological epoch. That turns out, quite conclusively, not to work. We need to be able to explain that their current ways will end something they actually care about, i.e. their careers. And since we’ll never have the cash to compete with Exxon, we better work in the currencies we can muster: bodies, spirit, passion."
  • "We’re following up in October -- on 10-10-10 -- with a Global Work Party. All around the country and the world people will be putting up solar panels and digging community gardens and laying out bike paths. Not because we can stop climate change one bike path at a time, but because we need to make a sharp political point to our leaders: we’re getting to work, what about you?"
  • "Kids are leading the fight, all over the world -- they have to live on this planet for another 70 years or so, and they have every right to be pissed off."
  • "It took a decade after the Montgomery bus boycott to get the Voting Rights Act. But if there hadn’t been a movement, then the Voting Rights Act would have passed in… never. We may need to get arrested. We definitely need art, and music, and disciplined, nonviolent, but very real anger."

And then there are "those damned shriveled ears of corn..."

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