J500 Media and the Environment

“Born-Again Environmentalism” by julianat
February 5, 2008, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

Environmentalism is NOT dead.

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus have many compelling points in their essay, The Death of Environmentalism’, but, in echoing Carl Pope, in his passionate and thorough disapproval of the essay, I feel that this essay will do more to spark discouragement in the matter rather than inspire action that people will value and commit to. A great division between environmentalists is not going to change things. If we start to categorize between who is right and wrong, when discussing the same concerns, then we are not going to go anywhere, only more “technicalities and dead ends”.

The effectiveness of our nation’s institutions, such as the EPA, I will admit are flawed. There have been rifts between federal and local ideas of what is good for the environment, and there have been a lot of red tape in changing or passing laws and minor victories for the EPA, or none at all. With similar agreement to S&N, the EPA needs to be reworked from the ground up, or destroyed and “born again”, in order to be effective and respected.

To say that environmentalism is dead, is a bold statement though. There has been a major boost in environmentalism after this article was published (January 13, 2005), such as the Nobel Prize winning of Al Gore and the IPCC in relation to The Inconvenient Truth.

The movement has already been revived and is going to progress, whether people are skeptical or optimistic about climate change. A change is something that has to happen, in order to sustain any type of life. “Eco-Friendly”, “Organic”, “Energy-Saving”, “Green”, “Recycle”, have become words that have infiltrated corporations, advertising companies, and homes . Whether or not people understand these concepts, or products and companies are actually green, is still a step in the right direction. Awareness is being spread and people are slowly starting to think and live in different ways. The biggest failure to Environmentalism, I think, is real understanding of environmental issues, and a commitment to lifestyle change as well as political action.

Effective, or “Born Again” Environmentalism will have to start with education, open-minds, commitment, lifestyle changes and… common sense!

-Juliana Tran


3 Comments so far
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RE: Holcomb coal plant issue

Consider exploring this website to learn why western Kansans think they want new coal plants…



Sarah Hemme

Comment by shemme

Just as we have renamed “global warming”, maybe it is time to rename “environmentalism”. I would venture to say that there are a lot of people out there that are part of the “green” movement who are not just environmentalists. It includes economists, social and community activists, religious groups, etc. I’ve tried to boil down the idea of sustainability and this “Born Again” environmentalism, and the best I can come up with is “living responsibly”. I think we are all just taking a closer look at how each of our actions affects other people and our planet. I’m no wizard with words, though, so if any of you have ideas on how to peg that into an “-ism”, please let me know!

Jeff Severin

Comment by jseverin

Living responsibly. Hmm, sounds like eating veggies instead of cookies. How about celebrating something? It’s not an -ism but Jeff and Juliana you bring up brilliant points. Perception is reality. People want to do what looks good and feels good – that’s why TreeHugger.com has been so successful. I am not sure I agree that anyone making green claims without backing them up is a good thing, but the mere fact that we’re talking about it shows how far we’ve progressed.

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

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