Mar 02

Yes, it has backfired.

In a surprisingly honest appraisal of the current state of the environmental movement,  Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute declared in a speech at Yale University titled, The Long Death of the Environmnental Movement, that:

…today, environmental efforts to address climate change and build a green economy lie in ruins.

Shellenberger and Nordhaus offer Twelve Theses for a Post-Environmental Movement (heh, a 12-step program) to reboot the environmental movement, of which “we need to stop trying to scare the pants off of the American public” (as noted in the headline above) comes in at #2.

S&N even admit that their side has massively outspent “fossil fuel interests” in their failed effort:

In the wake of the crash [of the environmental movement], environmentalists pointed their finger at the usual bogeymen. They claimed that the problem has been that fossil fuel interests have massively outspent underdog environmental groups, funding skeptics to mislead the public and duping the media into giving too much credence to skeptical views about climate change.

In reality, the environmental lobby massively outspent its opponents. In just the last two years, by our rough estimate environmental organizations and philanthropies spent somewhere north of $1 billion dollars advocating for climate action. In contrast, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Exxon-Mobil, the Koch Brothers, Big Coal, and the various other well publicized opponents of environmental action might have spent, when all was said and done, a small fraction of that.

Indeed, much of the U.S. energy industry, including the largest utilities, helped write and lobbied for U.S. climate legislation.

And then there’s this precious nugget:

The truth is that the disparate crew of academics and bloggers who make up the skeptic community have toiled in relative obscurity and have been largely ignored by the mainstream media. That skeptics have nonetheless succeeded in raising substantial doubt among many Americans about the reality of global warming suggests, at the very least, that the environmental community has profoundly misframed the issue.


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13 Responses to “Greens get honest: ‘We need to stop trying to scare the pants off of the American public. Doing so has demonstrably backfired.’”

  1. Jim says:

    To be green is the desire to be sadistic, to be really green is the desire to destroy the human spirit.

    The Greens are really not that honest. Yes, they were scaring the pants of the American public, but much bigger than that is their desire to control and beat down the public in their daily lives. The best of well-meaning misunderstood Pol Pots, without the physical torture.

    Good riddance to the green regime and all the other barbaric regimes over the centuries.


  2. […] news for scaremongers, the climate models that turn people off for being too alarmist are not alarmist enough. No, […]


  3. klem says:

    You’re right it has backfired. It’s worse than that. I know a lot of children in their early teens and pre-teen age that completely reject ACC. They accept climate change but not the anthropomorphic version. You might think that they have been indoctrinated perhaps at school, but nope, you’d be wrong. All of them go to liberal public schools which have been showing “An Inconvenient truth’ over and over with no opposing films or opinions, the teachers openly blaming humans for climate change, they ridicule any opposing views from their students, as a result most of the students have had enough and reject it all. I have been an environmentalist since 1970, and I have never seen anything like this. I have been saying for years that AGW alarmism will kill the environmental movement in the end. And now I’m seeing how. There is a whole new generation of kids who will not fill the ranks of the green movement in the future. They reject environmentalism. This is a slow motion disaster in the making.


    • JS says:

      I too was an environmentalist in the 1970s. I was wrong in just about everything I believed in as threatening – all the bad news from highly articulate halfwits like Ehrlich, and silly computer models from the Club of Rome. Time has shown just how foolish we all were. So I regard your observations on these youngsters as tremendously good news – the main downside I see is that they will forever be bitterly cynical about scientists and teachers, and the truth is some of them are surely OK. But rejecting environmentalism – that’s just wonderful – good for them!


    • Carbonicus says:

      Klem, you’re right, and the movement has only itself to blame.


    • libdave says:

      A bit of insight from Dogbert

      Also a must watch:


    • Banatu says:

      I also see a slow motion disaster in the making. As all these lies and misinformation come out the new knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss all environmental concerns, thus legitimate issues are being ignored. People are sick of being told to ‘save the earth’.

      Even if the whole global warming thing were 100% fact, it’s nothing compared to the GMO disaster already in progress.


  4. anon says:

    The fossil fuel companies fund the environmental movement. The skeptic side is by and large intellectual militia.


  5. Ginny says:

    The green “regime” a “barbaric regime”???
    Oh, my!


  6. globetrotter says:

    Reading the article was great fun to me – reading the comments even more!
    klem and JS, I hope you are right!
    As an ecologist from the seventies I work for more than 30 years on enviromental projects in Germany. Over the years the resistance from enviro-activists and more recently from government officials and politicians against nearly every project whatsoever has grown to an incredible level – with the exception of the generation of electricity from solar panels and windmills.
    This development peaked last year, when the federal government, lead by the Conservative Party CDU, decided to nearly completely abandon fossil fuel usage by 2050!
    The media repeat continously the neccessity of the “Klimaschutz” to save the planet from desastrous overheating and in school the kids are inculcated with the the carbon dioxide scam every day.
    Unfortunately I can not observe that this campaign is creating the effect you mentioned in your comments.
    Obviously we Germans like to be scared and even enjoy our “German Angst”.


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