A Cadre of Environmentalists Exhort: ‘I Saw the Light!’

By August 30, 2005General

Sometimes we stumble upon really good stories from others to whom they are just old news. One of those came at the Council of Manufacturing Associations meeting earlier this month (and exhaustively chronicled here), courtesy of NEI President Skip Bowman. In the course of his remarks, he mentioned Patrick Moore. We were scribbling feverishly, spoke to Bowman about it later. Patrick Moore, it turns out, is a co-founder of (fill in adjective of choice) Greenpeace. However, after years of open conflict there, as he says, “It was time to switch from confrontation to consensus, time to stop fighting and start talking with the people in charge. I became a convert to the idea of sustainable development and the need to consider social and economic issues along with my environmental values.” He founded a group with these goals called “Greenspirit“. On his website, he says, “I now find that many environmental groups have drifted into self-serving cliques with narrow vision and rigid ideology. At the same time that business and government are embracing public participation and inclusiveness, many environmentalists are showing signs of elitism, left-wingism, and downright eco-fascism. ” He could’ve asked us before he founded Greenpeace, we could’ve told him.

Joining him in a similar conversion is Stewart Brand. Brand is the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog. Brand has now stated his strong support for nuclear energy as a practical means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while meeting the world’s increasing energy demands. Wonder why that didn’t make the news….?

Finally, and a little more well-known is the Skeptical Environmentalist himself, Bjorn Lomborg. His seminal book in 2001 challenged the widely held (and widely mistaken) beliefs that the global environment is progressively getting worse. In his view — backed by exhaustive research — it’s actually getting better. And, while we’re at it, contrary to popular mainstream belief, the air is getting cleaner, as is the water, or so says the vaunted EPA.

For those of us who don’t usually intersect with the environmental universe, this all comes as somewhat of a surprise. You would think these kinds of “man bites dog” stories would be of interest, no? Seems when they go against us they’re front page news. Would’ve thought these folks might have had some coverage outside the environmental trade press, but guess not. And so we do our part. Thanks to the good folks over at the NEI who first introduced us to this, Skip Bowman and Eric McErlain. By the way, they not only have a pretty good website, but they have a pretty darned good blog. Not like we would know one if it bit us, but we think there’s is pretty good.

Who knows? Maybe this story will catch on, although don’t hold your breath for headlines that scream, “The Environment is Getting Cleaner!”, or “A Cadre of Environmentalists Exhort: “I Saw the Light!” That’s the beauty of a blog. We can write it ourselves.