What Would Eeyore Do About Climate Change?

Klearchos Kapoutsis/CC BY 2.0
Donkeys in Love

Oh poor me would be Eeyore's response, unless the veil of love had fallen over him, or else he was a registered Republican — an even surer recipe for climate fearlessness.

It is easy to see why US environmentalists, regardless of party affiliation, are leaning toward the slough of climate despond. Little has been accomplished by blogging about the idiotic and frustratingly effective statements of bought-off, US politicians and Think Tank 'experts.' Add to this reality the low profile taken by the Obama Administration and you can't really blame folks for looking seriously at a geo-engineering proposal or two.

Even if optimism inexplicably returns, chances are your new happy balloon will eventually be punctured by sharp scientists:

[an] MIT-led team of researchers has now established that the end-Permian extinction was extremely rapid, triggering massive die-outs both in the oceans and on land in less than 20,000 years — the blink of an eye in geologic time. The researchers also found that this time period coincides with a massive buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which likely triggered the simultaneous collapse of species in the oceans and on land.

Granted, a Permian-like ending does not appear to have high prospects for the time being. What would be a better strategy for environmentalists to herd the policy cats back into the Rational Corral?

The Non-Eeyore Strategy
Get past the complaining, the pointing out of irrational politics, and the general anti-science negativity. Resist the temptation, for example, to deride and criticize geo-engineering or any other technical work, for that matter, which directly or indirectly acknowledges the the risk of catastrophic climate change.

Among other things, the Occupy movement is helping to bring sustainability into focus (without using that term) simply by pointing to the need for a better balance between economy, society,, and environmental protection. This is our opportunity, and we either grab it or slip back into Eeyore mode. Here's an example of the sort of thinking and research that does deserve positive attention: Making the Case for the Value of Environmental Rules

If you care about free markets, the EPA would be the last agency you’d want to cut.

Tactics.
These are proven tactics. Order does not denote rank or weight. Choose your weapon(s).

  • Join a traditional environmental group with a Washington DC office and get active with other local members. League of Women Voters, EDF, Sierra, etc.
  • Let go of the RSS feed and start reading newsletters offered by traditional environmental groups.
  • Contact staffs of your elected state and Federal officials to be put on their mailing lists and participate in constituent meetings. Writing letters is not your goal. Polite face time is.
  • Participate in get out the vote (GOTV) canvasing and calling campaigns, and then...
  • Vote.

Tags: Activism | Environmental Policy | Global Warming Solutions

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