Reforming the Environmental Movement

November 30, 2004

At WorldChanging, Alex Steffen offers up excellent suggestions on reforming the environmental movement in his article Reframing the Planet, asking, "Environmentalism has been getting sand kicked in its face on the political beach for too long now. How do we beef it up?". Answering his own question, Steffen offers the beginnings of concrete ways that the greens can appeal to the American public.

Before my iBook was stolen, I had an essay in the works about the relationship of the environmental and interfaith/religious movements. Sadly that piece is gone and I've not had time to reformulate it. Below are two of the central points I was working towards.

  1. I have the feeling that the partisanship of today's grassroots environmental organizations is counter-productive. Organizations that take direct stances on who should be elected, for instance, will never be able to reach out past the red/blue divide in the U.S.
  2. I would suggest that one avenue of future environmental activisim should be through religious organizations. Most of the world's religions have some strong stewardship message, if not a stronger green message. What better way for religions and environmentalists to both burnish their images and reach across cultural divides? Work together, building trust and understanding, realizing that many people listen to their pastors more readily than to the executive director of the Sierra Club.