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Category — New Environmentalism

Towards a New Environmentalism (open criticism, midcourse correction, and scholarship needed)

MasterResource is home to a growing number of grassroot environmentalists who are challenging the Washington, D.C. establishment to reconsider industrial wind turbines. Jen Gilbert’s Dear Sierra Club (Canada): I Resign Over Your Anti-Environmental Wind Support and Jon Boone’s three-part The Sierra Club: How Support for Industrial Wind Technology Subverts Its History, Betrays Its Mission, and Erodes Commitment to the Scientific Method of what Robert Bradley has summarized in his post, Windpower: Environmentalists vs. Environmentalists (NIMBYism, precautionary principle vs. industrial wind)

My piece for National Review (reprinted below) looks at the bigger picture of how reasoned criticism and intellectual diversity have struggled to penetrate the environmental mainstream. The result of such intolerance has been Faustian bargains such as the Sierra Club going all-in for wind power (see their response to Robert Bryce’s recent op-edin the New York Times). After all, it was the Los  Angeles director of the Sierra Club that coined the moniker, Cuisinarts of the Air.

Scholarship and reasoned dissent are essential for public trust. The faster this is recognized by mainstream environmental groups, the better the result for both the environment and economy.

                   An Environmental Reformation

by Steve Hayward

When Gregg Easterbrook’s voluminous book A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism was published in 1995, it received the predictable reaction from the environmental community: outrage. Despite– or probably because of– Easterbrook’s bona fides as a mainstream-liberal writer for The New Republic, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Newsweek, the environmental lobby swung into full distort-and-denounce mode. The Environmental Defense Fund, for example, alleged the existence of factual errors that “substantially undermine his thesis that many environmental problems have been overstated.” [Ed.: See EDF's Part I and Part II rebuttals] [Read more →]

July 27, 2011   6 Comments