(See part 1.) To identify optimum tactics, we need to start with a clear idea of who the opposition is–and what are their strengths and weaknesses. A careful assessment of this situation will reveal the reality that citizen groups fighting alternative energy promoters are the underdogs.
Briefly, the opponents are:
1 – The Wind Industry [lobbyists (e.g. AWEA), manufactures (e.g. Vesta), developers (e.g. Iberdrola), installers (e.g. Horizon), investors (e.g. Goldman Sachs), and some utilities].
2 – Most large mainstream environmental organizations (e.g. Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists).
3 – Some labor unions and businesses.
4 – Many Academics (e.g. at Pace, Stanford).
5 – Many of our representatives and agencies: Federal (e.g. Congress, DOE, FERC); State (e.g. legislators, PSC, DEC); Local (e.g. county, town board, planning board).
“I used to believe that understanding the basics, being passionate, working hard, and being on the factually correct side of an issue was enough. These ingredients are necessary, but are not sufficient. We also have to use effective PR techniques. Properly phrasing our message, its timing, and getting it to the right people are critical.”
As a citizen, my hope is that our representatives make technical policy decisions based on genuine science. Such an assessment would thoroughly review all pertinent technical, economic and environmental (which includes health) aspects of what is being considered.
To date that has not been the case with energy and environmental policies. The main reason for this is that citizens are engaged in an epic battle with lobbyists (representing clients with financial and/or political agendas) — yet most people are not even aware of this war, and hardly any are properly prepared for such an engagement.…