What environmental groups do you support and why?
September 11, 2010 3:26am CST
I get a lot of emails from various enviromental groups and sometimes, I must admit, I just delete them as I am questioning either the group or the causes the groups are supporting... I sometimes wonder if petition signing activities will actually help anyone and if I am being told enough to make a good decision about whether or not to sign a petition... In some cases, one environmental group may actually support something that another enviromental group is fighting. It can get a little confusing. I am wondering: What causes are you passionate about? What environmental groups do you trust? What makes them trustworthy?
23 Sep 10
Hi whiteheron, I think you're right to ask questions. I think you need to clear about what you're supporting and why. The point after all is to give your elected representative the clear message that your sincerely, and from a basis of understanding, want them to take a particular course of action. So, ask the environmental groups some testing questions. For example, what motivates them as a group? Some 'green' groups see their environmentalism as part of a wider [anarchist / socialist / utopian] movement. Whatever your views on these, I feel it's probably more effective for environmental campaign groups to be focused on SUSTAINABILITY. By this I mean understanding the climate change problem thus: We are living in a manner which can not be perpetuated without causing, at worst, enormous HUMAN suffering and, at best, a very expensive mess in a few years time we could avoid much more cheaply by acting now. (I contrast this view with other, laudible but ultimately less pressing concerns, such as "It's about the polar bears", or "trees look nice, we should stop chopping them down" or even "the effects of climate change affect the poor much more severely than the rich, there is a moral imperitive to protect those worst affected".) I once berated a pair of charity muggers from Greenpeace for telling me it was about the poor polar bears and asking me to sign a petition with a picture of said ferocious predator. But actually, although Greenpeace may have got it wrong on that occassion, they are an important part of the movement. I also like Friends of the Earth but I'm not a member of any such organisations. I think there's a wider issue here which is that the challenge is spread the message universally (for me, that it's about HUMAN survival and SUSTAINABILITY). Sometimes, trying to use the vessel of an 'environmental pressure group' just turns people off because they, unfairly write them all off as hippies, treehuggers and polar bear groupies.