Competing Environmental Discourses Ecological Activists vs. the

Ecological Activists vs. the
Ecological Modernists
Ecological Activists
 spiritual
descendants of Foreman
direct action, nature as sacred, skeptical
about technology, emphasis on local
grassroots organizing,
International Day of Climate Action in
 the Global Work Party in 2010
 Moving Planet in 2011
 Climate Impacts Day in 2012.
 http://globalpo
Stop the Keystone XL
Oxford Alumni Occupy University Over Fossil
Fuel Investments
Oxford, UK – Oxford alumni have occupied a
university administration building to
demonstrate their anger over today’s
announcement that the university has
deferred until May its decision on whether to
divest from fossil fuels.
People’s Climate Change
largest climate march in history.
Gustave Speth
 “A
specter is haunting American
environmentalism – the specter of failure.”
Naomi Klein
“The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about
carbon—it’s about capitalism. The convenient
truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to
transform our failed economic system and build
something radically better.”
“requires breaking every rule in the “free-market”
playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding
local economies, and reclaiming our
Smart Growthers
“The price of renewable electricity from solar
and wind is now equal to the grid average
price in many countries around the world and
that list is growing because there is a cost
down curve…The more we use, the more
scaling of production, the cheaper it gets. The
more oil and coal we use the more expensive
it gets. Within less than seven years 86% of the
people in the world will live in areas where the
price of renewable electricity y is cheaper
than the price from other sources.”
Al Gore
Bring out your dead...
Critique of Env. Movement
Beltway centered
Not kitchen table issues
The green bubble of seemingly widespread
interest in climate change and green jobs
was, it turns out, primarily an elite
phenomenon, one which had little effect
upon widespread public opinion about
climate change
EcoModernist Manifesto
Wake up Enviros!
more, better, or louder climate science will not
drive the transformation of the global energy
stop trying to scare the pants off of the American
most successful actions will not be justified for
environmental reasons.
stop treating climate change as if it were a
traditional pollution problem
we will not regulate or price our way to a clean
energy economy
we will not internalize the full costs of fossil fuels,
Be Realistic
we will need to make clean energy technologies much
cheaper in order to decarbonize the global energy
we are going to have to get over our suspicion of
technology, especially nuclear power. There is no credible
path to reducing global carbon emissions without an
enormous expansion of nuclear power.
big is beautiful. The rising economies of the developing
world will continue to develop whether we want them to or
not. The solution to the ecological crises wrought by
modernity, technology, and progress will be more
modernity, technology, and progress. The solutions to the
ecological challenges faced by a planet of 6 billion going
on 9 billion will not be decentralized energy technologies
like solar panels, small scale organic agriculture
Need to Play Politics
 Campus
 Very