The critical voice of the Environment movement

21/06/2011 / Kaj

40 years after the birth of the modern environment movement, it has turned into an unwieldy behemoth and its tactics have stalled. This prompted criticism that he is out of touch with the movement. In an open letter to green campaignersin The Guardian Charles Secrett, gives his remedy for the movement’s ills. Read Charles Secretts open letter.


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  2. Erik Karlsson

    This would be a new strategy to try. A large problem at this point with spreading the green movement is that it tends to “preach to the choir.” Largely due to more access to information than ever before, people are able to pick and choose the messages they personally agree with and only feed themselves a steady dose of the information that doesn’t elicit cognitive dissonance. This makes it very difficult to get an emotionally charged message across to an entire population when a huge group of people will listen to a single talking head who, in order to continue pulling-in the ratings, will automatically take up the opposite side of the argument.

    People are pointing to this year of revolutions across the world, saying, “Look! It can happen!” However, all revolutions I can recall only occurred because conditions were unbearable. We have to figure out a way to create a revolution that doesn’t have its catalyst in the wolf that is already inside the house devouring the children. Merely having the wolf at the door doesn’t tend to move people to action. Just lock the door. Problem solved.

    Environmentalists would disagree and say that the wolf is already inside the house (and perhaps that the wolf us US). However, the bulk of the world’s population cannot see this connection as they perform their daily duties – they’re not inconvenienced, so they are difficult to mobilize.

    I wish I had an answer for this. It is, in my view, the overarching problem to global environmentalism. People’s attitudes are extremely difficult to change without a catalyst that effects them directly.

  3. Charles Secrett

    Interesting though, NGOs have the resources and the reach locally, nationally and internationally to act as the catalyst for mobilisation in the political arena and markets, and the huge variety of sustainability successes in every economic sector but spread globally show people that there are better ways of doing things than currently and to their (indiviudla communities) environmental, economic amnd social improvement – therefore embed and multiply these successes and mobilise to get governments to implement the policy/tax/spending framework that does so while phasing out the unsustainable business as usual practices that are causing the problems

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