We’ll be able to care what changes are being made to which agency website only so much. It’s already been discussed by the Trump administration that environmental protection and climate science will be either merged and/or purged. They’re pretty much just following through on what they (republicans and Trump) have been saying all along at this point. What may help me and maybe others is to learn what groups like Center for American Progress (CAP), big environmental nonprofits like EDF and NRDC and other groups concerned about the environment are going to do given the lay of the land as it sits under Trump. My fear is that CAP and others don’t know what to do. And you guys are probably the best and brightest. This kind of pushes aside the whole idea of “experts from the left” on policy matters going forward. Nothing puts people off more than when leaders don’t lead, in spite of leaders on the left winning stewardship and sustainability leadership awards. Here’s a couple suggestions:
- Toss the common sense, third way, sensible center philosophy for dealing with republicans and Trump. They (Republicans) took our (democrats) lunch money, pulled our pants down and tossed our books in the creek. There’s no “grown up” conversation to have anymore. Maybe spend time thinking what a reasonable position is. And don’t try to be “the cool environmentalist” to attract corporate greenwash and billionaire’s foundation dollars. This got the green group who awarded VW the most sustainable company in the world, a month before emissions cheating scandal broke looking like an idiot.
- Understand what it is that environmental protection matters do and don’t do. This will take advisory and interest groups to start hiring folks who worked at EPA or who have worked in environmental consulting over the past 47 years. For example, hire a Lisa Jackson type before Apple does. She’s making bank being a “cool environmentalist” now. Those kind of folks know process and solutions from an oversight perspective. NGOs and interest groups don’t seem to know what EPA actual does outside of legal sometimes. Like that EPA’s mission includes land, water and air protection. Not just one or two. All three. Or frankly, sometimes it seems like CAP and enviro nonprofits work against EPA and state environmental agencies.
- The role of environmental protection advocacy is to notice the problem, define the problem, both politically and technically, and offer general conceptual solutions to fixing the problem. Solutions that aren’t for sale per say. Just an understanding enough of the problem and remedy to go into policy negotiations under Trump, without losing every time. And being OK with an outcome. For example, don’t get sucked in as the voice of environmentalism — when the group doing the sucking is going to put the blame on environmentalists, if the group’s interest isn’t truly about environmental protection. Specifically, don’t start helping with selling solutions, if the solution makes the problem worse. There’s too many examples of big green groups representing the environment behind close doors on policy pushes and industry sales and marketing efforts — then making everything worse for everybody and the environment. And only to find out the nonprofit was paid off by someone with an ulterior motive.
- Start calling climate change what it is. It’s global warming. It’s global warming. It’s Global warming. Global warming. Greenhouse gases trap heat and heat accumulation in the environment (air, water and land) does crazy things to local, regional and global climate systems and weather patterns. Not to mention sea level rise and screwing up habitats. And don’t pinpoint a response to global warming like: “global warming will decrease/increase something specific, per scientist.” It may or may do that, but it will do a lot general and immeasurable things over the next four to eight years . Just say: more heat — more activity. Or something “Make America Great Again” — esque.
- That was cathartic.