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Is The Environmental Movement Dead?

Is The Environmental Movement Dead?

“The biggest problem with the environmental movement is the environmentalists.”

This statement was posed to a panel of noted environmentalists at the Omega Institute’s Design By Nature: Preserving Life’s Essentials Bread, Water & Shelter conference this weekend. The panel included Laurie David, producer of An Inconvenient Truth, and author of The Family Dinner, Josh Fox, filmmaker and director of Gasland, Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and You Have the Power, and Bob Berkebile, founding principal of BNIM Architects, an architectural firm that fosters holistic, and integrated communities.

Last fall, I attended the first Design By Nature conference and wrote about my experience exploring the “greenest living building”and discovering biomimicry. Omega is a uniquely inspiring community of learners and deep thinkers.

Back to the environmentalists…

Have you ever met someone who described themselves as an ex-environmentalist? I haven’t. I would say an environmentalist is someone who embraces a shared vision to advocate for the planet by working to protect it from environmental destruction.

Whether it’s climate change, energy issues, waste management, water, food, land use, ecosystems, endangered species, or issues of public health, it seems a no-brainer to me to work to protect our environment. I’m hopeful that we can collectively build a healthy future.

Yet, it seems some believe that environmentalists have got it all wrong…

From The Next Right: “They’re still clinging to a couple of ideas like urbanism and fatalism, but what can you do, they’ve bought into the idea of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.”

So let’s look at what these environmental visionaries have to say about how we continue to fight for the environment…

Frances Moore Lappé: Create Stories Together
Work shoulder to shoulder together to create new stories about the environment. Pass down the old stories to our children. Stay open to the possibilities.

Bob Berkebile: Generate More Energy Than You Consume
Living in an ecosystem – embracing nature, can create a post-carbon economy. Use our natural resources and systems to fight pollutants.

Laurie David: Dinner Makes A Difference – Eat Together
Create communities that are more localized. Produce and consume with less waste. Sitting down at the dinner table with your family has powerful, far-reaching results.

Josh Fox: Embrace Civil Disobedience
When asked how he deals with the fatigue of fighting for the environment, he quoted actor, Mark Ruffalo: “If you don’t feel hopeful, you’re not doing enough.”

It was refreshing and confirming to be in the presence of so many enlightened folks who have brought change to their communities and the world by making choices to preserve life’s essentials.

Is the environmental movement dead? Not a chance. But, I’ll leave you with a few dangling questions…What is an environmentalist? Are we being the change we want to see, or are we just talking about change? Do we need a new word to describe those who dedicate themselves to protecting the Earth?

Read more: Children, Community, Conservation, Eating for Health, EcoNesting, Environment, Health & Safety, Home, Life, Make a Difference, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.


+ add your own
3:10AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

I hope not.

10:30AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Not dead maybe, but it seems to be in deep sleep...

3:50AM PDT on Oct 3, 2011

Thanks for sharing. The environmentalist movement is definitely not dead. It is quite alive.

8:13PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Interesting! Thanks for sharing

8:09PM PDT on Sep 18, 2011

Earth keepers maybe?

9:08PM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

Thanks. I will not let the enviromental movement die! :)

2:02AM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

save the earth

10:13AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011


5:53AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

“Do not corrupt the earth ....” (Quran 7:56)

8:55PM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

Good read thanks for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Obama is probably the puppet doing what his advisers tell him to do.

My cats lie together like this as well!!! It is sooo damn adorable!! Both males & they surprisin…

Yum - thanks for the lovely sandwich ideas :-)


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