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Published on August 13th, 2008 | by adamwilliams

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The Positive Side of the Green Life: What Have Environmental Activists Done Well?

On a more uplifting note than the one of balance-teetering dismay I struck the other day with a post – CNN’s Glenn Beck and Other Doubters Need More Faith – here’s why I think the green side of mankind may be moving in a good direction.

It cheers me to realize that “green” is a common term these days. Sure, it is arguably over- and mis-used as it’s become a buzz word for marketers. But we’ll get past that, around it, through it…whatever.

Walking on the bright side of life for a bit, I think the fact that environmentalism, global warming, recycling, alternative energies and so on are in the broader public discussion at all shows that the long-timers who’ve been making this argument for decades have gained some ground for us all.

For instance, I might point to Al Gore as someone who’s recent successes with, of all things, a slideshow presentation — An Inconvenient Truth — blew the lid off this thing. He received the Nobel Prize? He received an Academy Award?

How huge is all of that? Sitting back in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, or even in 2000, who would have guessed the call for pro-Earth action would have gotten such a hefty foot in the door – and with a globally viewed slideshow presentation?

But, I admit, I am surely overlooking some very important steps in the progress of the green movement. After all, I can only read and learn so many things on any given day.

As people say, you’ve got to know your history to figure out your future. Part of the problem for me was that at no level in my education were these subjects offered to me. So I continue with the self-education – like now, with the help of all of you.

So, by all means, chime in with your knowledge. Not only will it be enlightening to me – and I hope many, many others – it will likely lead to future blog post ideas, snowballing into future edification.

Everyone is welcome to join me here by kicking in comments to help us all think of a list of positives that have taken place over the years.

Let’s pool our historic senses of where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re headed.

Related posts:

The Upside to Natural Disasters
The Sensibility of Sabbaths for Sustainable Living

Photo source: jetalone at flickr.com, under Attribution License.



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  • Charles Sifers

    When I was a kid in the 60’s, the skies were hazy and the rivers and ponds were little more than open sewage pits. The most famous case is the Cuyahoga in Cleveland which used to burn every summer.

    Today, North American air is so clean, that the lowered particulates teamed up with an increase output from the Sun to warm us several degrees through the 90’s. Our local rivers are so clean, that I am flyfishing for smallmouth bass, and the deer, coyote, raptors and eagles are so plentiful that people don’t even think twice when they see one.

    Unfortunately, our uneducated populous was sold on the idea that the world was warming out of control, and that people were responsible. Worse yet, we were told that our only option was to destroy our civilization and go back to living in caves, except then we would be displacing rare cave crickets and scaring the endangered bats, so as a species, we should just self-destruct.

    Every year, thousands of poor children in Africa and Asia die because their parents can’t use DDT to kill the mosquitos and other pests that are passing along malaria, dengue fever, and other diseases. Worse yet, because of UN policies, or the fact that their countries signed on to Kyoto to get U.N. money, those people don’t have electricity or running water because they can’t build coal or oil fired powerplants.

    This genocide, fed by fat Euro/American “environmentalists” who wouldn’t know “nature” if it showed up at their next “Green” Rally.

    -zz

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