The death of environmentalism.

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream speech" is famous because it put forward an inspiring, positive vision that carried a critique of the current moment within it. Imagine how history would have turned out had King given an "I have a nightmare" speech instead.
That's one of my favorite lines in "The Death of Environmentalism" [pdf/html], an essay by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, two of the founders of the Apollo Alliance, a "crash program for sustainable energy independence [that aims to] create three million good jobs, free the nation from imported oil, and promote a healthier environment." The gist of the must-read piece is that environmentalism, like most "liberal" causes, has long been seen as a "special interest," thanks in part to environmentalists themselves who define what they're about too narrowly. The essay argues for a more wholistic environmental focus, including labor, healthcare, ownership and taxation, and a slew of other issues beyond just those that directly affect natural habitat--all while framing the issues in an optimistic, values-based approach. I'm reading the essay in preparation for book I'm contributing to for the Royal Society of Art's Art & Ecology program. Closer to my interests, then, is this quote on how art--and religion and storytelling and...--can contribute:
Environmentalists need to tap into the creative worlds of myth-making, even religion, not to better sell narrow and technical policy proposals but rather to figure out who we are and who we need to be.
(Thanks, Max.)

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