Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Monday, 19 November 2007

Environmentalism's existential moment

Imagine swapping Tony Blair for Winston Churchill. Would it transform the timid politics of global warming? A week ago Keith Wheeler pointed me to this article in Conservation Magazine by Shellenberger & Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute. They are authors of the Death of Environmentalism. In the article they show the power of framing. They reframe the Blair/Churchill approach to a crisis. On their blog you can find more discussion on this issue.

Jack Byrne wrote us that the authors had recently spoken in Middlebury at a conference called "What Works?" The premise of the conference was that environmentalism was failing to sufficiently address the climate change issue and that a new model was needed, i.e., what other movement had successfully dealt with a large complex issue and cause a social change that lasted? The answer that came up was the civil rights movement. Since then there has been a very active and successful group of students who are learning and applying lessons from that history. He also thought that the enviro community could learn a lot from reframing the issues. The CEPA Toolkit deals with framing in Section 1.

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