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Taking "green" mainstream

This article highlights some of the difficulties associated with articulating the need for a "green" revolution to people who don't already want it. Full text: http://www.greenbiz.com/article/pursuit-green-freedom-finding-voice-environmentalism

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Here are what I consider the highlights from the article.

1. the "environmental movement has struggled to... articulate a vision that can harness wider public and business support for economic decarbonization and green behavioral change" 

I find this to be very true in my own life. I often struggle to explain that I think we will compromise the ability of humans to live on our planet by degrading the environment. When I do explain, I feel like what I say is trite and easy to dismiss. 

2. "the language of freedom and justice that has successively driven so many of the cultural, political, technological and economic transitions of the past."

I think this is true and that this language doesn't easily fit into the environmental movement. Freedom from unclean air isn't as convincing when the air doesn't seem unclean to begin with. Freedom from warmer temperatures doesn't seem problematic if winter seems too cold and summers are pleasant. It's hard to imagine the potential agricultural catastrophe warmer temperatures could cause. 

3. "The goal is as simple as it is daunting: to help make green and sustainable lifestyles and technologies attractive, cost effective and, above all, fun."

I think sustainable lifestyles are cheaper, attractive, and could be made fun. 

Discussion Questions:

1. How would you artciulate the vision of the environmental movement? How can it be made more inclusive? How can it be framed so that it becomes mainstream?

2. Should the environmental movement adopt the language of freedom and justice? Is there another "language" or phrase the movement can "make its own"?

3. How do we make sustainability fun and affordable? and communicate those characteristics to the larger community (not just environmentalists)? 
 

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Photo of Daisy Pistey-Lyhne

There is a sizeable and growing cohort in the environmental movement that deals directly with environmental justice, and human-centric language to discuss the importance of cleaning up the environment in achieving real justice for impoverished and neglected communities.

On of the biggest difficulties with climate change is the seemingly distant nature of the problem, and the connection with near-term impacts can often be dismissed as "uncertain". Scientists sticking to science are often unwilling to claim that a problem today is "beyond a reasonable doubt" linked to climate change. It is hard to pin down the facts of a global system changing on a scale that isn't always evident. In order to engage people more deeply, the short-term benefits of the policies we adopt and the technology that we promote must be evident, and must be trumpeted and championed.