What the environmental movement got wrong

 

There is a documentary on 4OD which is worth checking out called 'What the Green Movement Got Wrong'. It's about the environmental movement from the '60's onwards. It juxtaposes 1970's predictions of population overload and attendant mass starvation with current dystopic visions around sustainable energy production. It focuses on nuclear energy and comes out in favour of it.Rightly so. 

One of the main threads of the piece is how reluctant environmentalists are to admit they are wrong even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Although I agree with the arguments for nuclear power as against coal and wind / solar etc. the documentary fails to highlight the fact that even if we do manage to do something about the carbon issue we still have other devastating tipping points we shall fall foul of. In this respect the documentary is like so many other on that channel these days: not that great.

Comments

Re: What the environmental movement got wrong

By Anonymous

channel4.com/programmes/what-the-green-movement-got-wrong

Re: What the environmental movement got wrong

By Anonymous

You want a 'good' solution?

STOP.USING.SO.MUCH.ELECTRICITY.

Anonymous wrote:

So how we can get the power we will be needing in the future without coal or nuke? Isn't the point that there are no 'good' solutions? That does seem to be news amongst the readers of this site.

Anonymous wrote:

Yawn, this is not news. This is promotion of the mainstream media. Boooooooooooooring.

Re: What the environmental movement got wrong

By Anonymous

Yawn, this is not news. This is promotion of the mainstream media. Boooooooooooooring.

Re: What the environmental movement got wrong

By Anonymous

So how we can get the power we will be needing in the future without coal or nuke? Isn't the point that there are no 'good' solutions? That does seem to be news amongst the readers of this site.

Anonymous wrote:

Yawn, this is not news. This is promotion of the mainstream media. Boooooooooooooring.

Re: What the environmental movement got wrong

By CH

Hold the front page, Channel 4 in anti-green documentary shock. More at Monbiot's website if you can be bothered.

So Channel 4 has done it again. Over the past 20 years, it has broadcast a series of polemics about the environment, and most of them have been fiercely anti-green(1). On other issues Channel 4’s films attack all sides. Not on the environment.

Last night it aired yet another polemic: What the Green Movement Got Wrong. This one was presented by two people who still consider themselves green: Stewart Brand and Mark Lynas. It’s not as rabid as the other films. But, like its predecessors, it airs blatant falsehoods about environmentalists and fits snugly into the corporate agenda. The film is based on Brand’s book, Whole Earth Discipline(2). He argues that greens, by failing to embrace the right technologies, have impeded both environmental and social progress. Not everything he says is wrong, but his account is infused with magical thinking, in which technology is expected to solve all political and economic problems. This view, now popular among green business consultants, is sustained by ignoring the issue of power.

The film starts, for example, by blaming greens for the failure of environmental policies. But, as a paper published in the journal Environmental Politics shows, green movements have continued to grow, reaching more people every year. What has changed is that a powerful counter-movement, led by corporate-funded thinktanks, has waged war on green policies(3). “This counter-movement has been central to the reversal of US support for environmental protection, both domestically and internationally.” A similar shift has taken place in other countries.

Many of the thinktanks were set up in the 1970s by businesses and multi-millionaires seeking to limit employment rights and prevent the distribution of wealth. After the collapse of Soviet communism, their funders’ attention switched from the red menace to the green menace. This lobby had access to money and government that the greens could only dream of. For environmentalists to blame each other for the lack of progress is to betray a startling absence of context.

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