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Doubts In The Midst Of Greens

The Green Man
Irregular Times [1]
Monday, August 10, 2009

I’m attending New York Green Fest [2] this weekend. The Green Fest promises to “celebrate sustainable living and Green politics”, but I’ve that even within this group of people who ought to be among the most environmentally aware, there are patches of of soot grey obscuring the green color.

One attendee from close by, who uses electricity obtained through the burning of coal that very likely is obtained through mountaintop removal mining, mentions her interest in organizing against the construction of wind turbine. She doesn’t want it in her backyard, she says.

Another attendee, a college professor, confided to me in private conversation that, “I’m not sure climate change is real.” She said that, though she’s not a scientist herself, she gathers that there is a great deal of controversy and disagreement among scientists about whether climate change is actually happening. She also speculated that the measurements of rising global temperature might be due to the “urban heat island effect”, with temperatures measured only in cities with increasing amounts of hot pavement. (Actually, where temperatures are measured as warming the most is in the polar regions, where there are no cities at all [3].)

It’s a testament to the effectiveness of corporate-funded misinformation campaigns that these ideas are coming up even amongst a gathering of Green Party activists. It seems that environmental education efforts need to take place as much within eco-oriented groups as without.