Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Can environmentalists handle the fight of their lives?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 3:44 PM

You got your fight. You and your enemy are in the streets, everyone's got their fists up and you ... wanna talk?!

That's not going to cut it.

Here's a little cheer any high school sports fan can teach you: Be aggressive. B.E. Aggressive.

Try it with me now: Be aggressive. B.E. Aggressive.

The oil lobby was sponsoring rallies with free lunches, free concerts and speeches warning that a climate-change bill could ravage the U.S. economy.

Professional "campaigners" hired by the coal industry were giving away T-shirts praising coal-fired power.

But when environmentalists showed up in this college town -- closer than ever to congressional passage of a climate-change bill, in the middle of the green movement's biggest political test in a generation -- they provided . . . a sedate panel discussion.

And they gave away stickers.

Even now, these groups differ on whether to scare the public with predictions of heat waves or woo it with promises of green jobs. And they are facing an opposition with tycoon money and a gift for political stagecraft.

"Progressives and clean-energy types . . . made a mistake and slacked off" after the House of Representatives passed its version of a climate-change bill in June, said Joseph Romm, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who blogs on climate issues. "And the other side really kept making its case."

Read more from The Washington Post.

Here are a couple of environmentalists who aren't happy with the Obama administration's progress:

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