A Harvard researcher blames big environmental organizations which worked with corporations of political malpractice, namely for underestimating the power of right wing think tanks to sway public opinion. Accusing the well meaning but naive big environmental groups, she seems to consider Obama, the right wing think tanks, and their corporate sponsors without responsibility for Climate Destabilization.
While her failure analysis of the big environmental groups' strategy may be correct, in my opinion that hardly justifies ignoring the chief opponents of sustainability and their political stooges.
A Harvard academic has put the blame squarely for America's failure to act on climate change on environmental groups. She also argues that there is little prospect Barack Obama will put climate change on the top of his agenda in his second term.
In a research paper, due to be presented at a Harvard forum next month, scholar Theda Skocpol in effect accuses the DC-based environmental groups of political malpractice, saying they were blind to extreme Republican opposition to their efforts.
... the US Climate Action Partnership, which Skocpol describes as a coalition of "CEOs and Big Enviro honchos" ...
... overlooked how the political reality outside clubby Washington had turned against their cause. Skocpol attributes much of that shift to the well-funded effort by conservative thinktanks to undermine climate science.
Skocpol's recommendations for environmental groups are stark. "Climate change warriors will have to look beyond elite manoeuvres and find ways to address the values and interests of tens and millions of US citizens," she writes.
"Reformers will have to build organizational networks across the country, and they will need to orchestrate sustained political efforts that stretch far beyond friendly congressional offices, comfy board rooms, and posh retreats."
She concludes: "The only way to counter such right wing elite and popular forces is to build a broad popular movement to tackle climate change."
Climate activist Bill McKibben said Skocpol's analysis mirrored his experiences in building the grassroots organisation 350.org.
"Basically, we need a movement, and we need something a movement can get behind," he said in an email. "Something people as compared to corporations might care about."