The (Draft) Rules of Pragmatic Environmentalism
I was called a hypocrite last week.
Not to my face, the individual is too cowardly to look me in the eye. No, he took to Twitter and attacked me for not being 100% against fracking – merely 80%. My arguments for leaving the door slightly ajar were a. while shale gas is a fossil fuel, shale gas is almost certainly much better than coal, b. we could find ourselves in an energy security crisis before too long, and c. the sensible end of the environmental movement has left such black and white dogma behind them and is making swift progress without that baggage weighing them down.
I resisted the temptation to hit reply and leave either a pithy one-liner or fire a torrent of scorn in his direction (it never works out the way you would like, anyway – I just end up waking up in the middle of the night ‘cos I’ve though of a REALLY good put-down).
But it got me thinking about the difference between the new breed of pragmatic environmentalist and the old style ideologues. What about these rules of pragmatic environmentalism as a starter for ten:
- Everybody is an environmentalist – you just have to find what is important to them.
- Evidence rules: you can’t cherry-pick the data that suits you.
- No inner priesthood: we have to make sustainability relevant to others, not bend them to our will.
- Technology and markets mechanisms are powerful tools: we must use them to our advantage.
- Think big or go home.