Yet again, McKibben provides no tangible solutions to addressing climate change (getting arrested is not a solution, brother). What a waste of people’s time. I stand by my 3-part solution for smarter-over-the-long-term environmentalism: 1) Attend your city’s meetings (you’ll learn how government works, and how to change laws.); 2) learn how to read and comment on your city’s budget and environmental impact statements (you have the real rather than perceived opportunity to change environmental regulations); 3) run for office (stop whining and stop losing).
There’s also an interesting hypothesis for more effective environmentalism proposed by Bill Scher - building coalitions with businesses, which can be read here.
I officially hate OWS. I’ve ranted about ‘them’ many times, but no longer. They’ve lost me 100%. I now support law enforcement action to end this crap. ‘They’ will never be taken seriously now. They refuse to make a cohesive argument. Refuse to work with lawmakers. Refuse to dialog about their flaws. Refuse to tack towards solutions. Refuse to self-reflect.
If OWSers really want to be effective, then OWS needs to train people on: how to go to city council meetings; how to read and change local budgets; submit legislation (what, you didn’t know that you could draft a bill and submit it to your representatives??); run for office; comment on regulations and laws in process.., E.g., train people on how to actually partake in the process of making and changing law. That’s what democracy looks like, not this garbage above.
Democratic congressional candidate Ray Lutz was arrested for registering voters in San Diego’s public Freedom Plaza (AKA Civic Center Plaza), where the local Occupy protest has taken place. The San Diego police arrested Mr Lutz for trespassing and confiscated his voter registration forms.
I’ve been skeptical of the “this is what democracy looks like” slogan (since mostly, democracy looks like boring things like long meetings, constituency consultations, and voter booths). But by any measure, registering voters in a civic square is assuredly “what democracy looks like.” And arresting people who register voters? Well, that’s something else altogether.
Yesterday I posted a cluster of posts on the Obama administration allowing wolves to be hunted, as well as wolves’ connection to climate change. A lot of people are aghast, and the below comment sums up the majority sentiment:
What the fuck? They shouldn’t take them off the endangered species list if this shit is going to happen.
We allowed this to happen, not “they.” Recall that only 80% of the 18-29yo demographic did not vote in the 2010 mid-terms. My demographic didn’t fare so well either. If we don’t participate in our democracy, then our elected officials are free to respond to the people who do participate.
People, just like you and me, lobbied to take wolves off the ES list and open up hunting. They participated in democracy, we did not. It’s us, not them. We need to take responsibility for our inactions, stop blaming others, and participate. See my posts HERE, HERE, and HERE on what I believe we can do. You are a very powerful force, but if you sit and do nothing you will continue to lose.
Designed for Congressional staff and Members, but useful for everybody - search all bills in the current session of Congress, annotate as you read, do your homework (endorsing and opposing statements from advocacy orgs, summary statistics on voter sentiment, read letters from constituents). Good to see technology and Big Data being leveraged to make that bastion of slow progress (the federal government) a little more efficient.
Basically, the Save Award is a stop waste campaign and increases recycling in the Federal Government. It takes seconds to vote, which is a good thing.
"President Obama believes the best ideas usually come from the front lines. That’s why in 2009 he launched the SAVE Award (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency), seeking ideas from federal employees to make government more effective and efficient and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. In just three weeks, OMB received tens of thousands of ideas on how to make government more efficient and effective.
Over the past two years, federal employees have submitted more than 56,000 cost-cutting ideas through the SAVE Award. Dozens of the most promising ideas have been included in the President’s Budget, specifically in the Terminations, Reductions, and Savings volume. Each year OMB narrows the best ideas to a “final four.” The American people vote online to choose the winner. The winner will come to Washington to present their idea to the President.”
A low progressive turnout in 2010 got us into this mess. We can’t let that happen again
“Cop-out at the Polls
In 2008, more than 65 million Americans cast Democratic votes in congressional races, a 13 million-vote edge over the Republicans. In 2010, the Democratic vote plummeted to an abysmal 35 million, 6 million less than the GOP, which took decisive power in the House and paralyzed the Senate.
We think we know this story. But the truth is, we haven’t begun to absorb its full details and implications yet:
The number of voters under 24 who bothered to go to the polls in 2010 dropped by a stupefying 60 percent, and those between 24 and 29 by almost 50 percent. Altogether, the participation of young people – who had been overwhelmingly pro-Obama in 2008 – declined by 11 million votes.
Among over-65-year-olds, the core of the Tea Party movement, the voting numbers barely changed, from 17.6 million in 2008 to 17.5 million in 2010.
The African-American vote fell by 40 percent, and the Hispanic vote by almost 30 percent.
Among the mostly white voters who earn more than $200,000 per year, the turnout fell by a scant 5 percent, from 7 million to 6.5 million.
Voting by those with annual incomes under $30,000 dropped by 33 percent, more than six times the figure for the affluent.
In effect, the abstainers turned a potential Democratic landslide into a full-scale collapse – with nightmarish consequences for civil rights, for the U.S. and world economies, and for social programs that range across the board from healthcare and educational funding to employment programs, pension benefits and the sagging national infrastructure.
It was a dream come true for the radical right, the sworn enemies of all public services. Their vote, measured at exit polls asking whether government was too intrusive, scarcely changed between the two elections, dropping from 50 million to 47 million.”
"Many of these aggrieved youth believe that the government has become unresponsive, that their voices have been silenced, and therefore protest is the only option. But this strikes me as a fundamental misreading of the past three years. It is likely that few of the protesters have actually taken part in the more mundane aspects of the system they’d like to take down—for example, only 24% of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the 2010 mid-term elections. And while they were quietly seething, the tea-party movement was showing America what democracy actually looks like, pushing their candidates forward and holding them accountable. When liberals complain that the Republicans are beholden to the tea-party movement, is that not an admission that the system is responsive?
Which is not to say that it is working perfectly. There is no doubt that some of what we are hearing out of the Wall Street encampment is correct, and there have been good suggestions as to how to translate these sentiments into action. But perhaps the biggest reason young people feel so alienated by their government is because they have removed themselves from the process of choosing it. Tea-party people have been known to take over public spaces, too. Then they go vote.”
"This only bolsters my case for the need to engage in the process. I want the enviro-left to engage in the process of making laws. I want to read your letters to your representatives. I want photos of you speaking out at townhall meetings. I want to see how you found out that a permit to build a road in a protected forest was flawed.
So, make fun of me all you want when I argue that environmentalists don’t know about their options to shape policy. Snark and bark at me all you like when I show that disengagement from lawmaking is not only a very serious problem, it’s the cause of modern day problems. Condescend to your wits-end when I argue that people can’t change a system that they don’t understand. Call me names when I point out that protesters won’t be taken seriously because they’ve been demonstrably too lazy to engage in the actual process of making said policies.
I further argue that enviro-left organizations are partially to blame for this engagement deficit. Their methods are, generally, reactionary. E.g., it’s a series of short-term action campaigns that start with “Sign this petition of the month” followed by lots of exclamation points and a “donate” button. No mention of how the law came to be. No mention of when or how or why Congress reviewed said laws in the first place. No mention of the Federal Register or committee debates or how to find out about the public comment period.”
Senate vote on proposal to block EPA climate rules slated for Wednesday
Heads up, Wednesday:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning to hold a vote Wednesday on an amendment to small business legislation that would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate rules.
The amendment, offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), would prohibit EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
“I think we’re at a point where in the morning we can vote on the McConnell Amendment dealing with the EPA and a couple of other amendments relating to EPA to get rid of that issue one way or the other,” Reid said on the floor Tuesday.