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Harvard Flunks the Greens

A top Harvard scholar has given green lobbyists and policy makers a solid F for their efforts to enact climate change legislation. Theda Skocpol, a political scientist, isn’t blaming climate change skeptics but the greens themselves for America’s inaction on global warming. The Guardian reports:

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.

GOP opposition to green policy shouldn’t have taken anyone by surprise. Yet greens plowed on with their agenda all the same.

Bill McKibben, the prominent green Malthusian who famously predicted the Keystone oil pipeline meant “game over” for the planet, describes the failed mission:

…[T]he lobbyists from the green groups were walking naked into the offices of senators, who recognized that they lacked the ability to inflict pain or offer reward. The result was the rout we saw.

Prof. Skopcol proposes reclothing DC’s naked green lobbyists by building a broader political coalition and “rescuing the GOP from its destructive radicals.” But this misses the point. The trouble is not that Republicans broadly are failing to see the Truth about the environment, it’s that the greens come up with unworkable “solutions” to global warming like the global climate treaty that will never exist.

The good news is that greens have realized that they’ve lost political momentum and are taking another look at their strategies. The bad news is that they’re not not looking hard enough. This is fundamentally a problem of bad policy ideas, not bad marketing or bad negotiation or unwarranted opposition from some political quarters. Still, it’s a start, and we’re glad to see that much.

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