Monday, November 13, 2017

From The New Yorker: “Environmentalism’s Racist History” as a white movement for the élite.

Next time you go to a meeting organized by an environmental organization here in Palm Beach County, look around. . .

Here in South Florida, as recently reported by the Post’s Mahima Singh, the demographics are changing but that news — really not news at all — has had little impact over the years on the racial makeup of environmental organizations here in our region.

As stated on this blog before, there would be outrage if PBSO looked like the membership of [place name here].

Without further ado, here is this article from Jedediah Purdy published by The New Yorker: an excerpt:

Bernard [Mitch Bernard, director of litigation at the Natural Resources Defense Council] attributes some of the misgivings to environmentalism’s history as an élite, white movement. A 2014 study found that whites occupied eighty-nine per cent of leadership positions in environmental organizations. [emphasis added]
     Some of the awkwardness of environmental politics since the seventies, now even more acute in the age of climate change, is that it lays claim to worldwide problems, but brings to them some of the cultural habits of a much more parochial, and sometimes nastier, movement.
     Ironically enough, Madison Grant [Wikipedia page], writing about extinction, was right: the natural world that future generations live in will be the one we create for them. It can only help to acknowledge just how many environmentalist priorities and patterns of thought came from an argument among white people, some of them bigots and racial engineers, about the character and future of a country that they were sure was theirs and expected to keep.

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