Thursday, December 16, 2004


This article tells a provocative story about how environmentalists may have undermined their own goals by irrationally demonizing the Bush administration's environmental plans.

Stuart Buck


Blogger publius said...

i can't speak for the article, but irrational implies that any demonization lacks a factual justification. i think it's safe to say that the demonization is certainly rational. you might agree or disagree with either sides merits, but the opponents generally base their critiques on a rational foundation

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Publius, you have used a pretty high falutin' vocabulary to state an ordinary lie.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

With all due respect, if you can't speak for the article, try reading it before commenting.

7:35 AM  
Blogger David Sucher said...

I wonder if you, Stuart, have read it all the way through?

6:28 PM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

Of course. The interesting part of the conclusion was the reference to Moynihan's analysis of how small-minded political activists too often make the perfect the enemy of the good:

"First, a president proposes an uncharacteristically generous program. The president's foes attack the program ferociously, instead of being encouraged by the unexpected show of support from the White House. For advocates, the perceived inadequacy of the reform plan becomes so intolerable that they announce they prefer the current system to a new one. Next, some of the president's traditional allies turn on him. In the last stage, a strange-bedfellow coalition of liberals and conservatives torpedoes the legislation for opposite reasons. Afterwards, perhaps decades later, the advocates look back with a hint of wistfulness on the reform that got away.

"The battle over clean air policy is well on its way to replicating the process outlined by Moynihan."

11:11 PM  
Blogger David Sucher said...

We must have read different articles.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

Well, if you don't recognize the conclusion of the article, then perhaps you did read something else. In that case, just scroll up to my actual post, and you'll find a link to the article that I'm talking about.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

There are more passages that you should pay attention to if you read the actual article:

The opening few paragraphs note that environmentalists have vented much "vitriol" about Clean Skies that is "strangely at odds with the express goals of the legislation." In the 4th paragraph, the article notes that many environmentalists have pretended to believe that Clean Skies would actually be "weaker" than the existing Clean Air Act -- an "oft-repeated green bromide" that "turns out to be false."

Then, later in the piece, the author notes that "for many years, green advocates have often shown a self-destructive intolerance for compromise."

The article points out that one group -- the Adirondack Council -- had the intellectual honesty to praise the Clear Skies initiative, for which it was roundly criticised by other groups.

Then the article notes that the NRDC had the honesty to praise the Bush administration's new regulation of diesel emissions. But it quickly backtracked, after "other enviro groups were apoplectic, saying that the compromise [EPA] proposal was a perfectly fine and important initiative, but the NRDC's effusive praise would cripple environmentalists' efforts to criticize the administration's overall, far-from-perfect record.”

Now, to be sure, the article does occasionally criticize the Bush administration. But still, the overwhelming message of the article is consistent with my post.

So why the confusion?

10:37 AM  
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2:17 PM  

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