There’s a guest column in the Missoulian lambasting “pseudo-environmentalists.”
I wrote awhile back about how Montana’s Democratic Party is quite well represented by organized labor, not so much by environmentalists.
Labor is an integral part of the Democratic Party and I welcome it with open arms. I just wish the environmental movement had more representation. I’ve been disappointed by leadership in Montana’s Democratic Party endorsing the Keystone XL pipeline or supporting expanded coal mining or rejecting President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Maybe if the party had more representation from the environmental movement, Democratic leadership wouldn’t be so strident in its support of these extractive industries.
But just what is the environmental movement? Apparently, there are real environmentalists and pseudo-environmentalists, although I’m not sure who the arbiter is on this.
The author of the guest column, Bill Baum, identifies as “an independent environmentalist.” That says it all. Have you ever heard anyone claim to be an independent union man (or woman)? No? It’s called unity.
That’s what the environmental movement is lacking. It’s interesting that organized labor has more representation from nurses, teachers, and other other state and federal employees, than it does from, say, pipe fitters or workers in the mines or mills. The former doesn’t have that much economic stake in coal or oil exploitation, except for some tax revenue from those industries (which could be generated elsewhere). But the former accepts the call for solidarity on these issues from union leadership and from the elected officials who rely on union support.
Can the environmental community get on the same page on at least a few issues? It won’t be an easy task coordinating campaigns. I count 34 listings for environmental groups in the Missoula area Yellow Pages alone. And with labels like “real environmentalist” and “pseudo-environmentalist” being bandied about, the job’s even tougher.
But until environmentalists can speak with a unified voice, they’ll have a hard time being heard.