How Environmentalists Act Like the Tea Party At Times

  • Jul 30, 2011

Austin debating whether they should chop down pecan tree

Austin, Texas:  As the government faces an impasse over the debt ceiling, I am struck how similar this debate about the econmy is similar to certain situations that environmentalist face.

It’s about seeing the forest for the trees- no pun intended.

The Tea Party are so dogmatic about taxes and government spending that they don’t realize that a lowering of the credit rating of the U.S. government is like a tax hike– as interest rates will surely rise.  If they were to think the situation through, they would realize that getting 75% of what they want is better than getting 100% of  bad deal.

Same holds true for some environmental battles.

I have written about the excoriation of green companies that make claims that may overreach– rather than spending their times fighting against companies that are polluting our water, air and land. Both need addressing, but one should definitely take priority over the other for attention.

A new issue has developed in my hometown of Austin, Texas, where developers are planning to cut down a 70-year old, 57-foot pecan tree to clear way for a 400-foot office/residential tower.

On the surface, you can understand the environmentalists complaint about chopping down a giant tree.

On the other hand, environmentalists are preaching the virtues of city density, where people live, work and shop within a small area to reduce the need for driving and to improve air quality.

Even Roy Whaley, the vice chairman of the Austin chapter of the Sierra Club, has mixed feelings when he says, “We do want to densify downtown and appropriate areas and put as many people downtown as possible, but we can’t stand to walk downtown if we don’t have trees to shade us.”

I think that people need to weigh each case on its individual merits and not be so quick to decide on an outcome–without doing some analysis.

Our country would be a lot better shape if people understood that the word is not black and white–but that most matters are in the grey area.

Let’s hope level-minded individuals can prevail in both issues–the economy and the environmnet.

Playing “gotcha” is fun for kids.  But aren’t there any adults left in the house?

  • Category: green marketing
  • Tags: environmentalists are like tea party members, go green