Environmental Movement Just Isn't Sexy Any More

Cape Times (South Africa), January 25, 2007 | Go to article overview

Environmental Movement Just Isn't Sexy Any More


BYLINE: Saliem Fakir

The environmental movement no longer has that sexy touch and feel that it commanded during its hey-day. The enthusiasm and passion with which it entered the fray of global politics after the first and second prominent global conferences - the Stockholm Conference in 1972 and the Rio Conference of 1992 - is missing.

It is bored with itself. It has nothing new to say. There are probably over 400 international agreements signed, and thousands of conferences which activist, government officials and corporate representatives attend each year - and what do they have to show for it all?

Conferences and workshops have become an end in themselves and air travel ironically is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change in the transport sector. Talking has replaced real work.

The environmental movement has an even more Sisyphian task ahead in

the wake of 9/11 as issues of security have displaced environmental issues and poverty as a key priorities for the global community.

But the environmental movement is to be blamed for this. Instead of taking stock, its campaigns are becoming even more banal and superfluous. The movement simply hasn't got its message home.

Perhaps the message is wrong, perhaps the messenger doesn't make friends that easily? Perhaps social consciousness in the age of TV, the mall and Hollywood is less about the ecology which Matt Ridley characterises as religion, than about the pleasures of perpetual entertainment that have a better chance of making the miseries of the world disappear for the individual.

Consumer spending, which is the biggest environmental threat, continued unabated in South Africa last year, and clocked a record R49 billion turnover over the Christmas period, leaving the governor of the Reserve Bank exasperated. Where is the environmental movement on this?

And, as we have seen with the environmental movement in South Africa, generally, there is lots of pointing to problems - and indeed there are many - but very few good or clever solutions. If, anything, the standard refrain is an abundance of negativism which is really a facade to hide the movement's inabilities, lack of vision and innovation.

The movement cannot extricate itself from this situation because it does not possess the power to steer the economy nor the political machinery, and as a result will always have to play at the margins.

It will always confine itself to things that are nice to do so long as they do not affect the workings of the free market. Already the movement has been captured by free market forces who use philanthropy to co-opt the movement. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Environmental Movement Just Isn't Sexy Any More
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.