Social Movements

'Desperate environmentalism' won't save the environment

'Desperate environmentalism' won't save the environment

When I started teaching environmental law and policy, I thought I would work with the next generation of extraordinary environmentalists. I don't.

My students are extraordinary, but many see themselves as "corporate social responsibility consultants," "ecosystem service managers," "sustainability leaders," "industrial efficiency experts," maybe "clean energy entrepreneurs" — not environmentalists. They avoid that label because they associate it with stalled progress on the issues they care about. But this reinvention is a losing strategy.

It is hard to blame anyone for shying away from the...

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