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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bright Greens vs. Geo-Greens

Rising oil prices are making environmentalists out of everyone these days. Even conservatives are advocating alternative fuels and conservation. But not all "greens" are cut from the same cloth.

"Bright greens" -- traditional environmentalists who support sustainability and environmental protection -- are now joined by "geo-greens." A term coined by New York Times reporter Tom Friedman, "geo-green" describes people whose environmental concerns are driven primarily by national security concerns. With oil prices on the rise, the voices of geo-greens are growing louder and are being heard in such heretofore environmentally oblivious locations as the Bush White House. Represented by such groups as the Energy Future Coalition, the Apollo Alliance and the Set American Free coalition, geo-greens are mostly motivated by the US's dependence on imported oil and the impact of that dependence on the nation's economy and security. The Apollo Alliance in particular believes that the US should make energy independence a priority on the scale of the effort to put humans on the moon.

But can bright greens and geo-greens truly get along? Though many of their goals are the same, their tactics differ widely. For instance, many geo-greens support the expansion of nuclear power -- something that's anathema to bright greens. But bright greens who take an end-justifies-the-means approach recognize that geo-greens have one thing they have never had: access to those in power, and the ear of conservatives who have previously opposed environmental initiatives. If bright greens and geo-greens can cultivate a symbiotic relationship, they can elevate the visibility of their goals and accomplish more, faster.

UPDATE: The Christian Science Monitor covers the strengthening alliance between bright green and geo-greens. This alliance, the article notes, is pressing for legislation encouraging conservation and alternative fuels on a level far more robust than anything currently being discussed.

Source: WorldChanging