Where the Greens Got It Wrong

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“Think globally, act locally,” used to be on the bumper of every earth loving environmentalist from Maine to California. But over the past three decades that sentiment got lost.

The green movement left the backyard and took office space in Washington D.C. and other centers of power. And that, says Gus Speth, is where some of the passion disappeared. Speth is one of this country’s leading environmentalists. He helped organize the first earth day back in 1970, and went on to found the Natural Resources Defense Council.

While he is as green as they come, he thinks the movement has got to stop thinking it can win battles with treaties and legislation, and instead bring the case for Mother Earth back home — back to the backyard.


James Gustave Speth, dean and professor in the practice of environmental policy and sustainable development at Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, author of “Red Sky at Morning” and “Worlds Apart,” former administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and former chair of the UN Development Group.