EnviroActivists Continue to Push for Meaningful Campaigns

From: Lorna Salzman <>

Date: July 17, 2010 5:35:52 PM EDT


Subject: we don’t know where stands on energy

Dear Phil at

If you look at my Open Letter to Bill McKibben in the May 3rd issue of The Nation, you will see my concerns about and its leadership.

How can you or Bill purport to build a citizen’s grassroots movement of any kind unless you actually TAKE POSITIONS ON PROPOSED LEGISLATION? Or unless you come up with alternatives? Or unless you tell citizens what you want them to do?

You haven’t done any of this. You just repeat over and over the need for tough serious legislation to get us back down to 350 ppm. But you don’t tell congress what you want them to do to accomplish this. You don’t tell citizens what needs to be done, or NOT done.’s intentions aren’t clear at all. You lead the horse to water and then there isn’t any water there.

I don’t understand where McKibben is coming from or what he expects to accomplish. All his statements are vague, unfocused, general, at a time when we need a strong clear statement. It isn’t clear whether you actually support the legislation in congress, oppose it, or have an alternative.

Why haven’t you prepared your own energy legislation? If you had done this a couple of years ago, you would have had plenty of time to rally the public around it, to tell them to what to do, to provide an alternative voice and platform for the public and the media.

Today it is too late to do this. If you want to regain any credibility, the best thing you could do would be to support Rising Tide and ClimateSOS and come out fighting in opposition to this phony legislation that will actually make it HARDER to get anywhere near But you probably know this already, or should know it.

So why don’t you get off the dime and slug it out with the phonies in Congress? Show some muscle? Show some principle? Show that you know what is going on in DC and that it won’t work? How can you NOT come out and oppose ANY legislation that does not contain specific policies and actions that you know will make a difference?

A carbon tax? Shutting down coal plants…which Jim Hansen says must be our first order of business? Ending all fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks? A bill with mandatory energy efficiency standards and measures? Surely you know these must be done.

Yet Bill just mumbles that old cliche about “putting a price on carbon”. Is that all he can say? Hey, there IS a price on carbon already. It’s about $3 a ton….and we need a price of $100 a ton or more. Even the existing proposal for cap and trade puts a top limit on the price of carbon.And you have nothing to say about this? WHY?

I dont’ get it. What do you have to lose? Your job? No. Your reputation? That can only improve. What is the paralysis that has gripped McKibben and You tell us there is a crisis but your response is commensurate with a cup of spilled milk. Flab and gab.

I don’t agree with Romm on cap and trade but he will wipe the floor with McKibben in the debate. And rightly so. We have all been conned. is nothing more than a virtual blog. A failure.

Lorna Salzman

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