Matt Price, co-ordinator of Conservation Voters of BC, has published a paper entitled “Greening the Beaver – Power, Profit, and the Canadian Dream”, which is currently serialized on The Tyee as a series of three articles.
In his first piece, ”Want Power, Then Get It”, Price argues that environmentalists are failing to utilize several approaches that could give them more power. In a nutshell, the first article says that environmentalists:
- need to lobby decision makers more – show why it’s in their interest.
- CAN compete with industry groups in terms of lobbying – the latter have money, but the former have more people.
- need to engage with people more – get them excited and involved… don’t treat them as financial contributors, but as people with ideas and enthusiasm.
- need to speak face-to-face with supporters more – a true, two-way dialogue, in which better ideas can be fed back (better than one-way talking).
- should go back to basics – clean air and water – get more people involved – and THEN get the masses supporting the more niche causes (i.e. “saving critters”).
- need to better use information abou ttheir supporters better, to help channel their abilities better.
- need to organise to oppose/support politicians between elections, when there are less financial restrictions.
- need to fundraise more for organization/administration – not just directly for emotional causes.
- need to run for public office, not just help out from the sidelines via environmental foundations.
Price also has two other articles (or two other themes in his main paper), which argue that:
- The nature of profit making must be redefined. Tinkering with regulations is not enough – we need to change the market conditions in which money is made.
- As “Canadianism” evolves under Harperism, we must insert sustainability as a core value.
For those of you who can’t wait to read the last piece on The Tyee, or want the whole paper in a single file, an introduction and all three articles can be found in Price’s full paper in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format - found here.