Thursday, April 24, 2008

When Idiots Attack

Want to know how to set the environmental movement back 30 years? Look no further than this incident at Brown University:
A female audience member ran on stage last night and threw a green pie at New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who had just begun a lecture on environmentalism in Salomon 101. The woman had been sitting in the south side of the auditorium's front row when she pulled the pie out of a Brown Bookstore plastic bag that had been tucked in a red backpack and leapt out of her seat.

At the same time the woman threw the pie, a male accomplice seated a few rows back ran down the aisle and onto the stage, throwing small pamphlets explaining the actions into the crowd. [...]

The pamphlets thrown by the male accomplice identified the pair as the "Greenwash Guerillas," who wrote that they were acting "on behalf of the earth (sic) and all true environmentalists."
I haven't seen such a classy move since Deion Sanders threw water on Tim McCarver not once, not twice, but three times after the 1992 National League Championship Series.

Environmentalists have spent decades earning a place at the table, honing messaging on jobs, quality of life and preserving America's natural resources. The environmental movement will reach a high water mark this June as the Senate considers the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. We may argue about the details of the bill, but facing the biggest environmental crisis of our generation, environmentalists have brought a strong solution to the brink of passage.

Throwing pies just reinforces conservative stereotypes that environmentalists are damn dirty hippies who would rather be on the fringe of society and don't deserve to be taken seriously. But I'm impressed at the comments at the youth climate movement blog It's Getting Hot In Here, which have been overwhelmingly against the "Greenwash Guerillas."

As the Brown Daily Herald editorializes today, "A pie in the face is memorable, but given its inappropriate and insulting nature, this kind of publicity stunt will only hamper future attempts to discuss the issues that brought it about."
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