Monday, May 02, 2016

NEWSHOUR BOOKSHELF - "Getting to Green"

"Can environmentalism become a bipartisan movement again?" PBS NewsHour 4/25/2016

COMMENT:  Fred Rich doesn't understand.  $Big-Money has BOUGHT today's Republican Party (thanks to industry's totally owned subsidiary "U.S. Supreme Court") heart and soul, and $Big-Money' is against anything the hinders their greed.


SUMMARY:  Though now one of the most politically divisive issues in the country, the environmental movement once enjoyed strong support from both Democrats and Republicans.  In his new book “Getting to Green,” author Fred Rich asserts that a return to those bipartisan roots is key for future success.  Rich joins Hari Sreenivasan for more.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Last Friday, Earth Day was celebrated for the 47th time since its inception in 1970.  From the beginning, the environmental movement had strong support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Returning to the movement’s bipartisan roots is key for future success, says Fred Rich.

I recently spoke to rich for this latest addition to the "NewsHour Bookshelf."

Fred Rich, thanks for joining us.

FRED RICH, Author, “Getting to Green”:  You’re welcome Hari.  I’m glad to be here.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  You have been a corporate lawyer for 30 years and worked with industry that perhaps the green movement wouldn’t find friendly.

And, on the other hand, you have been a conservationist for just as long working with land trusts.  So, where are you coming at this book from?

FRED RICH:  When I criticize the green movement and call them on some of their recent failings, so they know it’s from a position of solidarity, right, I mean, complete sympathy with the goals.

I want to see the green movement succeed.  So they know that I’m coming at it from that side.  Equally, the right at least knows I was a registered Republican until 2012, pretty solid fiscal conservative.  It breaks my heart to see that the conservative movement in America has really abandoned a century of tradition of support for conservation of the environment.

So, I hope each side will have something they don’t like and I hope that there’s something equally that each side sees that it does like.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  I want to pull up a quote from a State of the Union address:  “Shall we make peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our land, to our air, and to our water?  It has become a common cause of all people of this country, clean air, open spaces.  These should once again be the birthright of every American.”

This was 1970.  It was Richard Nixon delivering this.

FRED RICH:  Correct.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  To bipartisan applause.

FRED RICH:  Correct.  It was amazing.

Richard Nixon, who I have to say was no nature lover, but he was a very savvy politician.  And Richard Nixon believed that clean air and clean water was a cause that transcended class, it transcended party.  He was very nervous that the Democrats not get out front on environment.

And he was dealing in 1970 with deep divisions in the country from the civil rights movement and especially at that moment the Vietnam War.  And Nixon had the idea that environment could heal those wounds, that environment was an issue that would bring both sides together.  Pretty ironic, given where we are today.

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