Do you hate the word “enviros”?
Greg Artzner of Takoma Park, Md., does. He wrote in this week to reprimand us Gristers for frequent use of the abbreviated moniker:
Boy, I wish you and all environmentalists would STOP using the term “enviros.” Don’t you all realize that our avowed adversaries use that term as a pejorative to describe us? It’s their ad hominem dismissal of us as wackos. I have heard it used in personal conversation by Mark Rey, undersecretary for natural resources and environment (known as “Darth Vader” of the forests to those of us working to save the trees). He and many others who stand in direct opposition to what we believe routinely insult us by using that very term. Please stop using it.
Greg Artzner, environmentalist
I and my colleagues at various green-focused journalistic enterprises have used the word enviros with frequency over the past decade, with no intent to belittle or demean. Really, I just think it’s kinda fun. And it’s a damn sight shorter than the overly syllabic environmentalists. As for whether the greenies or the pollutocrats coined the term, I can’t say — anyone care to share their etymological theories? (Oh, wait — is greenies demeaning too?)
Still, as enviro(nmentalist)s think about (re)framing their message and burnishing their image after this month’s election, is it time to give this label a second thought, or even the heave-ho? I’m not yet convinced that it is, but not dead set against it either. A few other perspectives on the matter here.
Cast your vote on whether the word enviro sucks or rocks, in the upper right-hand corner of the Grist homepage, through Monday, Nov. 15.