Carl Pope

Carl Pope spent the last 18 years of his career at the Sierra Club as CEO and chairman. He's now the principal advisor at Inside Straight Strategies, looking for the underlying economics that link sustainability and economic development.

Climate & Energy

The road to climate heaven is paved with ever cheaper oil

Climate advocates need to focus as much on oil as we have on coal, breaking its monopoly and driving its price -- and investment value -- down.

Population

How environmental and women’s groups can work together

Green groups and women's health advocates used to butt heads over population, but they're increasingly finding common ground in their support for family planning.

Original sin

The Clean Air Act story: back to the beginning

In David Roberts’ story about Henry Waxman’s long struggle to strengthen the Clean Air Act (part one, two), some important lessons were unavoidably overlooked, because Waxman inherited, struggled with, and never did manage to remedy a serious architectural flaw embedded in the original 1970 version of the law. When I first lobbied on clean air in 1970, there was a crucial but often forgotten fork in the road. Environmentalists urged Senator Edmund Muskie, who was leading the charge, to require that all polluting facilities, new and old, be modernized and cleaned up. When the business community pushed back and told …

Finding common ground in green

Sierra Club and Clorox celebrate their partnership

This year, Earth Day was bigger than ever, which prompted some hand-wringing over whether too many people were jumping on the green bandwagon. Wait a minute: Earth Day, too big? Didn't we want everyone on this bandwagon? Sustainability is a challenge we all face; our response to it could well define the 21st century. If we are going to succeed, it will take more than a "business as usual" approach. In fact, we believe the whole definition of "business as usual" needs to be upended. Business can no longer afford to ignore environmental warnings; environmentalists can no longer demonize business. Sustainability has made us understand, in a way we never would have before, that we all share a common fate. We need to face the reality that -- like it or not -- we're in this together. That's why we -- Sierra Club and The Clorox Company -- decided it was time to bridge the gap and come together as partners. For some, the idea was unthinkable. Had Sierra Club sold out? Was Clorox trying to greenwash? What could "the bleach maker" and the "oldest and largest environmental organization" have in common? The partnership we forged for the launch of the Green Works brand showed just how much.

An in-depth response to “The Death of Environmentalism”

In December 2004, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope distributed this response to the essay “The Death of Environmentalism.” Get the backstory here. There Is Something Different About Global Warming Dear Environmental Grant-Maker: You may have recently received a memorandum entitled “The Death of Environmentalism” by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus. Carl Pope. I was one of the twenty-five people interviewed for this piece. While I personally was treated fairly, I am still deeply disappointed and angered by it. I share the thesis that some fundamental changes are needed in the way environmentalists approach the challenge of global warming. But …

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