The green tent gets bigger

Van Jones on roofVan Jones and solar installersNot so long ago, the word “environmentalist” conjured upper-middle-class white people fixated on endangered critters and far-off wildlands. Oh, fine, it still does for a lot of people. But in the past decade, the movement has exploded well beyond that stereotype. Van Jones and Majora Carter spread the message that smart energy policy can mean jobs in inner cities. Labor unions and green groups teamed up to create the Blue Green Alliance. Religious folks, including conservative evangelicals, began talking about “creation care” and other faith-inspired approaches to conservation. Republicans including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist adopted ambitious plans to address climate change.  Hunters and anglers tuned in, worried about global warming ruining their outdoor adventures. National-security hawks — aka “geo-greens” — want to wean the U.S. off foreign oil. Wonky bloggers who rarely see the light of day, let alone a hiking trail, are delving into the nuances of clean-energy policy. Perhaps the most impassioned new group is da yoots–college students and other young people who are really riled up about climate change.  The environmental movement could still use a lot more diversity, but it’s not just for Prescott P. Treehugger III any more (and it’s definitely not dead).