Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope has started a blog of his very own.

His inaugural post makes two points:

The first is that the right has become drunk on its recent electoral victories and is on the verge of overreaching. I’ll admit this seems true to me, but then it seemed true to me in 2001, and has seemed true ever since, but it’s not yet been true, so I’m not holding my breath.

The second is the familiar point that while things are going pretty badly at the national level, action at the state level is more promising. I think this bit is important:

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At the beginning of this year we set out to flank the radical right’s dominance in Washington by testing our ability to influence national policy at the state level. It’s paying off far faster than I imagined.

The national green groups have taken a lot of heat for the grim tidings out of D.C., but to the extent they are responsible for this strategy, they deserve credit. It’s creative and is proving quite effective. States are closer to the effects of environmental damage, and their politicians are closer to the people suffering from it. If a handful of states can be used as a lever to move the inertia-bound D.C. establishment, greens can pull a rather dazzling end run. I don’t know how much of this strategy is actually attributable to green groups like SC and how much has emerged organically from state-level concerns, but if nothing else Pope deserves kudos for recognizing and nurturing it.

(As a side note, I always felt that Pope kind of got screwed by the whole DoE kerfuffle. His response to the original paper was the first and the angriest, so he got unfairly tagged as a kind of hidebound defender of the status quo. But even a cursory reading of his response reveals that he is no such thing. His problem, I think, was that he focused too closely on the paper itself — the sloppiness and lack of rigor of which are easy targets — and didn’t say enough about the broader issues. But he obviously sees the need for change, and everything I’ve seen from him leads me to believe that he’s a savvy player. Hopefully his blog will prove me right.)

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