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Stephen Lacey: In 2012, Clean Energy Supporters Can't Afford to Lie Low

2 min. read

Over at Grist, Stephen Lacey of Climate Progress makes a compelling argument that 2012 is not the year for clean energy supporters to lie low. According to Lacey:

A lot of people working in clean energy on the ground level feel the same way [about not wanting to get involved in a fight, waiting "for things to blow over"]. Who wants to get dragged into a barroom brawl started by a bunch of jabbering political drunkards who have no idea what they're talking about? It's best just to put their heads down, do their job, and hope they can ride through the bad vibes.

But that's just not going to work in 2012. Waiting for things to blow over isn't going to be an adequate response. If you care about clean energy issues and actually want to make an impact on the dialogue in 2012, you've got to get involved.

Specifically, Lacey argues that the common strategy of clean energy advocates to avoid "fisticuffs" and instead to "hang back and try to make friends with as many people possible" is not going to work at a time when candidates are running around saying things like "green jobs don't exist and are nothing but propaganda," or when "millions of dollars [are] being poured into anti-clean energy propaganda by the Koch brothers or the latest fossil-fuel PR campaign from the American Petroleum Institute."

In that context, failing to fight back will certainly not lead to success for clean energy advocates, particularly in a heated political climate as we'll see in 2012.  To the contary,  Lacey argues -and we strongly agree - passivity is far more likely to result in serious, if not fatal, problems for the industry.  In the end, to paraphrase the sage Rabbi Hillel, if clean energy advocates are not willing and able to advocate for themselves, then who will be for them?