Magazine July 18, 2011, Issue

An Environmental Reformation

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope is interviewed during the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco, Calif., September 8, 2009. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters )
Standing up to Pope Carl

When Gregg Easterbrook’s voluminous book A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism was published in 1995, it received the predictable reaction from the environmental community: outrage. Despite — or probably because of — Easterbrook’s bona fides as a mainstream-liberal writer for The New Republic, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Newsweek, the environmental lobby swung into full distort-and-denounce mode. The Environmental Defense Fund, for example, alleged the existence of factual errors that “substantially undermine his thesis that many environmental problems have been overstated.”

Something similar happened in 2001 when Bjorn Lomborg published The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the

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Rep. Michele Bachmann regularly gives GOP leaders heartburn, rapping them for cutting spending deals with the White House.

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