In this Book

Green in Gridlock
summary
Facing one of the most dangerous conservation crises in history—acid rain—lawmakers, industry leaders, and activists embraced an attitude of civil engagement that sought common ground and acceptance of compromise solutions on all sides. As a result, they achieved a spectacular outcome. This approach was also at work when another planet-threatening event—ozone depletion—was reversed.

In Green in Gridlock, Paul Walden Hansen, the former head of the Izaak Walton League, takes stock of what has been accomplished and what has been squandered in the many environmental contests in which he was involved during his forty-year career as a conservationist. In seeking to identify the strategies that worked and to pinpoint why progress on so many important issues never materialized, Hansen realized that the most important predictor of success or failure was the willingness of opposing interests to find common ground and to compromise in order to attain mutually important goals.

Polling demonstrates that, overwhelmingly, Americans care about the environment but are less enthusiastic about environmentalists. Accordingly, Hansen issues a pointed critique for activism of the “rather fight than win” variety. But he is also critical of conservative interests that oppose environmental legislation as a matter of principle while forgetting that a long string of cost-effective environmental legislation from the Clean Air Act to the Wilderness Act—was passed by overwhelming bipartisan margins and signed into law by Republican presidents in the 1970s. Hansen makes a convincing case that thinking and acting ideologically rather than strategically is ultimately bad for the environment.

More than a simplistic call for civility or yet another admonition that we all “work together,” this book offers practical lessons and a positive vision from a seasoned veteran on how to create support instead of opposition, how to recognize natural allies, and how to acknowledge common purpose in the name of progress.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. C-C
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  1. Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xx
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 1. Green in Gridlock: Addressing the Stalemate
  2. pp. 11-14
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  1. 2. The Progress Point: The Source of Conservation Success
  2. pp. 15-26
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  1. 3. The Conservation of Hope: The Ozone Hole, Acid Rain, and Climate Change
  2. pp. 27-42
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  1. 4. Population: The Fundamental Issue
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. 5. Green and God: The Environment of Faith
  2. pp. 46-49
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  1. 6. The Conservation of Business: Power for Change
  2. pp. 50-59
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  1. 7. The War in the Woods: Tough Love between Tree Huggers and Timber Beasts
  2. pp. 60-74
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  1. 8. Natural Allies: Environmentalists, Hunters and Anglers, and Rural Residents
  2. pp. 75-102
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  1. 9. The Minnesota Miracles: Real Success through Engagement
  2. pp. 103-113
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  1. 10. Land Conservation: Messaging for Success
  2. pp. 114-120
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  1. 11. Eating Their Own Young: The Nader Nadir
  2. pp. 121-127
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  1. 12. Echoes from Dinosaur: The Perils of Compromise
  2. pp. 128-134
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  1. 13. Seeing the Fiscal Forest through the Trees: Conservation Spending and the National Debt
  2. pp. 135-139
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  1. 14. Rules of Engagement: Making Collaboration Real
  2. pp. 140-146
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  1. 15. Infinite Harm: If We Fail
  2. pp. 147-151
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  1. 16. The Ten Convenient Truths of Conservation Success
  2. pp. 152-160
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  1. Additional Reading
  2. pp. 161-164
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 165-174
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  1. Back Cover
  2. pp. BC-BC
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