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I've been saying "environmentalism" is a damaged brand, associated with too many people as "tree hugging" and "spotted owls", than in protecting our natural legacy.

But a new brand of Western Democrats have redefined the issue in terms that are actually advantageous to our party, and can help peel away a huge and solid GOP voting bloc.

Sirota explains:

In their overreaching, however, the Republicans are helping to redefine the political issue of the environment on vastly different terms - terms that are very advantageous to Democrats in Congress, if they follow Democrats in the states who are pressing the issue.

Out here in the Montana, for instance, Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) has made the preservation of his state's hunting/fishing access laws a top priority. In Wyoming, Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) signed legislation giving citizens more leverage over oil and gas companies when those companies use their land. And in Colorado, Democratic legislators pushed legislation forcing oil and gas companies to pay up when they harm private property.

These are lessons for congressional Democrats looking to play offense in red-states in 2006, and at least some are already moving forward. For instance, Colorado Rep. Mark Udall (D) and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (D) have strong, pro-hunter legislation on the table. The more focus on these issues from Democrats, the better.

Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures. But by forging such an alliance, environmentalists can sell 95 percent of their agenda to an important, influential bloc of voters otherwise turned off by both the Green movement and the Democratic Party in general.

As Mehlman and Co chip away at traditional Democratic blocs, we can't sit still without raiding enemy turf. If we get the outdoorsmen, we make the Republicans' job a hell of a lot more difficult.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:28 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  correct... (3.71)
    We have so much to gain from allying. We should keep our doors as open as possible.
    •  Open Your Own "Door" To Them (2.80)
      The number of wild spaces in this country have been reduced from "all of it" to a few postage-stamp-sized preserves; and almost all of those have been cut and have had their biodiverse undergrowth reamed out.

      While it is true that hunters are good allies, if you want to side with them at the expense of disrespecting people who are more prevalent in your own party... Then switch parties.

      •  disrespecting who? (3.83)
        how does a hunter's organization like Ducks Unlimited with a mission statement like this:

        Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

        step on the toes of traditional environmental groups like the Sierra Club?  These groups fight for the same things.  Or are you talking about peripheral issues like gun control?  If gun control is your idea, there is plenty of common ground for the two sides to work in.

        •  Gun control... (4.00)
          I agree that there is a lot of common ground to work with here.  I grew up in a family and community where hunting was a common thing.  Almost to a person everyone I know distains the hunter with an automatic or assault rifle.  They don't see the sportsmanship in weapons like that.

          If you let the outdoorsman know you don't want to take his rifle or right to hunt away, they would probably be on board with an assault weapons ban, and are already for the preservation of wild habitiats.

          And on the hunting topic I don't see it as all bad.  Given mans incursion into the habitat of big game animals and the driving off of many of their natural predators.  Some means is need to manage wildlife population, because we have already screwed up natural processes (other than disease and starvation) I don't see anything about starving an animal to death or letting it die of disease as humane.

          •  Great job kos... (none)
            this is definately a winning strategy.
          •  Funny this should come up... (none)
            I was just having a discussion with a coworker about responsible animal management.  She mentioned a story in the Food section of the Post about a woman who is selling humanely-slaughtered meat, yet considers herself an animal rights activist.  My coworker didn't understand why someone who was raising animals for meat could consider herself an animal rights activist.  I, on the other hand, am glad to see someone doing this; given my food allergies (corn, wheat, soy, nuts) I pretty much need meat as a protein source, and it would be nice to know that one's meat animals were treated responsibly.  Why can't the definition of animal rights activist include someone who is raising animals for humane slaughter?  That's just nuts.  We'll make no progress at this rate...

            Environmentalist extremists have made it very difficult for those of us in the middle who  want/need to eat meat but also want to see more responsible farming practices promoted, to have any sort of foothold.  We get shouted down by PETA on one hand, and get classified with PETA by the agribusiness types on the other.

            An interesting book on the subject of domesticated animals is The Covenant of the Wild by Stephen Budianski.  It posits that domesticated animals are in a symbiotic relationship with humans.  It also makes a good argument for more humane farming practices.

            There was also an interesting interview with Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who is helping slaughterhouses become more humane places, in this past May's Discover Magazine.  I'm glad to see some progress in this area, anyway.

            But back to farming -- neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have stood up for the small family farm.  A small farm with fields devoted to several different crops and pasture is a much more biodiverse place than a huge factory farm.

            And my friends who are disaffected with the Republican party say they're not going to vote for the Democrats because they think the Dems are going to come take away their guns (they're hunters and collectors).  I wish I could assure them that wasn't the case, but I hear so much anti-gun rhetoric from the Left that I don't even try...  So these folks are just staying home from the polls.  The party has a long way to go to win them over.

          •  Don't Lay Dem Problems at Enviros' Feet (4.00)
            Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures. But by forging such an alliance, environmentalists can sell 95 percent of their agenda to an important, influential bloc of voters otherwise turned off by both the Green movement and the Democratic Party in general.
            The first claim in this paragraph is utterly ignorant nonsense that sets up an utterly false and unprincipled shifting of blame from the Democratic Party to the environmental movement.

            Frankly, kos, you should be ashamed of yourself, and no, I'm not joking.

            The portion of the environmental movement that is anti-hunting is a tiny, tiny fringe that is largely less concerned with environmental/conservation/green issues than it is with an effort to apply 19th century views of human rights to animals. It is no more representative of the environmental movement than the Spartacus League is representative of liberals. It is damn strange to hear a spinmeister try to sell an alliance by repeating demonstrably false charges about one of the partners in the proposed alliance.

            Historically and today, many of the prime movers in the environmental/conservation movement have been hunters and fisherman. Not only has this been widely accepted, it has been celebrated within the movement and has been the basis for many of the limited successes it has had to date.

            However, as a number of posters have pointed out, the Democratic Party is closely identified with gun control overreach and is widely viewed as hostile to gun owners and hunters. The problem is not with the environmental movement. The problem is with the Democratic Party's perceived hostility in this area, not the environmental movement's. It is deeply irresponsible to pretend otherwise.

            The Democratic Party also has a strong anti-environmental wing of its own, which it has refused to deal with for better than 30 years. With anti-environmental Dems like Byrd, Landrieu, Levin, Dingell, and a host of others, the national Democratic Party is widely, and correctly, seen in the environmental movement as only marginally better than the Republican Party. As with the issue of torture, "better than the Republicans" is hardly a ringing endorsement.

            That great liberal paper, the NY Times, is deeply hostile to changes in federal regulation that would reduce dioxin and mercury pollution as a result of changes in paper bleaching processes.

            Liberal Democrats from Michigan have long been hostile to mandated improvements in automobile gas mileage.

            Senator Byrd of West Virginia has a long record of hostility to sound environmental regulations that might impact coal-mining and production.

            Senator Landrieu is hostile to sound environmental regulations that might impact oil-drilling and production.

            Is your boy Bob Casey going to have the balls to stand against the Pennsylvania coal industry?

            In the past, when the issue of the anti-environmental stance of these elected Dems has been raised, the stock Kosian response is that enviros have to be tolerant and accepting because of the home-state dynamics these Senators and Reps face.

            It is precisely this systemic attitude of disrespect and (willfully?) dishonest misrepresentation of the environmental movement on the part of Democratic Partisans that is the great sticking point in collaborative efforts.

            Deal with your own problems with gun control, deal with the deep-Brown elected officials within the Party, and then maybe we have something to talk about.

            But when you repeat these kinds of lies in the lede of your piece, arguably to deflect attention from the Democratic Party's own lacks in this area, you've botched the alliance at the get-go, because the ignorance and bad faith of your stance makes it clear that you're not really interested in the issues, just spinning for voters who the Party will selling out yet again.

            Mea culpa first, collegial negotiations later.

            •  Sorry, but you're wrong (none)
              You're missing the forest for the trees.  Yeah, all of those politicians have home constituencies to deal with that mean that they won't vote in ways that we would like, but like Kos says, at the end of the day, they still pull that lever for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.  Do you honestly think that Frist or Hastert will do anything to help the environmental movement? I don't think so.
              •  Not wrong.....experienced (none)

                Yessuh, I'll just move my green ass to the back of the D bus and trust Mistah Reid and Miz Pelosi, cuz they done such a good job of keepin Mistah Dingell and Miz Landrieu and Mistah Salazar and Mistah Byrd in line.
                •  Cut it out (none)
                  You know as well as I do that the majority sets up votes on wedge issues so that moderates like the aforementioned are forced to break with the party.  Wouldn't it be nice to wedge them for a change?  Again, I'm not saying they're wrong, but for god's sake, know who the enemy is.
            •  it's not about anti-hunting (none)
              it's getting hunting groups to become activists for our side.  Right now, they aren't telling their members to vote democratic, but they should.  And if they do, and get some media presence, we can tip otherwise "moderate" or even conservative voters.

              I share your distaste of politicians that burnish their home-state industry bona fides over needed reforms in environmental laws, but that is another fight for another day.  Let's get the hunters groups on our side to fight with us first.  There is strength in numbers...

              •  I Don't Disagree With Reaching out to Hunters (none)

                That's a good idea and a moderated stance on gun control can be a big plus there.

                What I object to is the portrayal of a largely non-existent split between hunters and enviros that papers over the much realer splits between hunters and the Democratic Party and enviros and the Democratic Party. It's the same line of disingenuous self-serving bullshit that Kos served up on Langevin and Casey in regard to women's issues.

                This is an area where that kind of basic tone-deafness has real costs.

                My point in this case is that the Democratic Party needs to be respectful and responsive to the concerns of hunters, enviros, and hunter/enviros, without the kind of deeply offensive and patronizing projection of the Democratic Party's own long-standing lacks onto either of those groups.

                More broadly, my point is that you don't build a functional coalition or win a leading role in a coalition by describing your prospective partners in stereotypes that show that you a) don't know what you're talking about and b) take no responsibility for your own affinity group's historic mis and malfeasance.

          •  We don't need to ban guns period. (none)
            It's a losing issue.  Do the background checks and that's it.  

            Canada has more guns per capita than the US and not even a quarter of the murder rate.  It's culture, the violent individualism, the desperation, the lack of daycare, the lack of healthcare, the lack of a way out of impossible situations, the lack of hope, but IT'S NOT THE GUNS!


      •  Hunting is good (4.00)
        Face it. People in this country eat meat. If somebody goes out and shoots a deer and fills his freezer with deer meat, that means less factory livestock purchased. Factory livestock is way more cruel and inhumane than hunting and it is really shitty (pun intended) for the environment. When I hear people criticize hunters because hunting is cruel, my first question is, "Are you a vegetarian?" If the answer is no, than I proceed to explain to the moron in question exactly why they are an idiot. (No, I don't actually call them an idiot. I explain how much more cruelty there is in the hamburger they're eating than in the shooting of a deer.)

        If that counts as "disrespecting people who are more prevalent in your own party," then count me in.

        •  I Agree. (4.00)
          I eat vegetarian because I don't like the way meat animals are raised. I have less objection to hunting, although it really depends on the animal and the hunter.

          I don't have a problem with the pro-hunt schtick here. Although by the same token, I respect people who do.

          What Kos, and you all, need to do, is stop kicking people in your own party.

          •  pro-hunt schtick (4.00)
            "I don't have a problem with the pro-hunt schtick here. Although by the same token, I respect people who do."

            I don't have a problem with vegetarians who oppose hunting, but I have no respect for having a problem with hunting while you're blissfully consuming a Wendy's chicken sandwich. It's stupid.

            That being said, I have no problem with unapologetic environmentalism in general, and I have the utmost respect for "treehuggers." I see no need to kick them. I am thankful for their activism. But when "treehuggers" alienate hunters, they are hurting their own cause.

            I also think there is a difference between "kicking" and disagreement. I don't see a need to kick gun-control advocates, but I disagree with them. In addition to disagreeing with them on the substance of the issue, I think their position hurts the party in the polls. If you want to be the party that stands up for the Constitution and freedom, it helps to be consistent. There is a huge demographic that won't vote Democrat mainly because of gun control.

        •  Factory livestock consumes oil... (none)
          ... big time.

          One way to cut back on dependence on foreign oil would be to get rid of livestock factories.  

          When you eat a beefsteak, you are eating oil--it went into the corn that was grown, the medications, the hormones, the pesticides, etc.

        •  2 more reasons hunting is good (none)
          1.  In the East we no longer have predators to eat deer which is a minor cause of the huge explosion in deer populations.  The most important cause is the felling of the old forests which has opened up more space to grass and undergrowth which deer like.  Both causes will not be reversed soon.  Deer populations should be controlled by people, and while we are at it we should get some food.

          2.  People enjoy hunting.  The Democratic party should be for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  There are a lot of people in this country who look forward to hunting all year.  I care much more about the happiness of a hardworking farmer or whatever, then I do about an individual deer.  

          "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

          by tmendoza on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:26:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Furthermore (none)
          In a lot of the Great Plains States, overpopulation of deer is a problem.  They tend to get sick, starve to death in the winter (hunter's groups provide feed for them in some cases), and die pretty awful deaths in car/deer accidents.  Controlling the populations is beneficial to the animals.  And lack of food isn't about lack of space, it's about snow so deep that they can't access the grasslands beneath the snow.  And, by the way, have you ever been to the Plains States?  In large portions of some of these states, the population is less than one person per square mile.  In a lot of Plains States, the population, outside of the biggest towns, has been dwindling steadily.  Yes, in a lot of cases habitat has been infringed.  But that doesn't mean it is infringed everywhere.

          And as for gun control, there's a difference between a deer rifle and a pistol.  A big difference.  Pistols are useless for hunting in almost all circumstances.  They are only good for killing people.  Deer rifles are used for something completely different in the overwhelming majority of the cases.  Gun control should be first and foremost about restricting handguns.

          There is plenty of room for hunters in this party.

          Don't blame me, I voted for Kerry.

          by mndemguy on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:33:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  People who hunt want large (4.00)
          undeveloped parcels of land to hunt on.  Watching the Outdoor Channel (as I often do to catch some of the hunting dog trials which are very intriguing to me), there are often hour long segments of hunting for pheasant or grouse or such on private hunting preserves.

          I was astounded to learn that citizens have bought parcels as large as 3,000 acres and are making a living taking the land out of crop production and restoring it to natural landscape.  They then reintroduce small game, build a lodge, and have hunting vacations on pristine land.  

          Now I do not hunt or kill animals of any kind, but many, many people do.  Hunting by itself (other than protected game) is not evil and if groups start restoring habitat which is much better for the general environment than crops, then I applaud.

      •  make sure brain is engaged before speaking (none)
        so i'm one of them because i hunt?? how f'ckin' dare you say that!!!!

         how much money have you put towards species & land preservation during your lifetime? i hope i'm wrong, but my guess is that you haven't contributed a dime.

        i respect vegetarian's beliefs and expect the same in return. you think no animals have died for you? don't kid yourself. it's very easy to forget how many animals have been poisoned by pesticides used to grow veggies, how many deer, grouse, pheasant, rabbits, songbirds, etc. etc. have been either displaced of their homes or chopped up in combines just to feed your self-righteous butt.

        there's no room for your hate in the Democratic party.

        society is like soup. if you don't stir it up, all the scum rises to the top.

        by elkhunter on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:34:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You use fossil fuels? (none)
        Think of the TRILLIONS of cute plankton things that had to die to keep you warm!
      •  Kos is correct. (none)
        Just as John Kerry went hunting just before the election (in full view of the cameras), we need to be seen as the hunter friendly party. Before the last election I helped send out thousands of information letters to union members explaining that John Kerry is a true believer of the Second Amendment and all hunting rights.

        This will help persuade the single-issue voters. We all know John Kerry has always voted with the majority of our party for every common sense gun regulation that is proposed. Most Democrats know that the second amendment has nothing to do with a private person owning guns, but a well-regulated police force.

        First we need to win the elections. Only then we can gradually introduce legislation toward our core beliefs of conservation and protecting the defenseless that share our world.

      •  LOL this is almost Republican sounding! (none)
        Such a typical knee-jerk reaction from some Democrats lately. Why don't you leave the party? We are becoming more close-minded than some in the right wing -- and we can't afford it. If you don't like opening the doors -- GO INDEPENDENT.

        Time to think different folks. We can't afford another couple years of this Republican nonsense.

        Way to go Kos -- nice to see somebody sticking their neck out for once on these issues.

    •  Indeed (4.00)
      And I don't know if anybody else has said this, but killing furry creatures in moderation is actually good for the environment.  If they aren't hunted, they'll starve to death.  Hunters are good people, they have a certain code of honor in which respect for the land and for the animals is paramount.  They belong in our party.
      •  Devil's Advocate here (none)
        Just to play devil's advocate (as if the devil didn't have enough advocates in the Republican party)- isn't it true however that those that starve in the wild tend to be the weaker of the species, thereby thinning the ranks and preserving those that are the most hardy - you know, the old survival of the fittest thing -  whereas hunting thins the ranks indiscriminately?

        I'm not anti-hunting, and I'm not a vegetarian. I just question the motives. I don't think the average hunter does it to stock the freezer or to thin out the herd. They do it because they enjoy the kill.

        •  it's true that hunters enjoy hunting (none)
          but that doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of deer hunters (and other hunters) eat their kill.  democrats should support sustainable use of the environment.  take some of the resource, but leave enough so the resource is not depleted.  

          "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

          by tmendoza on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:29:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes/No (4.00)
          Hunting does thin the ranks indiscriminately, but the weak used to be picked off by predators.  Since man has diminished the habitat many of the predators are gone and the weak are not being thinned by other predatory processes.

          Since we have already irreversibly altered the ecosystem some process needs to be in place to continue managing the size of the populations.  

          Even though some of the strong are thinned with the weak, the thinning provides more habitat for the survivors and a greater segment of the population survives than if we let the population go without management.

        •  ns (4.00)
          I'd say most hunters hunt because they enjoy the hunt, not the kill. I don't know any (I'm a Minnesota deer & turkey hunter myself) who actually enjoy watching an animal die after shooting it. I do know of several who quit after killing one animal, since they couldn't watch it die (usually after a shot that didn't hit the animal in an area that results in a quick death, something all responsible hunters attempt to avoid)

          It's the sitting in the quiet woods for hours, no cell phones, pagers, laptops or video games,  waiting for a deer to sneak up on you, hoping you see it before it sees or smells you, and finally getting a good clean shot that is fun.

          The bonuses are that you're controlling the herd (which in SE Minnesota where I hunt would be completely out of control if it weren't for hunting, since there are no natural predators and plenty of corn & alfalfa to eat) and you get a freezer full of healthy meat.

          And let me say that this would be a great group to get voting democrat. Lots of blue collar hard working people that should be voting Dem, but are susceptible to the NRA's message. Just go look at the bumper stickers at any Cabela's...lots of union stickers, lots of NRA stickers, lots of "Sportsmen for Bush" stickers...

          •  Take More Does (4.00)
            The bonuses are that you're controlling the herd (which in SE Minnesota where I hunt would be completely out of control if it weren't for hunting, since there are no natural predators and plenty of corn & alfalfa to eat) and you get a freezer full of healthy meat.

            SE Minnesota is completely out of control.  I have never seen as many road-kill deer as I've seen the last 2-3 years.  I drive 30 miles, from Northfield, up to the southern metro, and I see 3, 4, 5 dead deer.

            There needs to be more taking of does.  Taking bucks does little regarding population control.  And let the wolf population expand.  I, for one, grow irritated of opposition to the wolves in Minnesota on the grounds that they'll reduce the deer herd.  Well, duh ... that's a good thing!

            •  agree.... (none)
              I hunt in extreme SE Minnesota (Houston County, bordering IA and WI), and the deer are crazy down there. I've seen 100+ deer in a 10 mile stretch before, out feeding on the alfalfa at dusk.

              The DNR is doing everything they can think of to get people to take more does. I believe last year (correct me if I'm wrong), you could take, if you hunted in all the different ways (bow & arrow, muzzleloader, shotgun) you could take 5 deer per person, but I think only one could be a buck.  The problem is, people want that rack for the wall. Ever seen a doe mounted?  (Uh, on the wall...)

              The resistance for reintroducing wolves is mainly from livestock farmers (beef cattle, mostly) who are concerned with losing young ones to wolves. The beef industy is pretty powerful, I don't see wolves being reintroduced in southern MN anytime soon....

              •  Deer & Wolves (none)
                The DNR is doing everything they can think of to get people to take more does.

                Then they desperately need people with more imagination.  Personally, I favor requiring everyone to take a doe before they have any chance at a buck.

                Ever seen a doe mounted?

                Nope, but I have no sympathy for trophy hunting.  I fish, and I wouldn't dream of doing anything with a 20-lb. Northern or a 10-lb. Walleye other than releasing it.  Small fish are good eating.  Large fish are good breeders, and should be left to continue passing on their genetic material.  If I hunted deer, I'd make the same choice for a doe over a buck.

                The resistance for reintroducing wolves is mainly from livestock farmers (beef cattle, mostly) who are concerned with losing young ones to wolves.

                Oh, I know.  But I also hear many hunters echoing this line.  These are the same hunters who are taking bucks instead of taking does.  Like the hunters who apply for doe permits but will never take a doe - they just want to make sure someone else doesn't get a doe, and thereby reduce the population.  Yeah, I've known more than one who bragged of doing this.  Hard-core outdoorsmen, too, not the half-assed beer-swilling slobs who are often blamed (rightfully) for giving the hunting community a bad name.

                The ironic thing is, deer do far, far more economic damage than do wolves.  15,000 deer-vehicle collision per year in Minnesota.  How many millions in cash is that?  Over 100 people dead annually nationwide due to deer-vehicle collisions in Minnesota.  But no one is ever killed by a wild wolf.  And I wonder how much economic damage 900,000 corn-loving deer do annually to farmers?  More than the 3000 wolves do, I'll wager.  No doubt, wolves cause people problems.  But not to the degree deer do.  I have yet to meet someone who actually suffered damage from a wolf.  But deer?  I can name plenty of people, starting with myself.  

                By the way, I'm not blaming this all on you, I'm just ranting ... ;)

          •  Not buying the nature argument (none)
            It's the sitting in the quiet woods for hours, no cell phones, pagers, laptops or video games,  waiting for a deer to sneak up on you, hoping you see it before it sees or smells you, and finally getting a good clean shot that is fun.

            Just to clarify - I'm not opposed to hunting, and come from a family of them. My father, uncle and numerous family friends all hunted. Until I was 18,I hunted. We ate the meat and enjoyed it. We enjoyed being outdoors.

            The quote above could have come directly from my father. Honestly however, I could never figure out why the only way he could get his solace in nature was in the pursuit of a kill. I asked him once if he would enjoy the same solace in the woods with a camera - and he flat out said that the kill was part of the experience.

            I'm sure there are herd control issues that are of  great benefit, and I would never try to outlaw hunting. I guess I view the taking of life - any life - as a solemn necessity, but not something to be done for pleasure. I've never understood the satisfaction that comes with taking the life of an animal, even when it's necessary. I eat meat and accept it's having to be killed, but do not celebrate it.

            I don't buy the "being out in nature" argument as any more than a justification -  not now nor when my dad reasoned it out this way for all those years. When it came down it, blowing an animal away was, in some way, a pleasurable experience. If it wasn't he wouldn't have done it.

            That said, if an alliance with hunters further the interest of land conservation - I'm all for it. Allies can share the same goals without necessarily approving or liking everything about their partners (as the US and USSR did during WWII). If it furthers the common goal - fine. I just would like to understand the satisfaction that comes with the kill.  

        •  some truth (4.00)
          yes, your statements are true to some extent. but without the existence of enough predators like bears & big cats, wildlife management is left to hunters & vehicles. are you aware that vehicles kill more animals annually than hunters?? why not do something positive like promote wildlife crossings, wildlife underpasses etc. before going after all hunters?

          one of my hunting partners is one of  those people that is probably in it more for the kill than the meat, mostly because his wife only eats domesticated meat. but guess who gets the wild meat?

          and for the record, i'm a strict meat hunter who hunts only female animals. this helps control the herd size and is the best game management currently available.

          it sounds like some people on here no nothing of game management or land preservation.

          society is like soup. if you don't stir it up, all the scum rises to the top.

          by elkhunter on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:47:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Poverty (none)
            Let us not forget that alot of people who hunt in certain sections of the country are very poor. One bullet can provide 200 pounds of food for some of these people.

            There are people in this country who do hunt to make ends meet. The same with fishing. I knew several people who basically had a family member fish every day so they would get protein.

            Hunters/Fishers shouldn't be stereotyped as to one group. They aren't. Many hunters have a natural place in the democratic party and should be courted.

        •  Not totally accurate I believe (none)
          Both of my sons hunt, and the deer they kill (MN and Wisc.) are taken to many processing plants here and they make many products which they use as meat for the coming year.  Also, pheasant, grouse and other small fowl are also not thrown away and go processing plants  I suppose there are some who hunt and throw away their kill, but most do not.

          Just like fishing -- long gone are the days when you catch 50 fish, keep them all day, throw away the dead ones, and just take 3 or 4 home to clean.  It is all catch and release these days.  And my older son will clean the smallest of legal fish and make great feasts of sunnies and crappies.  Often times, the deer, fowl and fish he has caught is the meat that they are eating that month.

      •  Hunting (4.00)
        And I don't know if anybody else has said this, but killing furry creatures in moderation is actually good for the environment.  If they aren't hunted, they'll starve to death.

        Well, in some cases.  You'd probably have some deer starving without hunting.  On the flip side, I've yet to see a shred of evidence that mountain lions in California are starving.  Nor are grizzlies in the Yellowstone area.  Nor are wolves in Minnesota.

        While hunting certainly has a utility (I'm thinking primarily of Minnesota, where we have a problematic deer overpopulation issue), it is a less than preferable way of selecting the next generation.  Natural selection will build a genetically stronger herd, for example, than hunters who specifically select out the most impressive male specimens when they hunt.  Not to mention that hunting males doesn't do much for population control.

        Hunters are good people, they have a certain code of honor in which respect for the land and for the animals is paramount.  They belong in our party.

        Oh, please.  Some hunters are good people.  Some aren't.  In other words, they're just like any other demographic.  The whole "Hunters deeply revere the environment and would never do anything to harm it" notion is as absurd as the "Hunters are cruel slobs who just like blowing away animals" notion.

        That said, hunting is a reality with (as I said) certain usefulness.  And hunters are a key to support for conservation.  

        And as others have noted, it is sheer folly to think that hunting a deer (as opposed to letting it die as deer generally do, to disease or to a predtor or through starvation) is somehow cruel, especially when compared with factory-farm raised beef or pork or chicken (for examples), is truly inane.

    •  let us join together (4.00)
      The best thing that could happen is this alliance between hunting/fishing and a desire to protect the land that nutures and feeds them. It is a solution that we can all live with.

      When the going gets weird, the weird get going. -- HST

    •  Ranchers turning into enviros, fast (4.00)
      "...we need an energy policy that promotes conservation of our resources, cuts our dependence on oil, increases our use of clean, renewable energy sources, and protects our special places from drilling".  

      This is from a traditional, sixth-generation rancher in NM who has seen her family's way of life destroyed:  "We once ran 200 cows on 32,000 acres.  Now, BLM is refusing to allow us to run 10 pair.  Our land is scarred with roads, drill pads, compressor stations, evaporation ponds, and pipeline paths from oil and gas drilling.  Our cows regularly get hit by trucks servicing wells.  Others get poisoned when they drink from contamination spills in the ponds, springs, and on surface where water pools.... The entire Rocky Mountain West is threatened by the rush to drill without regard for the land, water, or people presently on it."

      (Albuquerque Journal, June 19:"Irresponsible Drilling Kills Family Ranch.")

      Tweeti Blancett, who wrote these words, hasjoined with environmental groups to protest the destruction of the landscape by fossil fuel extraction.

      It's time for those of us who have been traditional environmentalists to widen our view and not get trapped in narrow ideological wrangles.  A big shift is happening.

  •  Kos, Sometimes You Are Just Wrong (3.30)
    In a damaging way.
    Spotted owls are a species protected by the bipartisan, long honored endangered species act.
    Tree "huggers" save centuries old redwoods from being turned into very short-lived lawn furniture or disposable japanese chopsticks. They do so at the risk of their lives and the cost of years of their lives in some cases.

    Very lame on your part.

    •  the way I read it... (4.00)
      ...Kos wasn't saying that treehugging or saving spotted owls was good or bad.  He was saying that it had a negative association in the minds of many voters, and if we use the term "conservation" rather than "environmentalism", we would avoid this negative association and reap political benefits.  He (as I read it) wasn't advocating ditching the tree-huggers.

      Big-tent party, remember!  Plenty of room for tree-huggers and hunters alike.

      •  Okay But Don't Disown The People (3.00)
        Who are actually on your side.
        Obviously there aren't other so-called tree huggers in this thread just yet.
        But are you a hunter?
        Why in the heck do you people prefer to cozy up to people who don't vote for you, rather than people who well might but aren't motivated enough to vote, because they think both parties stand for the same old BS?
        •  Not motivated? (none)
          If "tree huggers" aren't sufficiently motivated to vote after all that has happened, I will personally cut down their lofty redwood myself.  

          Put down the bong, dude.  Vote.

          •  It's not "their lofty redwood". (4.00)
            It's your lofty redwood, and my lofty redwood, and frankly, as old and rare and magnificent as these trees are, they are the world's lofty redwoods and our children's lofty redwoods.

            I'll give you a story about the kinds of people who save redwoods. There was a fellow named William Kent who bought the original redwood grove that became Muir Woods National Monument. In order to do it, Kent created significant financial hardship for himself. Kent then donated the land to the federal government.

            When Roosevelt suggested that the new park be named after Kent, Kent declined and suggested that it be named after John Muir instead. Roosevelt pointed out to Kent that having the park named after him would insure that his name and his legacy would be remembered. Kent replied that if his children grew up to become good citizens, that would be legacy enough for him and for the Kent name.

            When asked why he purchased and then donated the land for the park, Kent replied that he had done it for future generations. When I visited Muir Woods in 1997, I literally cried, because I knew that some guy that I had never met, who died half a century before I was born, had thought enough of me and others like me, that he'd been willing to go into debt to insure that I would be able to experience this magnificent place for myself, rather than having to read about it in the dusty pages of some history book.

            That's the kind of person who saves trees, and in my more than a decade in the environmental movement, it's been my experience that there are far, far more people like Kent working to protect the environment for both present and future generations than there are people who could in any way be construed to fit your caricature of environmentalists as bong-smoking tree huggers.

          •  Stereotypes? (none)
            Tree huggers are to "put down the bong dude" as hunters are to "Hey Bubba, let's go shotgun some varmints".
        •  BEcause (4.00)
          The "people who would vote for Democrats..." line

          Doesn't work.

          And.. they don't vote for Democrats anyway.. and never will.
          And.. there aren't that many of them in the first place.

          I have a few good friends who are reallllllly enviromental.. I mean I recycle, I try not to do anything overly bad to my enviroment, but I do mow my lawn, I use weedkiller on weeds, etc.

          I got a major major lecture from them because I do this.


          The fact is.. the numbers of people who do/belive in that type of enviromentalism are small, electorally weak, and not some giant "movement"

          However, Hunters are a organized, verifiable group, and DO vote.

          What I belive is that kos is trying to say.

          Approach it from a Teddy R Convervation viewpoint, not a PETA/Hemp viewpoint.

          (Point in fact I support ESA, and conservation, but I can't get behind allowing dollarweed to ruin my lawn.. grrrr)

          One Southern Blue Dog Democrat from the Sunshine State.

          by 1floridademocrat on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:59:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But You Are A Democrat (none)
            The question is whether continuing to reinforce the meme, and to some extent the FACT...

            That Democrats won't stand firm on anything, that they'd sell their sainted mothers to pretend to be acceptible to rednecks...

            Is that gonna work? No.
            Did Kerry win all those hunting states by dressing up in duckhunting jacket and wearing it to downtown rallies?

            •  But John Warner did. (none)
              John Warner was elected governor of VA last go-round on the backs of the conservative, western part of the state.  How'd he do it?  IMO, giant orange signs with crossed black rifles and "Sportsmen for Warner" was a huge part.

              Warner took away the GOP's NRA advantage.  I'm not saying that Warner took the entire NRA vote -- but he took a big chunk of it, and in doing so undid an organized GOP GOTV group, allowing his majority in the NOVA area to win him the election.

              Talk to guys like Warner (D-Gov VA) and Schweitzer (D-Gov, MT) if you want to peel away the NRA vote.  

        •  It's called RECRUITMENT (4.00)
          Why not reach out to groups that might share an interest that haven't traditionally voted Dem?

          Lots of hunters are environmentalists. Frame the argument properly, and they just might vote Dem. According to your logic, the R's shouldn't have bothered with messages to Latinos or African-Americans, since "they" didn't tradionally support the Republican Party. Large numbers still don't, but enough do that it's helped Bush get elected twice. Just think what a few thousand more Latino votes for Gore in Florida in 2000 or a few thousand more African-American votes in Ohio in 2004 would have done for Kerry. Bush's chicanery wouldn't have been enough to get himself appointed president.  

          And think how much easier it would be for Dems to recruit, Dems could actually tell the TRUTH and have people support them, instead of what the R's are forced to do to have people agree with them.

          Or are we just going to limit the Democratic Party to vegetarians? Or just those in support of marijuana legalization? Or just those against the war in Iraq? Or just those in support of abortion on demand for all 9 months of pregnancy? Pretty soon, you've got a subset of potential Democrats that's only a few thousand people in number. I thought the Dems were the party that truly believed in inclusion, not check-list politics.

          Focus on the core values of environmentalism, and don't get stuck on details. Rational people can solve those differences, and that's what we Dems like to think we are, correct?

          Jesus Christ - The original non-conformist.

          by duck on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:04:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do You Recruit For The Marines (none)
            By rebranding the Marines as unpatriotic?
            Won't that get the flag-burners to sign up?
            •  Little help here.... (none)
              OK, maybe my brain's fried from end-of-school-year checkout at the HS where I teach. But I have NO CLUE how your response, in any way, is related to what I wrote.

              A little illumination, please?

              Jesus Christ - The original non-conformist.

              by duck on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 01:53:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Many Environmentalists (none)
                And many people in general, even some in pro-hunting areas, don't like hunting. They don't like animals getting shot, they don't like bullets flying around, they don't like people getting shot.

                With all this talk of getting the NRA on our side, which I don't hate, we can't forget that their is actually a center that doesn't like guns. And it is only with great reluctance that I am not in it. I don't like guns. I don't like hunting. Many people don't. Most environmentalists don't.

                If environmentalism is a product, it's established market is environmentalists: Who generally don't like hunting.

                Just as if the Marines is a product, its market is young people who want to be patriotic and/or be objects of other's patriotic respect.

                Removing from the marketing, the main thing the established market is looking for, and replacing it with something roughly its opposite... Is not likely to please the established market.

                •  The majority of environmentalists I know ... (none)
                  ... are either hunters or supportive of them.  I work for a liberal environmental nonprofit and get to visit with a wide variety of environmental types.  I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, and have for more than twenty years, but I love to hear from friends how their hunting or fishing trips went.

                  The point, to me, is the "brand damage" kos has mentioned.  The word environmentalism (incorrectly/unfairly) conjures up images that a significant segment of average America find distasteful.

                  "Conservationist" is a word with a far more positive image than "environmentalist."

                  We have so much to gain by helping environmentalists/conservationists of all types rejoin together.

                  Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

                  by by foot on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:00:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The Real Problem (none)
                    Is that we don't want environmentalism to seem wimpy, or seem submissive to government authority.
                    Certainly some of the mainstream goups like Sierra Club have a whiff of that, PETA too perhaps although they work hard to be butch.

                    Personally I can't see anything more hormonal and unfettered than inviolate wilds.

                •  Furry animals (none)
                  If environmentalism is a product, it's established market is environmentalists: Who generally don't like hunting.

                  Frankly that is a subset of even those who consider themselves environmentalists.

                  Besides the PETA/anti-hunting/furry animal crowd are mostly urban dwellers in relatively liberal strongholds like LA or NY.

                  Environmentalists want habitat preserved.
                  Environmentalists want wild places left wild.
                  Environmentalists want clean water.
                  Environmentalists want to keep farmland from being turned into strip malls.

                  The thing is most hunters and fishermen are in favor of the same things. As are many ranchers and farmers, as are many self described 'conservationists' especially in Western rural areas.

                  I don't see how wanting to preserve wetlands to help the duck hunters is going to turn off people who want to preserve wetlands for other reasons.

                  I don't see how wanting stricter oil and gas drilling regulations to help ranchers turns off those who oppose oil and gas drilling for other reasons.

        •  people who don't vote for us? (none)
          Democrats should be at least as concerned with people who will vote for us tomorrow, as with people who voted for us yesterday.
          •  Change Their Minds (none)
            Don't change to accomodate their bent perceptions.

            Be right, and then convince them. That's environmentalism. Marketing is about more than this idiotically myopic word "branding." First you need a solid product that is useful; we've got that. It's correct term is environmentalism, sometimes ecology. It's not about blowing away Bambi's mother.

            •  Good luck with that (none)
              "You are wrong, here's why, so vote for me!"

              That doesn't work.

              •  Yes It Does (none)
                Look what the Republicans did in the South.
                They convinced working people to vote against their own best interests based on pique over integration.
                They turned their back on their historical party and their own clear interests.
                They did it for social issues reasons.
                They were convinced they were wrong... With empty rhetoric and false promises.

                We ought to be able to convince people to vote for us by being right.

                •  Bambi's mother died along time ago (none)
                  I don't want to become part of any environmentalist religion.  Neither do most folks.  Most of the people I know are in favor of good stewardship of the land and water, and I know a lot of ranchers and hunters. The envirionmental religion advocates, who, for the most part don't know shit about the environment, have allowed the Republicans to brand Democrats with the "tree hugger" label.  That has cost the Democrats dearly in the West and Midwest. I don't want anybody to leave the Democratic party, but if I had my choice I would rather have real environmentalists (of the Teddy Roosevelt variety) over the folks who jump up and down without any real understanding.
                  •  I Don't Want To Be Part Of (none)
                    Your religion either.

                    Look, it's been proven that religion sells in politics. Faith sells. Belief sells. Ideas beyond ones own interests sell.

                    Just be realistic about it. Everything is "the environment." It's just a question of whether that means it should all be a shopping mall, strip mine, and/or Chem Lawn.

                •  That's not right at all (none)
                  They said "I'm anti-gay and anti-abortion and think God should taught in the schools, so vote for me".  And people who were anti-gay and anti-abortion and think God should be taught in the schools did, even if they support us on economic issues.

                  They didn't change people's minds; they convinced people who supported some of the things that both sides supported that the stuff they supported was more important.  This is much different.

                  •  That's The Official (none)
                    Democratic Party history. The real story involves the fact that a lot of Southern Democratic politicians continued to be racist and fascistic into the era in which they began losing. It wasn't just the blacks, and black intersts, switching parties and the whites following suit as a reaction. It was also some whites signing on to the Republican Party for not entirely bad, evil reasons.
                •  They did much of this by reframing. (none)
                  Changing the terms they used so that people's gut reactions were better predisposed to what they were doing. That's what we're talking about here.
            •  two points (none)
              a)  I think the whole point of Kos' diary is that environmentalists don't have to change in order to call themselves conservationists.

              b)  clearly, convincing people that environmentalism is correct has not worked.  Otherwise, Bush would not have been able to get away with opening up national forests to logging, raising acceptable mercury levels, and assorted crap.  I, and obviously many other people, believe that a big part of this is due to branding.  If you want to continue your so-far unsuccessful strategy centered around environmentalism and saving Bambi's mother, go ahead, but don't blast Kos and others for allying with hunters in order to save the environment.

              •  Agreed... (none)
                Here's what it boils down to, as I see it:

                Fact: Bush's policies are hostile towards the environment.
                Fact: "Traditional" Environmentalists oppose bush's policies for this reason
                Fact: Many Hunters likely oppose at least Bush's environmental policies for this same reason

                Idea: Voting from this common ground, Hunters might make a powerful ally for Democrats in 2006 and beyond
                Complication: These self-same Hunters recoil at being identified as/with self-described Environmentalists because they suffer from misconceptions about what those self-described environmentalists stand for

                Kos's Suggestion: Environmentalists need to accurately convey to Hunters what it is that they truly stand for, and do so in a manner that will allow Hunters to join their ranks with a minimum of confusion and dissonance.  This may involve re-thinking the PR value of some words, i.e. "Environmentalism"

                I think many involved in this discussion (myself included) perceive NewDirection and others to be saying that they are very strongly attached to the word 'environmentalism.'  So much so that a shift in focus to less "damaged" terms like, for instance, 'conservationists,' would amount to a harmful cave-in on the part of enviro-conservation-ists.

                I guess I just don't agree with this last point, i.e. that the gains we could get through marketing the common ground to Hunters are offset by the damage created by ceding some linguistic territory.

                Alas, I am but one Progressive Neo-Enviro-Conservation-ist.

                •  perfect, minus one thing (none)
                  The way I interpret NewDirection's comments (ironical name) is that conservation, as Kos said, only has 95% of the agenda of environmentalism - because 5% (or whatever) of his environmentalism consists of opposing hunting.  He doesn't want to cater to hunters, because he sees hunting as bad and anti-environmentalism.  Thus conservation is less pro-environment than environmentalism.
        •  Fine! (none)
          If you're gonna get huffy over a word, I think the party can balance some thousand people deserting by winning a few million others, getting to power and then having a chance at protecting the redwoods and the spotted owls on them without the hysterics.
      •  50 American million hunters and anglers (none)
        are no small prize. See my diary entry on this topic here.

        Let's not forget how that breaks down:

        37 million anglers
        13 million hunters

        We'll never win the bubbas in Alabama. But we will win the more thoughtful hunters in Montana and Colorado and New Mexico.

        Just as important, if not more so, are the anglers - all this energy development out West is at least as big a threat to water quality. And fish are the canary in the coal mine, in a region where water is worth 100 times the oil and gas the Repugs are so focused on.

        And another thing ...

        The animal rights movement is to progressives what the pro-life movement is to the right: a minority albatross focused on a narrow, morally ideological argument that has no place in the broader political discourse. If you think eating meat is wrong, then don't eat meat, but don't tell me what I can and can't put on my table. The argument of the animal liberators is IDENTICAL to the argument of the anti-choice religious radicals - that is, we know what's best, so do as you're told.

        And agree with the earlier post that these radicals do not represent the core of the American enviro movement, as much as the GOP has tried to portray it as such. Anyone on our side who believes that has been watching too much Fox.

        •  Ranchers and farmers too (none)
          Ranchers and farmers, at least out West, are just as concerned about water quality and environmental damage from oil and gas drilling as anglers and hunters.

          Another common cause with ranchers and farmers, as well as anglers and hunters is preventing suburban sprawl.

          They don't like seeing prime rangeland or farmland paved over for WalMart or McMansions any more than urban anti-growth types do.

    •  Wow (4.00)
      I don't believe Kos was saying that environmentalism is a bad theme to push but he was rather suggesting a way to frame the movement that would help it.  Don't twist his words.  

      "tree hugger" isn't a negative term but it isn't a political term that can be one politician democratic or republican that has used that term.

      Conservation is a good theme but it has to be a broad theme.....not just protecting the air land and sea.

      •  No, He Was. (3.28)
        He said environmentalism is "damaged goods."
        It's been attacked by the wingnuts.
        If you want to toss out everything that has been attacked by the wingnuts, count me out.
        Along with the poor, the middle class, people of other religions and races and nationalities, art, science...
        •  "Brand" (none)
          He said Environmentalism was a damaged brand. That should make it immediately apparent that he's talking about framing - companies rebrand the same product all the time. We're rebranding environmentalism. Same product, different sales pitch.
          •  Do You Rebrand Crest... (2.33)
            To appeal to coprophiliacs?
            Do you call it "Crap Breath-Away?"
            Do you have a new jingle:

            If you like to eat shite,
            CBA keeps your smile bright!

            Understand how that might turn off the people who actually already buy your frigging "brand?"

            •  Give 'em hell! (4.00)
              You're on a roll, NewDirection!

              I agree with your main point that "environmentalism" isn't damaged goods.  Of couse, (and I speak as an animal-loving vegan), I am happy to work with hunting and fishing groups, as I'm happy to work with just about anyone, on cases of mutual interest.  And the fact that only a few percent of Americans put protecting the environment among their top two political priorities means we need all the allies we can get!

              •  Kos never said that (none)
                He think environemntalism is a important just needs new branding which means it needs to be communicated in a more effective manner....

                NewDirection needs to read before he flames and stop  putting quotes around things Kos didn't say before I'll even listen to him.

                •  For that matter (none)
                  You need to read first.

                  Here where in this paragraph does Kos say envrionmentalism is damaged goods.

                  "I've been saying "environmentalism" is a damaged brand, associated with too many people as "tree hugging" and "spotteed owls", than in protecting our natural legacy."

                  •  Are you blind? (none)
                    "I've been saying "environmentalism" is a damaged brand"

                    Putting quotes around something doesn't mean you aren't actually using that word.
                    I can read, thanks.
                    Damaged brand/damaged goods.
                    You are splitting hairs.
                    It depends what your definition of is is, I suppose, huh?

                    The point is it really POed me, and therefore will PO a lot of other people too, and will also weaken a brand which, thanks, only people who were never loyal to think is damaged.

                    •  "Brand" (none)
                      from link to investor news

                      "An identifying symbol, words, or mark that distinguishes a product or company from its competitors. Usually brands are registered (trademarked) with a regulatory authority and so cannot be used freely by other parties. For many products and companies, branding is an essential part of marketing. "

                      He talking about the symbolism the marketing of environmentalism not the value of the movement.

                      It's very very different and before you flame away do some research into the difference.  It would like saying that the UN needs re branding because of Oil for Food, it doesn't mean the UN is crap it just means that the UN has to change its marketed....your complaining about something that wasn't even said.

                      •  NewDirection (none)
                        Is missing the point totally. Environmentalists are good! Just let's not use that word anymore. Make it more appealing-"Conservationist". The term "environmentalist" has been so damaged by the GOP, it needs to be abandonded. Not the movement, mind you, JUST THE WORD.
                        •  You're Missing the Point (none)
                          Which is that Kos is pulling this out of thin air.
                          He has obviously got no background in this issue, or he'd know how to talk about the environment to people who actually care about it.

                          And that's the point here, right?

                          •  Stereotype (4.00)
                            The "environmentalist" stereotype in general, is bad, and needs repackaging. Their cause is a great one. Kos's point seems to be that "conservation" is working out West(politically), and should be used/duplicated anywhere it can work. Hell, i'm in DC(from NJ originally), I haven't heard the term "environmentalist" ever used in a good way, or without seeing an eye roll after its use. It sucks, I know.
                          •  Kos is looking at successes (none)
                            in Montana, Colorado, and the other places he listed. "Environmentalism" as a policy cannot be sold there, it has been tarred too badly. "Conservationism" on the other hand is something we can sell. And winning elections is all about selling our ideas.
                      •  You Flamed Me... (none)
                        Without even having a leg to stand on.
                        Kos flamed me.

                        Neither one of you has any idea how to talk about these issues.

                        •  really (none)
                          I consider myself to be an environmenalist.....i do...look at some of diaries comments regard the one ton challenge.

                          Kos isn't looking for a way to get people that are already environmentalist into the fold he's trying to get other people to care.  It's that simple, it's about how to expand environmentalism as an issue, not contract it.

              •  In most of the west (4.00)
                "damned environmentalists" is almost one word.  The first time she met my SO, my mother (to my eternal embarrassment) went off on a 15 minute rant about the damned environmentalists and the damned BLM taking all the property.  My parents live next to BLM land.

                I've heard that same song in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona....  the list goes on.  If we're serious about winning the west we need to acknowledge that the perception of what environmentalism is, to a lot of people, is granola hippie-chicks, long-haired tree huggers and mindless government-bots telling people what to do with their property.  Reframe the discussion, change the perception, and you win over these people.  Most of them live close to farming, and they grew up knowing what was sensible and sustainable.  We aren't that far apart, if we get rid of the mistaken impressions.

              •  Do you understand (none)
                "environmentalism" the word vs. "environmentalism" the concept? Do you know the difference between an illness, a disease, an affliction, a sickness or an ailment?

                Kos is noting a need for a reframing of the concept of environmentalism by recognizing common needs among groups that have traditionally been recognized as being at odds (i.e., hunters and environmentalists). He did not say that environmentalism, as an idea/concept/effort, is "damaged." He never said that.

                Do you understand that?

                BUSH: Like a rock...but dumber.
                Stewart/Olberman 2008!

                by mugsimo on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:55:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You are missing the point big time (none)
              Furthermore, your example doesn't help your cause.  Crest has always and will always rebrand itself to attract new customers to its product.  It's not about changing the product it's about marketing.  They don't have to change the product to pursue these additional buyers.

              From my perspective, your big problem is with the demographic Kos is suggesting we court (i.e. purchasers of the "environmental" brand).  It sounds like you hate these moderates who probably share many of our values, but have been turned away from Democrats by the successful counter-marketing of the Repugs.

        •  Actually the quote is (none)
          "damaged brand". Good products can have damaged brand names. Apple makes good products, but when compared to Microsoft, they are a damaged brand, to an extent. If you can't quote something correctly, don't do it.

          Second of all, everything is attacked by wingnuts, so it is up to the opposition to defend or repair what they attack.

          This is politics, not science, and politics can even make scientific fact refutable.

          •  Point Is, This Is Not A Damaged Brand (none)
            Dave Forman, one of the top guys and arguably the founder of Earth First!, was a logger.
            And he speaks to the fact that other loggers tell him they would side with him, but for their livlihoods.
            That's the kind of person who is a serious, dedicated conservationist, more often than the latte sippers of myth.

            Stop buying the stupid myths and reacting to them.

            Instead, find the strong truths that can really turn the tides.

            •  The sad "strong truth". (4.00)
               The term enviromentalist is damaged. It has been successfully redefined by the right as a dread-locked, hacky sack playing moon beam. Sorry, that is the truth. I live in the west, Utah. The majority of our state is federal land. BLM, National Forest, National Parks, abound. I take my name from my favorite wild place. When I go to the High Uintas to camp at my favorite lake, I share with all kinds of recreationists. Hunters, fishers like myself, bird watchers  and lets face it, idiots. We probably can't reach the idiots, but we can the rest.

               Hunters have a huge investment in maintaining wild places. Not just so the prey are plentiful, but also they want their outdoor experience to be as pleasurable as you do. They don't want to stalk the wily elk amongst the natural gas wells. They don't want their favorite stream to become private property. Whether I'm talking to a fly-fisher with his REI equipment or a good ol' boy who just rode up on his favorite horse we can reach agreement on keeping it wild. But, it I start with the term "enviromentalist", it's all over.

               Here we have had some major battles over different land parcels. One that stands out is the fight over The San Rafael Swell. It's an unbelievable stretch of wild red rock. Dinosaur remains, petroglyphs and pictographs, even parts of the old Spanish trail. The county that makes up the most of it worked out a land use plan during the Clinton admin. that incorporated all of the various consumptive and non-consumptive uses that had been proposed for it. It wasn't perfect. But, the county was deeply involved and proud of their work on it, and lets face it with hundreds of miles of land they were the ones who would end up enforcing any provisions agreed upon. A local enviro group fought it, hard. They wanted more wilderness, more restricted use. They really were right IMO, but wrong in their methods. They didn't see the end of the Clinton era, or the coming right wing agenda. Now there is no incentive to compromise. Much has been lost.

               We have to forge alliences with those who stand to lose or gain along with us. Next month I will be at my lake. Fishing at 9000 ft. 4 miles from wilderness area. Talking to some good ol' boys. I'm gonna be trash talking the Bushies and pointing out the fact that they want to drill in my mountains. We'll see...

              •  You Can't Blame The Right... (none)
                For that. It's the fault of, to the lesser extent, the dreadlocked hacky sack players. It's primarily the fault of the mature people and the politicians who have shied away from the word.

                "Democracy" used to be a bad word in this country, a bad, avoided word, until President Wilson popularized it and rehabilitated it.

                Funny how popular Wes Clark is around here considering he had the cajones to say he was a proud liberal, to take the word back. I'm sure he must have said he was an environmentalist too at some point.

                •  No, I do blame the right. (none)
                   And, yes the more naive of the enviros have helped it along, but the right have been masterful in their framing of the movement in the west. They have worked to remove any mention of enviromentalism from schools, defined it as a atheistic, secular humanist kind of brain-washing. They work the locals up into a lather over "states rights" and "multiple use" and then disappear in a puff of smoke when the land ends up in private hands and off limits to the very people who were being conned. Then they mention that Clinton got a blow job and all is forgotten.
                   We can reach these people. We can't if we don't change the framing. We need to be pointing fingers, not constantly trying to defend ourselves.
                  •  I Agree (none)
                    With the thrust that it is up to local politicians (and in small population states governorships are fairly local)... That it is up to them to articulate their message. And I agree strongly with the western strategy.
            •  Yes, it is a damaged brand (none)
              If you ask somebody what they think of when you say enviromentalist, they think of a vegatarian tree hugging hippie who thinks all progress and industry is bad.  Militant enviromental groups like Greenpeace and ELF are what people think of.  And they are right, to a certain degree-there needs to be a balance, and some enviromental groups (the ones that get the most press) go way too far.
              •  Greenpeace Is NOT Militant (none)
                And it's quite popular.
                Sea Shepherd is the militant splinter of Greenpeace.
                You people are so clueless, why don't you educate yourselves?

                I framed houses, built rockwalls, tended horses, on and on with anti-environmentalists for years. I know all about them and what language gets through to them. They don't respond well to people who can't stand up to what they believe in. Stand up to them like you've got some goddamned gonads, and they side with you. They side with strength.

            •  Do you even listen to the point you are arguing (none)
              against? Do you know that brand name products and generic products are the same quality, but the brand name has better press and recoginition, thus resulting in a false perception of superiority of the brand name over the generic product?

              Look you want to be in denial on this issue go right ahead. But the fact is anti-environmental intersts are winning the PR war and they do not care if people think their evil but aren't successfully motivated enough to stop them. That is all they have to do to win.

        •  No. (none)
          He was saying the word "environmentalism" was damaged. He was not disparaging the effort to protect our planet and its species.

          "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

          by nuttymango on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:47:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Word Is Just Catching On (none)
            Because more and more people are getting it.
            Seeing Global Warming and Ozone Depletion and air quality (lack), and sprawl, impact their lives. Realizing environmentalism was right all along.

            This is just like so many Democrats reinforcing their support of Bush's war just as the dam is breaking and public support for it evaporates.

            Even Republicans have to run on green-friendly issues in much of the country, Bush is the exception!
            And all of this "let's cozy to hunters" stuff already exists! It's already the case nationwide and has long been a bedrock of conservation, even in medieval Europe where it was the only kind of conservation (that and leaving a few tall trees for emergency navy building).

            What I object to is disowning what works, and is working more every day.
            And moreover, what is RIGHT.

            It is important to be right even at the expense of public opinion of the moment.
            But it is even more important to be right, to remain right, when the wind is blowing favorably for that.
            Which it is.

            •  If the word is "just catching on" (none)
              then this is a good time to change that word from "evironmentalism" to "conservation." That's Kos' point which I still don't think you're getting.

              "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

              by nuttymango on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:08:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nope. (none)
                The ecology in this country is so reduced it is important not just to conserve, but to return land to nature. To plant new trees, and not for farming (tree farms are ecological disasters), turn unused parking lots into parks.

                Conservation also assumes the status quo of air and water pollution is acceptable; it's not.

                •  yes of course (none)
                  this argument is not about what policies the democratic party should pursue, but about how they should sell them to the electorate.  of course dems will work for cleaner air, water and more land for wildlife.  

                  in many parts of the country, people associate environmentalism with jobs going away.  the 2000 election was decided by this in west virginia where the republicans have used the issue to kill democrats.  

                  i'm not sure i totally agree with kos, but this is an important discussion about branding.

                  "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

                  by tmendoza on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:36:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I knew an environmentalist once (none)
                  He was a big time member of the Siera Club.  He advocated closing National Parks to everyone except backpackers.  Claimed we needed to "return land to nature."

                  Any guesses as to what his favorite hobby might bave been.

                  Never forget that we humans are part of "nature."

              •  Actually (none)
                Actually changing environmentalism to "preservation" would be even better. Preservation is a more "positive/active" word than conservation.

                Just because you can doesn't mean you should!

                by taonow on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:21:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I wish (4.00)
              I agreed with you on that.

              Look, I see your point, and kos wasn't very careful with the way he phrased this particular thing. I just disagree with you that it's worth the argument over whether the image/brand of "environmentalists" should be called damaged.

              You say it's working more and more, and outside of my (to stick with vast stereotyping for a moment) Hippy-Organic-Buying-Vegan-Green friends, I just have to disagree with you there. Now, I often agree with those friends, mind you, but we have to present environmental concerns in a way that people who don't shop the local natural foods co-op can understand and identify with, too. And I grew up in enough of a farmtown to agree with kos that if you get out there to the exurbs and especially the rural areas, "environmentalist" immediately becomes "enviroloon that wants to destroy your livelihood for some weird endangered slime mold". Is that a fair assessment? No. But you don't combat that by saying "nuh-uh!", you combat that by speaking to their environmental concerns... and they do have them.

              Note that nowhere here am I saying we should disown the folks who sat in old growth trees for days or weeks on end just because their image is harder to handle. But that's not the only thing environmentalism is about by a long shot, and we've got to start presenting more of its facets. Because you're right, but kos is right, too... environmentalism has become about a select few controversial couple of issues in the mind of the public.

              We are right, and the old-school environmentalists that I count myself among are right... but your opinion that "more and more people are getting it" is just something I disagree with. Because I often go out into the burbs or back to my farm hometown,  and believe me, we're not making much progress out there in the world outside the Co-op, or what have you.

              •  New Hampshire And Maine (none)
                They decided to side with the "Hacky sacking latte sipping volvo drivers."

                Why? Because they didn't want to live behind a parking lot, and to some extent didn't want to have nothing to shoot at but litter and sprawl delinquents.

                And who had an alternative? Environmentalism.

        •  He's not talking about tossing anything! (none)
          He's saying the WORD environmentalism is damaged goods.  Not the concept.
          He uses "tree huggers" as an example of how the right wing has sullied the word by associating it with negative stereotypes.  He's not saying that tree huggers are the problem.

          So, if people are not listening to the words we are using, let's find new words.  People who won't listen to an "environmentalist" might listen to a "conservationist".

          It's not about ditching the environment.  It's about finding a way to communicate effectively, so that we can include everyone who cares about conserving the wild lands of the world.

          I pledge allegiance to the dollar of the United States of America, and to the corporations for which it stands, one consumer, under debt, invisible...

          by super ju on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:47:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  People Are Listening (none)
            You folks are just clueless about this issue.
            Look at the states of Maine and New Hampshire, voting Kerry. That didn't have to happen. Environmentalism catching on, among hunters for one thing, had a lot to do with that.
            •   "us folks" are trying to keep... (4.00)
              ...the ball rolling.

              Environmentalism has caught on, but has stagnated over the past 5 or 10 years.

              Yes, now the majority of people see the need for clean air, water, land, ect.  They believe that global warming is real.

              Yes, most people want to recycle.  Most people want to do what they can to keep our earth healthy. Most people like trees and rainforests and eagles and dolphins.

              Environmentalism has taken root. But now it is stalled.  People don't know what to do next.  I recycle - now what?  How do I, a single little person in a big world, keep corporations from dumping shit all over?

              Conservation is a verb.  It implies action - you can actively work to conserve  - it starts an engine.  Environmentalism is a stance. It is a perspective. First we had to plant the enviromental seed in people's mind.  Get them thinking about nature.  Get them thinking about where that trash winds up.  OK. We've been pretty good about that.  But we need to keep pushing ahead.

              Conservation is what's next.

              Don't be so hasty to call people clueless, just because they use different words from you.  That's what gets "us liberals" into hot water all the time.

              I pledge allegiance to the dollar of the United States of America, and to the corporations for which it stands, one consumer, under debt, invisible...

              by super ju on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:31:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Again (none)
              we disagree. I really, really don't think Maine and New Hampshire voting for Kerry can be boiled down much to environmental concerns, though also keep in mind that in both states and in most of New England, in fact, people are a lot more "conservationist" or "environmentalist" or whatever than they are, say, where I'm sitting in the central valley of California.

              Look, we can argue this all day because I don't think either of us have data to show. Anecdotally, and I know more than a few farmers, ranchers, and hunters, I just see no even tiny sign that environmentalism is "catching on", except when it is presented to them as something not different from the "tree huggers", but much, much broader. Which, of course, it is.

              •  I'm Getting That From (none)
                A New England native who closely followed that development and described it to me at great length, not just from local news reports, letters to the editor, and hearsay, but from personal anecdotal involvement.
                •  I'm (none)
                  no stranger to New England politics, or even Maine politics more specifically.

                  As I said, we're both working on anecdote. The plural of which is not data.

                  I agree with you that most of New England is headed in a decidedly more (small-g) green direction than the past. The rest of the country, I don't think I'd say that at all. And as for saying that it was the or even a major dynamic in Kerry winning Maine and New Hampshire... I just don't buy it, sorry. Your friend is a New Englander (state? they're pretty different, you know), but so are more than a few of my friends and family members -- Mainers, in fact. New England by and large hates Bush, and the new Patriot Act Republicanism is antithetical to most old school New England conservatives. New England in general is trending left in all sorts of ways, but that's a much more complicated thing than can be pinned to any one or couple of factors.

        •  "evironmentalism" marketing sucks (none)
          politics is marketing, IF you want to win, and IF you want to make the policies, THEN you have to win.

          Sell outs like clinton and kerry ditched language AND policies.  Clinton left no legacy for progressives to build on, and electable kerry got his ass kicked.

          I think you really missed kos' point. it is the marketing that sucks, NOT the ideas, not the policies.


          •  Marketing Includes (none)
            Having something in your box.
            The most attractive, best-sold box is not enough to earn a vote. Not twice.
            Substance is what matters.
            If you are trying to sell people environmentalism as hunting priveleges only, rather than making common cause which is fine, they will know you are a BSer.

            People in Vermont's very redneck (yes, I said redneck VT and if you don't know what I mean I can't convince you) vote for environmentalist and all-around lefty Bernie Sanders, because he serves them on financial matters. They don't agree with him on environmentalism, but some of his voters do. Those that don't respect that he has a clear and strong position and can vote for such a man even if they disagree (and they do on gay rights too).

            •  That's exactly the point to me (none)
              we have the substance. We're right. But we have a pretty unappealing box to a great many people. None of this is about changing the contents of the box, it's about handling the presentation in a way that those redneck vermonters and even my redneck californians (far redneckier than the vermonters, BTW) can identify with and better understand the contents. Because what they think we're about isn't really what we're about, and if we present the arguments in a way that doesn't feed immediately into the caricatures of us they've been fed, reality is that many, many of them would be shocked to find that they actually agree.

              One step in that, IMO, is to stop caricaturing them, too, and begin to work with the syntheses, the places where all of our concerns overlap in clear ways. Hunters and fishermen/women are easy; it gets harder when you start talking ranchers and farmers. But we've got to get there, because they essentially tend to agree with us on a lot of issues.

              And I'm also not saying we should disown the hacky-sack hippy folks, either. They're an important facet of our environmental movement. But there are other facets we need to develop, too. And in New England especially, where hunting is everywhere if you step outside the cities, a pro-environment hunting ethic no matter what we call it is both relatively simple to craft (it's happening already in some places) and necessary if we want to build a stronger environmental awareness.

              •  OK. BUT... (none)
                Here I am in NYC and I just passed some squeaky clean college girls in blue polo shirts emblazoned Environmental Action. They are out collecting names to get monthly dues; and they still have Kerry stickers on the backs of their clipboards.

                They are turning no one here off.
                If they were out there advertising Hunting Action, what would their support be?
                Pretty low. Hostile even. And not just from hacky sackers but a few suits.

                There is an environmental voting demographic that needs to hear its familiar talking points, that needs to be called by name.
                Otherwise they are not going to answer.
                Not with dollars, not with political support.

                Consider that on practically every other issue, the straight white middle class person could decide Republicans would serve them better. In New York, state and city Republicans win by including environmentalism on their platform.

                If the Dems lose that, they lose big.

                •  Yeah, but... (none)
                  ...NYC is very blue and very urban.

                  We are talking about winning Montana, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, and maybe a couple southern or plains states.  We are not talking about winning New York City-we don't have problems in New York City.

                  •  Tell That To The Mayor... (none)
                    ...And the mayor before him. Fella by the name of Rudy Giuliani. It's not as blue as you might think. In all this red/blue baloney, we are making the standard mistake of democracy and thinking a few percentage points is decisive. It is in the polls, but not in the reality of political life.

                    There are plenty of plain old love-trees environmentalists everywhere you go in this country. People just have different regional language and priorities.

                    •  Yes (none)
                      and what we're talking about is having language in our movement that understands the differences regionally.

                      I'm not suggesting that we should suddenly become The Party Of Hunting. What I'm saying, and what I think kos is saying, is that there are many, many places where hunters are naturally involved in environmental issues. Discussing what it would take to have responsible environmentally-aware hunting, and to simultaneously really make the case to those hunters who are responsible that they are not naturally at odds with the environmental movement, is not the same thing as saying "we're the party of people blowing away endangered species and running their ATVs all over underbrush".

                      The huntery folks are reacting to a caricature of environmentalists and many environmentalists are reacting to a caricature of hunters.

                      Those NYC folks with the clipboards are great, and I'm glad they're involved. But they are not, by themselves, The Movement. And we're not primarily talking about NYC. We're talking about the people who tend to be most directly and immediately affected in environmental legislation; hunters, farmers, ranchers. People out west, people near BLM lands, so forth. If the environmentalist movement is going to be successful, we need to be able to talk honestly with these people and present issues in a way that speaks to them as well as the NYC clipboard weilders.

                      I agree with you about the red/blue crap, but we very definitely have a rural/urban divide that we've got to figure out how to deal with especially in the case of environmental concerns that impact rural people disproportionately. I'm not talking here about "winning for the Democratic party", I'm talking about building a long-term environmental movement that works without alienating huge swaths of people. Again, we're right on the issues. But rather than berate those who disagree, we need to make our case to them. And if environmentalists in NYC don't understand that, then they're shooting themselves in the foot. There is a way to do this synthesis without changing the core (or even the details, usually) of what we're fighting for, but it's going to take a lot more open dialogue with actual rural people.

                      Otherwise, what we've got are a lot of people mostly in cities that really fight hard for environmental protection, and a lot of people in the country who see environmentalists as outsiders telling them what they can and cannot do without talking to them about it first. That cannot work, and I'm not sure how to convince you of that if you don't see it.

                      •  I Grew Up On Long Island (none)
                        Sixty miles from the island of Manhattan, we had lots and lots and lots of hunting. Duck hunting, deerhunting, fishing. Bowhunting, everything but trapping. And while I never did, people in my family hunted. I also lived on a farm much of that time. We had more guns there than you'd credit; bows, knives, swords. Nunchaku. Junk cars. I'm telling you, I know rural issues. There were even people down the road with a confederate flag in the back of their pickup truck.

                        Anyhow, there is a lot of undeveloped space still on Long Island and hunting issues have played some part in that being the case. The wetlands/ducks situation is changing though as clay tennis courts replace duck blinds.

                        •  Way out west. (none)
                          Long Island isn't Montana.

                          Though some of the issues are the same.

                          In the rural West 'environmentalist' is a dirty word dispite the fact that people in general are very concerned with environmental issues.

                          Out here you really do have to talk about envionmental issues in a way that doesn't immediately bring up the anti-"vegan treehugger" shields.

                          Unfortunately this is something that even people in Seattle, Eugene, or Boulder seem to have a hard time understanding dispite not being that far away from rural areas where environmentalists have been demonized.

        •  The word, not the philsophy! (none)
          And Kos is completely correct.  Remember back in the early 1990s when what I call "Eco-chic" was all the rage? All those brainless actors lecturing folks about Earth Day while they drove SUVs and flew in private jets. And then there was Ted Turner pushing it on CNN and in TIME magazine.  It all seemed so um well "fashionable" but at the same time wholely insincere and fleeting.  That's what folks think of when they hear the word.

          For all the cheerleading done by Hollywood, we live in the real world where our goals should be realistic and do able and far more than some ABC special with Leonardo DiCaprio.

          What we needed was more emphasis on:

          1)The real world consequences of our lack of an energy policy since the Carter administration (Bill Mahr's when you ride alone you ride with Osama)

          1. Why saving wetlands is a good thing for your local economy

          2. It isn't jobs versus endangered species -- we should have pushed for more aid to repair states damanged by overforesting and strip mining along with a push to save the spotted owl.

          Al Gore was a great thinker on these issues one reason why he was so attacked on these issues. Hopefully someone will be able to pick up where he left off someday.
          •  Al Gore.... (none)
            ...And I love him for other reasons...
            Is no environmentalist. His book was ghostwritten. And when the chips were down with Occidental Petroleum doing the exact things his book rails against, he didn't say boo. He kept quiet about most eco issues under Clinton and didn't run on these, and hasn't addressed them much under Bush.
        •  Fact is (none)
          The very term 'environmentalism' is toxic to a lot of rural western voters who actually agree with the Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Conservancy, Public Interest Research Group, Sierra Club, and Wilderness Society on a majority of issues.

          They are very concerned about toxic waste from mining and oil and gas drilling, clean water, sprawl, habitat destruction, overdevelopment, etc.

    •  I think you misunderstand (4.00)
      He wasn't slamming environmentalists (i.e. tree huggers) or minimizing the need to protect endangered species (i.e. spotted owls). He simply made the correct observation that this is how "environmentalism" has been branded by the Reublicans and is used by them to mock and undercut the values of environmentalism.

      I took from his discussion not that he thinks the values or policies should change, but that the PR emphasis (how those values and policies are presented and sold to the public) should shift to "conservation" in an effort to peel off the hunter/outdoorsman crowd and get this bloc of erstwhile Republicans to back the underlying values and policies and start voting Democratic on the basis of issues that are important to them.

    •  Some People Think The Earth (2.66)
      Is just a giant Happy Meal given to them by God Awmighty. If you take this "nature is a playground" position you are agreeing in general, but merely protesting that those consuming and discarding it should not make too much of a mess or waste too much of it. It's still a despicable position. And there are plenty of Republicans who agree with what I have just said, by the way.

      A real commitment to ecology from the Clinton White House might have seen those sentiments fully awakened. Leadership in that area would plant the seed of non-consumerist respect for nature. But obviously some people don't care. To them the "material world" is just a source of big macs and gasoline.

      •  hunters and anglers would disagree (none)
        the way these people "play" in the wilderness is perfectly reasonable as long as they play by the rules (and the hunter groups like trout unlimited and ducks unlimited make sure to emphasize these rules, and do good work to restore damaged environments).  It's fundamentally different than the way loggers, miners and oilmen "play" on our national land.
        •  You Don't Know... (none)
          What you are talking about.

          Really, you don't. Learn what single stroke boat engines do to air and water. Learn how important undergrowth is. Learn how shooting trophy bucks effects a gene pool. Learn how important natural predators are. Learn how damaging cattle grazing is.

          •  excuse me? (none)
            Single stroke boat engines discharge gas directly into the water, and its exhaust has much higher CO levels than 4-cycle motors.  That's why states like NY are mandating boat motors to be 4-cycle.

            Undergrowth retains water, preventing erosion and recharging groundwater levels.

            Natural predators are nearly extinct thanks to us, but the vast majority of people do not want to see wolves re-introduced into suburbia to take care of their deer overpopulation problems.

            I can go on proving my conservationist bona fides, but I hope you can see that I have them.

            I don't see how any of these issues prevent the democratic party from reaching out to hunters and bringing them into the fold.  They're all issues that we can work on together.  The alternative is that they go to the other side, and then we're really fucked (like we are now).

            •  Right. But... (none)
              Don't toss out the people already in your camp by failing to talk the way they like and need to be talked to.
            •  Sorry, New Direction, but (none)
              you seem to be just getting up to speed on the new direction the environmental movement has already taken.

              I suspect you don't deal much with the big national conservation organizations, because every one of them has made outreach to hunters and anglers a top priority as the overlap of concern about issues is substantial.

              You need to spend some time outside of NYC and realize that, in Amurka, people DO care about the land, they DO care about the air and water, but just not for the reasons you'd like them to.

              Sorry to rain on your parade, but seems you're a bit late to the party here.

          •  Okay (none)
            now you're just getting pissed and rude.

            I do know what I'm talking about. Probably, so do a great many folks here that disagree with you.

            Natural predators are important. We shot most of them a long time ago, and now we have overpopulation problems. You want to talk about effects on a gene pool? Lets talk overpopulation and bottlenecking. Which would also effect the rest of the system, not just the damned deer.

            Undergrowth? Yeah, super important. That's why nobody's talking about Hunters Running Amok Destroying Things. As with all activities, there are ways to be responsible, and ways not to be. Single stroke engines? Yeah, gross. Lots of people fish without those, dude.

            Cattle grazing can be a huge problem, but has nothing to do with the topic at hand, really.

            I know we disagree, and that's fine. But don't run around declaring that people who disagree with you just don't know about these issues. That's not fair, and it's not true, either.

            •  Well I Was Definitely... (none)
              Extrapolating a general impression to include you, because your post did nothing to disprove that impression.

              Look, we basically agree. But selling environmentalism to environmentalists nationwide as hunting, is not gonna work. And that's what we are talking about here. Because local and state Dems already ignore (Byrd) or reword environmental issues as they see fit.

              •  asdf (none)
                I'm sorry, next time I'll write my Great Enviro Dissertation. Or maybe not, because it's frankly a moot point. I'll avoid the temptation for great snark, because there's plenty of it in this thread already, and it's counterproductive.

                Nobody is making this about selling hunting to environmentalists except for you. What the rest of us have been talking about is getting hunters to understand that they should be environmentalists, not the other way around.

                But in order to make that case well, we're going to have to be able to get around the tree-hugging hippie caricature. That's not about disowning actual tree-hugging hippies, many of whom I know and love. It's about stepping back for a minute and coming at the hunter/rural/whatever guys from a different direction, with different language and so forth... all of which means the same thing but is not associated with a caricature they've been fed quite successfully for the past 30 years, one that makes them tune us out before we even get the chance to present our case.

    •  it's about rhetoric (4.00)
       It's not about the reality of who environmentalists are and what they do, it's about the perception and the effectiveness of rhetoric which marginalizes them and what they do. "Conservation" is environmentalism, but the connotation is more palatable to more people. Your "Average Joe" who enjoys a nice hike in the woods every once in awhile can get behind "conservation" a hell of a lot easier than he can behind "tree huggers".
      •  Caving Weakens Rethoric (none)
        Snide asides at people on your side don't work.
        Far more people have been hurt in abortion-protesting terrorism than in eco-terrorism (which is and extremely disputable designation).
        But you don't see Bush, or any Republican, going around publically disavowing those sentiments.
        Or in their case, even those actions.
        Not publically.

        Kos, you would be okay in my book to complain about tree spiking, or if you must even monkeywrenching.
        But tree "hugging?"
        That earns an upraised middle finger.

        •  You're not getting it. (none)
          See my comment upthread. Kos has a beef with language not with the act of conservation. He's saying "conservation" is a better word than "environmentalism" and conservationists must count hunters amoung them if they wish to succeed.

          "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

          by nuttymango on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:51:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's Caving (none)
            You aren't getting it.
            "Environmentalism" is making more and more headway and is more and more being shown to have been in the right all along.

            You can lose the stuff that's not working but that does not include the word environmentalism.

          •  Won't get it (none)
            Jeez, no wonder people don't like environmentalists. If this is typical, they are very hard to talk with. This is becoming a tedious pain.

            Maybe the problem is an inability to think abstractly. Or to consider you may be mistaken. I don't know, it sure drags on.

            In Your Face From Outer Space

            by mike101 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:36:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, Abstract Thinking (none)
              Is a forte of mine; and I'm often complimented on it.

              If everything were as simple as being right, and selling things the right way, we'd have few troubles. But we do.

              And what are critics point out, and what we ourselves complain about in the Democratic Party, is the problem. Failure to stand on principle. Failure to push against a prevailing wind which is in the wrong.

    •  And sometimes he's right (none)
      I'm sorry, but as a Humboldt county native, I can tell you a million things that are wrong with that statement.  Northern California is an extremely liberal area of the country, but "tree-huggers" did the environmental movement no favors by the way they acted in that little altercation.  I'm all in favor of trying to save an ecosystem that dates back to the Jurassic, but all too many of the people who came from out of the area just to wreak havok didn't help matters.  Too many of those who "risked their lives" were also risking of the lives of people who were just trying to do their job.
    •  Yeah but not this time. (none)
      This is "old thinking."
      It loses elections.

      Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

      by Cheez Whiz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:47:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes we don't see what we're reading (none)
      Kos is merely saying that when you allow your neighbor to paint your fence yellow for you, you can't try to argue your way into changing the color.

      You have to build a new fence, and paint it yourself.

      •  What Are You Talking About (none)
        I definitely don't see what I'm reading here?
        Fences? Yellow? Paint? What?

        The environmental movement has been growing, and changing minds, since Rachel Carson. It makes Democrats. Nobody is going to suddenly be a Democrat because the national party loses that.

  •  Common sense (4.00)
    Essentially it's a common sense alliance - where are hunters going to hunt if forests are cut down for more suburbs?  Where are fishermen going to fish if all the rivers are polluted?  Dems should channel TR on this one.
    •  It's not just (none)
      the sport fishermen who are affected.

      Here in Rhode Island there's an alliance of sorts between Save the Bay and the commercial fishermen, since a lot of the local commercials are after quahogs (the local clam) and lobster. An environmentally healthy Narragansett Bay (and it isn't there yet, but it's getting better) is those guy's life's blood.

      •  Going after Quahog?!? (none)
        They tried to shut down Family Guy once and it didn't work, let 'em try again!

        Funny story - I recently was behind someone at one of those roadside restaurants where you buy the food at a counter and then eat at a picnic table... the woman ahead of me ordered "kway-hog" clams and was made fun of by her friends for at least 15 minutes.

  •  This alliance (none)
    Has been brewing since the late 1990's. Good to see its finally starting to take hold.
    •  Actually... (4.00)
      the original environmental movement in America was an alliance between Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, which led to the creation of our national park system at the beginning of the 20th century (if I remember correctly).  
      •  Yup! (4.00)
        Teddy Roosevelt, hunter of many beasties great and small, was the pioneer conservationist in modern america.

        I work next door to the Natural History Museum in NY(or as I like to call it "Museum of Animals shot by Teddy Roosevelt" ).

        Although I wouldn't shoot stuff like he did, he was a great conservationist for his time, and we wouldn't have the wonderful national parks system without him.

        I pledge allegiance to the dollar of the United States of America, and to the corporations for which it stands, one consumer, under debt, invisible...

        by super ju on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:41:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ditto, an old alliance (4.00)

        Groups like Ducks Unlimited or Trout Unlimited have been around for many decades, consisting of hunters and fishers who like having unspoiled places left to visit, and game animals still around.

        During Oregon's "green revolution" in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was significant support from rural areas, as then gov Tom McCall pitched many of his initiatives as protecting farm and recreation land from development, or making rivers clean enough for fish to live in.  Both loggers and Portlanders could agree that protecting land from California real estate developers was a good thing.  

        It isn't so much that this is a new alliance, but that there was a split in the 1970s.  Both sides deserve blame.  Those on the liberal side went too far in pushing that only "their" forms of recreation were legitmate, and coming across as anti-hunting, anti-guns, anti-fishing, anti-meat, etc.  I'll grant that I'd love to keep ATVs out of most public lands, but if allowing some dune buggies helps keep the rural vote against wholesale gutting of environmental laws, I could live with that tradeoff.  

        •  Yes, Ducks Unlimited (none)
          was instrumental, IIRC, in getting intermittent wetlands like the prairie potholes protected under the wetlands laws.

          The best story about TR is the one about the time he refused to shoot a bear that had been captured and tethered so he could shoot it. He believed in a "sporting chance" and a clean kill.

      •  While it may have distinguished roots (none)
        This alliance has been effectively dormant for some time. The factions started to reconnect in the late 1990's.
      •  It's important to remember; however, (4.00)
        that Roosevelt eventually abandoned the philosphy of Muir in favor of the philosphy of Gifford Pinchot, thus setting the overall philosophy of the federal government for the next seventy years. Muir's was a preservationist's philosophy, one that held that there were places on the earth that were worthy of being preserved for present and future generations as they were, regardless of whether they could be used for the "benefit" of man.

        Pinchot's philosophy, conservation, held that all wild places should be used for the benefit of man (meaning resource extraction), and if they were not, then this was wasteful. Conservation held that lands should not be used past the point of regeneration, but the idea of preservation was odious to Pinchot.

        This is the danger of reviving the use of the term conservation, because it's bottom line principle is that nature is here soley for the purpose of serving man. This philosphy sets the stage for a human-centered view of the environment, which has proven time and again to be extremely detrimental to environment protection.

  •  sea change (none)
    You'll have to have a sea change in Democratic policies about gun control to win over outdoorsmen. Any hunter who is a member of NRA is exposed to an awful lot of anti-Democratic propaganda.
    •  This is where.... (4.00)
      ....people like Howard Dean and, in particular, Brian Schweitzer come in.
    •  Dean's (4.00)
      stance on gun control is the correct one for Dems to take: it shouldn't be a federal issue, leave it up to the states. Owning guns in New York is alot different than owning guns in Montana.
      •  agreed. this is an urban/rural question (none)
        not a left/right one. when canada was introducing a national firearms registry (on a free vote, if memory serves), some members of the (social democratic) new democratic party who represented rural constituencies voted against it because of opposition from their constituents.

        "All institutions have in the long run to live by the nature of things, and not by childish pretendings." - George Bernard Shaw

        by gracchus on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:49:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I also agree (none)
          In Northern MN, we are brought up with little else to do.  Outdoor sporting organizations and ATV clubs are the only groups working to clean up the environment.   Environmentalists have a bad name because they target the wrong goals.  They pass legislation restricting people from doing things outdoors, but the ATV and snomobile clubs are the ones out cleaning the trails that people are going to use and litter whether legal or not.  The sports clubs are the most active in preserving our game habitat.  While environmentalists up here target little but the sports enthusiasts.  We have massive corporate polluters and the top of their agenda is gas efficient(compared to other modes of transport) ATV?

          As for gun control, I think letting the state handle that is the most appropriate.  I have seen a friend shoot himself in the head with a family "protection" gun.  I drove him to the hospital.  So I know as well as anyone how stupid, irresponsible, and insecure gun owners can be.  That is a problem.  But that problem is small in comparison to the idea of removing constituional rights.

          I believe if we want equal rights for homosexuals and minorities, and we value the right to privacy, we are being hypocritical in wanting to take away constitutional rights of one group while trying to get them to quit taking ours away.  The Bill of Rights is what entitles us to privacy and equality for all.  That same document entitles people to own guns.  I say it should be left alone to preserve the integrity of that document.

          I know many disagree on that point, but if we want power to an environmental, privacy, and equality agenda, we must quit trying to chip away rights that are important to others.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Closet VB Coder on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:11:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We need national gun laws (4.00)
        Like it or not, people buy guns in places like Georgia and South Carolina, then drive them to New York and DC where they can be used to commit crimes. We need some laws which will deal with both Montana and New York. I think it is possible if sold correctly but no one has had the desire to find the middle ground on this issue.

        Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

        by corwin on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:00:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the difference (4.00)
          Well, the Lakophilles here on Kos are saying the Dems need to first point out that the problems facing rural Montana are NOT the same as the problems facing LA or NYC.  According to Lakoff, all gun safety policies should flow from that recognition.  

          That said, a state can act here too--like increase penalties for buying a gun in one state and selling it in another.  

          Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

          by markymarx on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:08:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Watch Bowling for Columbine (4.00)
          Michael Moore skillfully dismantles the "connection" between the availability of guns and crime.  He doesn't offer solutions, but he does point out that the generic liberal answer of gun control doesn't work. And tightening it won't work.

          Or read "Freakonomics", which points out that swimming pools kill many times more children than guns in the home, to wreck another straw man.

          "There's nothing like poverty to get you into Heaven"
          -Patty Griffin, "Poor Man's House"

          by Leggy Starlitz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:13:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  swimming pool control!!!! (none)
            Or is it swimming pool safety?  

            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

            by markymarx on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:27:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I knew that was going to come up (none)
            I'm not so sure how heavily I'd rely on his statistics- he doesn't dig as deeply into that as he does other things (such as the correlation between abortion and crime rates).  First of all, he assumes one gun per household.  Second of all, there are issues of correlation- I'd suspect that households with children in them are more likely to have swimming pools and less likely to have guns than households in general.

            This doesn't qualify as a disproof, just as a suggestion that there may be less to those statistics than meets the eye.

            That being said, gun control issues rank right up there with seat belt laws in importance to me (which is to say, not very important).  This is something I am very willing to lose on to win other, more important, battles.

            "Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." --Mark Twain

            by bhurt on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 06:41:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  We can't have national gun laws (none)
          It is not possible to pass them, because a majority of the public is against them.  This is why the (weak and fairly stupid) assault weapons ban never even came up for a vote for renewal.

          You are absolutely right that local gun laws are pointless, because people can drive to areas that have weaker laws.

          Therefore, we should all be as pro-gun as possible.  Since all we can get is counter-productive local laws, then there is absolutely no point in being anti-gun, because we accoplish nothing, but lose elections because of it.

          WE NEED TO DROP THE ISSUE COMPLETELY!  Not like Dean's views, not like Reid's.  We need to cozy up to the NRA.

          If the population's opinion shifts in the future, we can revisit the issue, maybe.  But right now, there is no practical point in being for an issue that we can't pass laws on and which hurts us in elections.

          •  If that is the case (none)
            Why not go along with whatever the republicans want and hope public opinion turns against them sometime in our lifetimes? We are never going to get the NRA on our side because they are interested in more than guns, even if they don't say so. I bet if you ask them, a fairly large number would say big tax cuts were more important to them than being able to go out and buy 50 Uzis at a time. How you get to national gun laws, I don't know, but we shouldn't abandon the issue. We should try to find a solution that we can all live with.

            Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

            by corwin on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:37:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are three groups that vote for Republicans (none)
              1. Rich, greedy assholes (or people who want to be rich, greedy assholes some day)
              2. Religious right-wing wackadoodles
              3. Gun nuts

              Add the three groups up, and you get > 50% of the voting public.  We need to peel one of them off, or at least get them to not dismiss us out of hand (peel some of one group off, that is).

              Pick one.  I choose #3, because they annoy me the least.

      •  Problem is (none)
        Even in New York or California, there are a lot of rural areas.  Those areas vote Republican partially for these reasons.

        Now, this isn't quite as big a problem as the one we are trying to solve (which is mainly a presidential issue), but still...

    •  "Gun Safety" (4.00)
      instead of "Gun Control".  It gets away from the whole idea of the gov't "controlling you" and focuses on the real issue: Creating a safer society.

      Everyone with sense can get behind "Gun safety".

      I pledge allegiance to the dollar of the United States of America, and to the corporations for which it stands, one consumer, under debt, invisible...

      by super ju on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:49:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This bears repeating. (none)
        Gun safety not gun control. I like Kos' suggestion too: conservation not environmentalism.

        "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

        by nuttymango on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:55:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  sea's changing? (none)
      I listened to the pres. of the NRA on CSPAN basically saying, 'some liberals are sure sounding pro-gun these days, don't be fooled by them.'

      makes me think/hope they're feeling some heat.

      That's not flying, that's falling with style - Woody

      by pvjeff on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  North Woods (4.00)
    The vast northern swath of Wisconsin is also ripe for this type of political strategy.  Hunting in WI is almost as near and dear (or maybe more appropriately, deer) as the Packers and brats.

    This is a section of the country where almost everyone hunts.  if they dont hunt, they snowmobile.  it's the only part of the country that i know of that you can literally go bar hopping on snowmobiles.  in fact, that's the only way to get between a lot of the bars up there.

    traditional environmentalists (including myself) turn our nose to these types of outdoor activities, but the fact remains, snowmobilers and hunters need open land to use, not clear cut forests or polluted lakes and streams.

    The more unhappy you feel, the more likely you are to do something unwise.

    by kweimann on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:32:32 AM PDT

    •  messaging (4.00)
      problem is, as i posted on Sirota's blog, is that the DNC and DCCC and DSCC all focus their attention and press releases on such topics like judges, ANWR, abortion, stem cells, gun control, all catered to blue state coastal urbanites interests/worldview. there is very little appeal in the messages coming out of the national Dem party, particularly with the strong pro-gun control sentiment. while the RNC targets these guys on the guns/states rights, when have i ever received an email from the DNC or any Dem outlet that talks about BLM lands and corporate sellouts of public land use?
  •  Environmentalism has never been a dirty word (3.75)
    Seriously, I don't know where this idea comes from.  Even Wayne Allard has had to pose as an environmentalist to win as a Senator in Colorado.  The only Westerners who think "environmentalism" is a dirty word are hardcore GOP'ers who aren't going to support Dems no matter what.  Even Reagan tried to dress up his proposals as "real environmentalism."
    •  Not the word but the Brand (none)
      Maybe environmentalism isn't bad but some of the branding is in trouble a little in the states.
      •  Agree (none)
        it's not about the word itself, it's about what the word has come to mean to a great many people. What ends up happening is that we sit around arguing over caricatures while most people agree with us on the issues but don't know it. The word itself isn't even the point here, and there are places in the west where environmentalism is a necessary thing for any politician to discuss... but there are also many, many places where it's the great Hunters/Farmers/Ranchers vs. Environmental Hippies caricature war. We're not innocent in that, BTW, and there are many, many hunters and even, yes, ranchers and farmers who basically already agree with us but have been fed nothing but the caricature. To which our stunning response has usually been "nuh-uh!" or a counter-caricature.

        If we get past the caricatures, regardless of who or what they're about, we win. Which would be fucking great, because we're right.

  •  Maybe we'll get James Baker's vote (none)
    U.S. Must Address Global Warming, Bush Ally Says

    March 04, 2005 -- By Reuters

    HOUSTON -- Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, a close ally of the Bush family, broke ranks with the Bush administration Thursday and called for the United States to get serious about global warming.

    Baker, in a speech to an audience that included a number of oil company executives, said "orderly" change to alternative energy was needed.

    "It may surprise you a little bit, but maybe it's because I'm a hunter and a fisherman, but I think we need to a pay a little more attention to what we need to do to protect our environment," he told the Houston Forum Club.

    "When you have energy companies like Shell and British Petroleum, both of which are perhaps represented in this room, saying there is a problem with excess carbon dioxide emission, I think we ought to listen," Baker said.

    Of course, I jest about Baker's vote, but still.

    "I heard Tom DeLay's blood was in the water and the sharks were circling him, but unfortunately, it turned out to be a metaphor"

    by George on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:33:51 AM PDT

  •  A natural alliance, (4.00)
    and keep in mind that people who buy fishing and hunting licenses pay a voluntary tax to fund state conservation programs.  

    They care enough to support the environment by paying more taxes.

    •  Well, is it really voluntary? (none)
      In Florida, you have to buy a license if you want to hunt or fish. No license: no hunting or fishing.

      While I'm sure that there are those, like myself, who don't mind paying the fee, as it goes to protecting the resource, there are many others who would jump at the chance to avoid paying the fee, and who curse "the government" for impinging on their "right" to hunt and fish in any manner they please.  

      •  Oh yeah.... (none)
        I forgot about them.  True.  

        Still, no one really wants to be a poacher, and while some may chafe, I hope a good number of them know where that money is  going, and why they pay it.

        But you're right, it might not be voluntary, just an additional tax paid by people who fish, hunt and obey the law.

  •  Urban vs Rural Environmentalists (4.00)
    Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures.

    I'll second this notion, although I'd hazard to say that it's less of a hunting thing and more of a rural vs. urban thing.  Rural people have a completely different relationship with animals than urban people do and I think that that we can good inroads with rural voters if we concentrate less on preserving cute fuzzy things that look like Fido and more on being good stewards of the land.
    •  I disagree (4.00)
      I don't believe most environmentalists uniquely care about the killing of "furry creatures" or charismatic species.  Destruction of habitat, yes.   Killing of creatures?   Personal preference.  

      It's not true that most environmentalists are vegetarians, or even that most vegetarians are don't eat meat for moral reasons.   I think it's true that many self-identified environmentalists have never and would never pick up a gun (or a bow and arrow or even a fishing rod) for the express purpose of hunting, recreationally or otherwise.   I disagree with the notion that most of those enviros would begrudge the right for hunters to do the same.


      •  I'd agree with that. (none)
        We need to seperate animal rights from environmentalism.  They're completely seperate things and are even at odds with each other sometimes.

        If we do this, it should make rural voters more sympathetic to us since environmentalism is something rural voters can get behind.  Animal rights?  Not so much.

        •  Animal rights (none)
          gets really dicey when you champion the "rights" of the prey animal vis-a-vis the predator. Some of those PETA types would be horrified to watch a wolf-pack take down a moose, I'm sure.
        •  We need to lose "environmentalism". (none)
          You want to change the envfironmental movement from being as perceived as hippy tree-huggers, to concerned citizens who care about their land? Reframe the wording.

          Environtmentalism is replaced with "Heritage Protection."

          Environmentalist is replaced with "Heritage Protector."

          Average Joe needs to be reminded that the wilderness is his/her legacy, their natural heritage to be given to their children when they pass away. "The environment" doesn't pass that message to them, but "natural heritage" sure as heck does.

          •  Hmm... (none)
            I don't know that it's as tainted as you say, but if we're changing our frame, I'd go with "being Good Stewards of the land".  It's a frame that already exists and, in my mind at least, brings a Park Ranger (good) to mind rather than hippies(bad).  
            •  Replacing one word with six... (none)
     not reframing. It's editorializing.
              •  but replacing one word with two? (none)
                is better?  I'm not sure I understand the point.  We're really just arguing semantics here.  I'm not sure I like heritage, though.  It's a little confusing since it's already used when we talk about preserving cultural heritage.  You'd have to eventually change it to "environmental heritage" to get people to know what you're talking about, which sort of defeats the point of trying to get rid of "environmentalism".
                •  Yes. Two words is fine. (none)
                  Semantics is what we're talking about.

                  A bill that says let's cut down more forests is called the "Healthy Forests Initiative." Another to put more Mercury in the sky is called Clear Skies Initivative. And we all know what "No Child Left Behind" does to kid's behinds.

                  Reframing is the art of taking one phrase that has been soiled and turning it into one that can't be. The "act for killing our privacy and making us all suspects" is the Patriot Act, for example.

                  So if "enviromentalism" is considered to be stained, at least by those on the right who translate it to mean "tree-hugger", we change it to "Heritage Protection" so they can't make it a negative.

                  "Why, those damn liberals want to protect our heritage!" - doesn't really work for the other side, does it?

          •  Heritage Protector? (none)
            Sounds like a condom.
      •  Several years ago the (none)
        Audubon Society proposed poisoning gulls to help the endangered Puffins nesting off of the Maine coast.  The gull population had exploded because of human land use changes (mostly garbage dumps as habitat for food and nesting).

        The Audubon Society is considered by most an environmental organization.  The animal rights folks went nuts over this proposal.  Well reasoned environmentalists realised that we had perturbed the sytstem and it was our responsibility to fix it.

        This "tree hugger" label is a label invented by the right wing and has nothing to do with how the majority of environmentalists carry out their work.

        I agree Environmentalism not= Animal Rights.

        We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

        by petewsh61 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:15:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Canadian Geese (none)
          We had a similar problem in Seattle with Canadian Geese.  We have all sorts of nice lakes and ponds that the geese love to stay in, but unfortunately they were doing a little too well and were poisoning  the water with their droppings and so the city was going to poison a certain number of them, but the local animal rights folks went a little nuts over the plan.
          •  And the Arctic Goose (none)
            We have a hell of a problem in the Canadian Arctic with them.  The problem is due to a change in farming practices in the US.

            Brief explanation: it used to be that farmers, at the end of the season, would plow the fields after harvest and before winter.  That's mostly stopped because it's recognized that the roots and stubble help keep the soil in place so it doesn't blow or erode away.  They now do it in the spring before planting.

            The geese, who migrate south for the winter, thus have this massive buffet readily available.  Their numbers have exploded.  They are a real danger to our environment because, unlike most animals, they'll actually pull out the roots of the sedge they're eating, and too many of them will strip tundra bare.  This causes problems for the other herbivores that stay up here all year, like muskox and caribou.  And, eventually, it will cause problems for the geese themselves.

            A few years back it was estimated that we would have to kill 1.5 to 2 million of them just to maintain some control over their population.

    •  Environmentalists could learn some lessons... (none)
      Especially about opposition to hunting.  Here in the Washington Metropolitan area, we're having a real problem with deer overpopulation (as much of the country is).  Deer have few predators left other than humans, and while hunters certainly aren't humanitarians, dying by a bullet is a lot less painful then dying of starvation.  Controlled hunting, like the clearing of old brush from a forest, is an important conservation step we should support.
      Not a hunter, but I like to see gray in just about everything.

      "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" ~The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by jjhare on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  us master gardeners call deer (none)
        "rats with antlers"  (just a joke, bambi.)
      •  Yes. (none)
        I am pretty much a tree hugger -- I fished when I was a kid, but not since, never hunted, went through a total vegetarian phase (now I do fish fairly frequently and free range poultry occasionally).  However, it was never about the deaths in that we always have to kill (wheat, corn, or chickens) to eat.  FOr me it is about the environmental havoc of industrial farming and my own health.  

        As you correctly add to Kos's post, since top level predators are by and large gone and we are not completely comfortable with large scale re-introduction of wolves, grizzlies in the west, and cougars in the east, the top predator is us.  Regulated hunting and fishing is not a big environmental problem at all, and for hunting in particular is beneficial, particularly in the predator starved east.  (I lived in Ohio for 10 years and still am in some way amazed and awed by what it used to be--95% forest with wolves, cougars, black bear, bison--instead of the tame cradle of fast food franchises and runaway deer populations it has become.)

        I agree with you and Kos.  

      •  Saving fishing holes is saving trees (none)
        I've seen many streams in Redwood National Park are so silted up from runoff from bad logging practices that the streams are completely empty of fish. I'm not just talking about streams running through towns. I'm talking about streams out in the middle of nowhere with almost no access.

        You can do a whole lot of great environmental work with a "Save the fishin' holes." campaign. You'd get the DLC centrists like Ed Shultz eating out of your hand, and you'd even get the right wing bass boat/NASCAR dads joining in. They're sick of coming back from weekend fishing trips with nothing to show for their efforts.

      •  Good Thing the Coyotes are Back <g>. (none)
        Sure you have to be more careful about letting your dog out at night but apparently our bumper crop of deer are bringing coyotes back to the DC area. Additionally there have been quite a few unconfirmed mountain lion sightings -- my mom twice saw one but didn't have a camera ready and others have spotted them in the Vienna/Tysons area.

        I have no problem with responsible hunters but not so much with the a holes that keep shooting at my buddy's sheep out in Berryville, VA.

    •  As an urban type... (none)
      I can tell you I am not so crazy about finding a cute furry rat in my apartment. Yeech!
    •  good point (none)
      I live in rural idaho.  my husband is a philosophy professor.  He was the first Jewish person I ever met who hunts.  He and many of his hunter friends are environmentalists, and in this region there are many people who are both.  Even the more traditional environmentalists (including some PETA folks I know) don't have a knee jerk reaction against hunters here, since many of them realize that there are hunters who are very concerned about the environment.

      Out here there are many who think hunting is no worse from a moral standpoint than eating meat in general.  Some feel hunting is in fact a little better.

      (My husband stopped eating meet a couple years ago for health reasons, so he stopped hunting.)  

      •  Jobs (none)
        In my experience from growing up in Northern California, and I'd imagine that you've experienced the same in Idaho, most of the hostility to environmentalists comes from the prospect of lost jobs.  What a lot of people don't understand is that if you, say, shut down logging in a given forest, you've basically killed an entire community.  Whole towns have to basically close up and leave.  I'm not saying it's not important to preserve species, but we need to at least recognize what we're doing.  That's why it's important to make sure that we're using our natural resources in a sustainable way and learn to recognize potential problems before so that we don't have to take drastic measures that destroy communities.
        •  Logging jobs are transitory anyway (none)
          Even if the "tree-huggers" fail shut down logging in a forest, the trees won't grow back fast enough to keep the local economy afloat.  Better to develop alternative jobs that aren't "extract and leave" temp positions.
        •  very much so (none)
          logging is really big where I live and logging and damns are the big issues that pit "conservationists" against rural folks.  

          To tell you the truth, with the loggers, I don't know that there are even any ongoing disputes with environmentalists.  Most of the big logging concerns -- who buy the wood from small concerns -- have given up on clearcutting.  But the disagreements were so bitter that the divide between the groups is still potent.

          With regard to the death of rural communities, I don't think people here are overly sensitive about that.  Rural communities have bloomed and died for over a century.  Many of the tiny towns around me were once metropolises with thousands of people; now they have a couple hundred.  Logging was only a minor factor in this:  there are also issues with mining (which are related to environmental issues but mostly about pricing), railroad lines, and changes in agriculture.    

          •  Ghost towns (none)
            You're probably right about the tiny towns (2000 or less max) way out in the sticks, but, at least around where I grew up, even the bigger towns (Eureka, Grant's Pass) are slowly becoming retirement communities as everyone else has to move away to find work.
    •  Killing of furry creatures (4.00)
      Let's say rather, that environmentalists who were raised in town and those raised in the country differ on this.

      I was raised in a part of Illinois where people hunt---and we vacationed in Wisconsin for many years. Hunting was always part of life growing up, though my family wasn't "serious"; but we always had at least a couple of good meals of pheasant, rabbit, or goose each year, and squirrel and deer occasionally, from friends. Yet I consider myself a long-time environmentalist.

      People who were raised in town have a serious and detrimental "disconnect" between what they eat and where it comes from: they think subconsciously that meat appears magically wrapped in plastic. They don't coonect it with a once-living creature. When they find out the truth, they're horrified, and I think this spills over into an abhorrence of hunting---fuelled by the yearly reports of someone killed by an idiot hunter shooting at a poorly characterized "target". (There's a reason for camo-colored TP in the woods---white can be mistaken for the tail of a deer and get you shot at!) Couple this with the "aww, cuuuute" factor, and you get a lot of "enviros" who will go to no extreme to stop other people from "shooting Bambi". People raised in the country---especially if raised on a farm where animals were still raised for the family freezer, or who hunt---have, IMO, a much more realistic attitude.

      A classic example: the efforts of environmentalists in Hawai'i to clear pigs out of areas where native ground-nesting birds live are being hampered by folks who don't approve of the pigs being killed...despite the fact that pigs are an introduced, invasive, and terribly destructive species that will eat anything they can catch.

      And, for the record: I'll gladly eat "Bambi"...and "Thumper", too! And I've had delicious meals from Moose and Sqvirrel...

      •  Agreed (none)
        I totally agree and sympathize with this.  I would only add that it doesn't only have to do with food.  I'd just say that people from the cities don't really have a good grasp of what it's like to live closer to nature.  It's not always beautiful and scenic or cute and cuddly.  Sometimes it's a mountain lion that makes off with your newborn lamb or other times it's the freaking blackberry bushes that I have to chop down every single freaking day because the never... stop... growing... ARGHHHHH!!  ... whoops, got a little carried away there. ;o)
  •  damn straight (4.00)
    hunters and outdoorsmen are a huge portion of the 20 - 40% of voters who do not belong to either party's base.

    And if you look at the Red/Blue map by county for the last 2 elections, you'll see that Dems aren't losing the Red State votes, what they're losing is the rural and non-urban votes. Becoming the party of conservation for both environmentalists and hunters/outdoorsmen would go a long way to changing that dynamic.

  •  Damaged brand? (4.00)
    Of course environmentalism is a damaged brand. It's been attacked by coporate America's mouthpieces for years. That has also been supported by the "Christian" notion that God put us in charge of the earth and we can do with it as we damned well see fit. Just another example of the unholy alliance between Corporate America and Christianity.

    Meanwhile, the weak kneed Dems of yore said nothing. It's damaged alright.

    Nonetheless, I welcome the new framing, but I really wish we could start putting environmentalism in the frame of "healthcare savings." I've looked, but have yet to find a study giving pollution a cost in terms of healthcare.


    •  Problem with "healthy environmentalist" (4.00)
      It is anthropocentric, i.e., it is focused on saving the environment because it saves human lives or improves human welfare.

      Many environmental causes can't be reduced as simply to (human) lives saved on the benefits side of the cost-benefit ledger.

      For example, habitat protection, which is actually one of the main reasons we should be concerned about climate change.  Only if you follow a convoluted and poorly understood chain of consequences can you possibly get from saving the spotted owl to saving a human life.   Enviros will almost always lose if the true measure is "healthcare."

    •  Look to Europe. (none)
      I haven't the time to find it (posting from work), but there was a study last year (or possibly the year before) showing that air pollution was so bad in the Eastern US that it was causing lung disease in Western Europe. Air quality levels are pretty easy to come by - just look at detailed weather forcasts - and Europe could certainly tell you about the level of damage done by pollution.
  •  Also (3.20)
    "Conservation" means preserving God's creation (or something) while "environmentalism" is contributing to the "pussification of America".  Much better gloss very similar ideas.

    Conservatives protect corporations; Liberals protect people.

    by RequestedUsername on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:35:47 AM PDT

    •  So that's what "environmentalism" means (none)
      I thought it meant not shitting in your own well. And not letting your neighbour shit in it either.

      Thanks for setting me straight. Now I know--a vote to protect the environment is a vote for castration.

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:45:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Glad to See That Even Post Pie-Fight... (4.00)
      Kossacks are against "pussification," or anything that might lead folks to think we're "pussified."

      We've gotta be able to say to real Americans wingnuts potential Democratic voters "nobody here but us big, swingin' dicks."


      •  Yeah, that's exactly what I said! (none)
        It boils down to this:

        Many people, for whatever reason, object to "environmentalism".  Nobody objects to "conservation".  The same thing happens no matter what you call it.  It's a no-brainer--just change the name.

        Conservatives protect corporations; Liberals protect people.

        by RequestedUsername on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:22:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I object to Conservation (4.00)
          Because in many instances, rightwingnuts hide behind term and use it to push industrial development of our public wildlands. Conservation always implies human use of a natural resource. I'm a preservationist first, and environmentalist second, and rarely if ever a "wise use" conservationist.

          Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

          by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:29:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No one objects to conservation... (none)
          Two points:

          1. Conservation means use, not preservation, so it still allows for extraction or degradation of natural resources (ie; logging, mining, lessening of water quality through industrial dumping, etc.).

          2. If conservation comes to mean the same thing as environmentalism, then the corporations and right wing will defame it as a term in the same way that they've defamed the term "environmentalism".
          •  Well... (none)
            ...a certain amount of logging and mining is absolutely neccessary.  It just needs to be done in a responsible manner.
            •  The idea that environmentalists don't recognize (none)
              that some of these activities are necessary is a corporate and right wing talking point. I know you don't mean it that way, but it's true. We're not that stupid or myopic.

              It's not that some level of these kinds of activities is unnecessary. The problem is that preservation is also necessary, but preservation consistently gets short changed. And it's getting to the point, and some feel past the point, where this short-changing can occur without drastic consequences for the world as a whole.

          •  Reply (none)
            1. Does this point imply that "environmentalism" strictly forbids extraction of natural resources?  If so, I'm off the bandwagon.  You see, I like to breathe air, drink water and eat food--among other things.

            2. Of course they will, but it will take time.  Meanwhile, strides are made.

            Conservatives protect corporations; Liberals protect people.

            by RequestedUsername on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:00:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's actually the opposite. (none)
              The original definition of "conservation" forbids preservation.

              And as I responded to another commenter, the idea that environmentalists and environmentalism forbid any extraction of natural resources is a corporate and right wing talking point. It's an extension of the idea that environmentalists are "extreme" and therefore must support the position of zero extraction.  

              •  Nobody uses 'conservation' that way (none)
                And you are the one that contrasted conservation to environmentalism by saying that "[c]onservation... still allows for extraction...of natural resources", implying that environmentalism does not.

                Conservatives protect corporations; Liberals protect people.

                by RequestedUsername on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:35:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, plenty of people use (none)
                  conservation that way. It's the traditional use of the term. For instance, conservation holds that it's okay to clearcut as long as trees are replanted. It does not take into consideration anything but the trees themselves, and perhaps a few broad issues such as erosion. It does not consider things such as diversity, understory, non-commercial plants, non-game wildlife, etc. This is why "environmentalism" developed, to address the issues that conservation did not.

                  Unlike conservation, environmentalism does not promote extraction of resources. It promotes preservation of resources. It does so to the extent that preservation of resources is necessary to accomplish a goal, such as preservation of a species or protection of water quality. Once that goal is assured, then environmentalism does not necessarily oppose extraction of resources.

                  For instance, environmentalism looks at a particular species and determines what is necessary to keep that species in good shape. Once the long-term preservation of that species is assured, environmentalism moves on to the next issue. It's not about keeping every square inch of the earth pristine. It's about ensuring the long-term health of species and ecosystems.

                  Conservation, on the other hand, has use as a primary dictate. It views resources that are not being "used" as being wasted, and it views time and energy spent on "non-useful" resources as a waste of time and energy.

                  For instance, there's a term in forestry that describes trees as "overripe". This means that the tree is past the point where it will grow significantly. Conservation sees this tree as wasting space that could be used to begin growing another tree. And it sees the itself tree as being wasted if it is never harvested but instead dies and rots on the forest floor. This is counter to environmentalism which would see the preservation of this tree, even if the tree eventually dies and rots on the forest floor, as of value, even if the tree is never harvested and used by man.  

                  I'm sorry if this troubles you, but these are the traditional uses of the terms conservation and environmentalism.

    •  Assuming I've misread you (4.00)
      And that what you're trying to point out (and I didn't get) is that that's how these labels are interpreted by many, I would argue that we should also not let those labels be used that way. The problem with simply letting labels like "liberal" or "environmentalist" wither away and die is that we become complicit in the process established to marginalize them in the first place.

      We need to take back the language by clearly stating what it is those words actually mean and also stating that we're proud to be associated with them.

      I think the uncommitted take our willingness to accept the framing as agreement that the framing is correct. Then it doesn't matter what other label we use, since it can easily be corrupted in just the same way.

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:52:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh please! (4.00)
      Environmentalists are the ones who brought us:

      Cleaner Water -  The Connecticutt River used to be so dirty it stunk and people won't go near it.  Now it's swam, fished, and boated in.  Can't recall the name now, but during the 60's in one US city the river was polluted so badly it caught fire.

      Cleaner Air - smog used to be so bad in many cities that you could not see the sun.  Go to some industrial cities in China and you won't see the sun for days, even on a cloudless day.  They sure could use some pussies there.

      If being tough means drinking polluted water and breathing toxic fumes, be my guest.

      This is the same problem the labour movement has.  Once the really big issues where dealt with (like a 40 hour work week, child labour, etc.) people forgot what it was like before their efforts.  Know their an annoyance to many.  Union dues, Union wages for plumbers etc.

      We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

      by petewsh61 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:57:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  schukyll -- (spelling?) (none)

        pennsylvania's/philadelphia's schukyll (skoo-kil) river was the one that caught fire, i believe.

        cheers --

        •  Sorry, it's in Cleveland (none)
          It was the Cuyahoga River. Check out the great Randy Newman song "Burn On":

          There's a red moon rising
          On the Cuyahoga River
          Rolling into Cleveland to the lake

          There's a red moon rising
          ON the Cuyahoga River
          Rolling into Cleveland to the lake

          There's an oil barge winding
          Down the Cuyahoga River
          Rolling into Cleveland to the lake

          There's an oil barge winding
          Down the Cuyahoga River
          Rolling into Cleveland to the lake

          Cleveland city of light city of magic
          Cleveland city of light you're calling me
          Cleveland, even now I can remember
          'Cause the Cuyahoga River
          Goes smokin' through my dreams

          Burn on, big river, burn on
          Burn on, big river, burn on
          Now the Lord can make you tumble
          And the Lord can make you turn
          And the Lord can make you overflow
          But the Lord can't make you burn

          Burn on, big river, burn on
          Burn on, big river, burn on

          "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

          by thingamabob on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 11:15:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Christ (none)
      It goes like this, people:

      1. Read

      2. Think

      3. Post

      I'm not saying environmentalism actually is pussified.  I'm saying that's the perception.  This is clear as day in what I wrote.  Note the scare quotes.  Note the "or something".  Christ.

      Conservatives protect corporations; Liberals protect people.

      by RequestedUsername on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:06:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps it goes like this. (none)
        then Post.

        If it was clear as day, then why are some of us confused by what you wrote.  You wrote "is contributing", not "is perceived as contributing".  You were clear in this last post.  Thanks for clarifying your position.

        Christ, Buddha, Allah, Green Man, or something.

        We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

        by petewsh61 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:25:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't take that tone with me, young'un! (none)
        I couldn't tell what your intent was. Which is why I gave you the benefit of two replies. But I still stick with my "marginal" rating, and here's why (if you care, and I'm not sure it matters):

        1. I'm with petewsh61. If you want to berate people for how they've interpreted your writings, make sure that your writings don't leave so much doubt as to your intent.

        2. I happen to think that, while many people may see things as you do, your characterization is false. Certain segments of the population may equate environmentalism with "pussification" (why not just come out and say it--"homoification", or "fagification", maybe even "niggerfication"--all equally squalid renderings in my book), but that doesn't mean that they are the ones we ought to listen to.

        3. This is just an asinine comment, which, apart from its right- or wrongness, doesn't add much to the conversation.

        Admittedly, the fact that it's wrong and the fact that you chose "pussification" for your language tended to sway my vote towards the lower rating.

        "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

        by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:57:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "But there's no need... (none) preserve God's creation. He made exactly enough for all our needs, and if we start to run out, he'll just create more for us. If we damage something, he'll repair it."

      Actual quote from my fundy Jeezoid friend over lunch last week. The whole concept of "free will" (including the freedom to shit in one's own well) seems entirely lost on him and his ilk.

      But then, we'll never get their votes anyway.

      "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

      by Mad Dog Rackham on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:19:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My head explodes (none)
        trying to process the logical inconsistency and stupidity of such a position. We have no free will, ergo, we must stop those who see fit to try and exercise it?

        If God wanted to, why doesn't he just slay the environmentalists evil-doers? St. Thomas Aquinas tried to suggest that this was the best of all possible worlds back in the middle ages. (One of his Five Ways to prove God's existence).

        The argument goes like this: God must exist, because only God's existence as benevolent creator can explain why this is the best of all possible worlds.

        To those who questioned whether this might in fact NOT be the best of all possible worlds (mine has no mosquitoes, for one), Aquinas replies that, not understanding the mind of God means that we cannot understand why this world is the best--it's enough to know that it is. One might then reply that in the best of all possible worlds we also understand why it's the best of all possible worlds, but I suspect Aquinas would try one last time to set things straight. After that, proof that it's the best of all possible worlds involves burining naysayers at the stake.

        The breadth of circularity and non-sequiturs is mind-boggling. How do they do it?

        "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

        by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  protecting freedom (4.00)
    I have said it before but it bears repeating in this context.  We need to define ourselves as the party that defends the constitution.  The WHOLE constitution, including the second amendment. This gets back to the discussion on our core values.  If we claim to be the defenders of our constitutional rights, but also favor gun control that is an obvious contradiction which sends a mixed message.  In the context of defending our freedom, it is much easier to appeal to hunters and even NRA members.  it is not an unholy alliance like the kind the GOP has formed with the religious reich but rather one which stays true to the core value of protecting the spirit of America.
    •  ok (none)
      So what should dems be saying, nay doing, about gun issues?  The NRA would have us believe that there shouldn't be limits on anything... but criminals and whackos can do a heck of a lot of damage extremely quickly and police couldn't keep ahead of 'em.

      A radical strawman:

      • Legalize licensed ownership and use of pretty much everything (want a bazooka?  sure!  want a hundred of them?  Go right ahead!)
      • No silly product liability lawsuits - guns are for killing things, after all.
      • Mandated paper trail for everything (maybe even SNs on casings?).
      • License renewal requires full inventory.
      • Ratchet up penalties for misuse/abuse - no more misdemeanors.
      • If you own it, you are legally responsible for anything that happens with it... Your uzi gets stolen from an unlocked cabinet, you are an accessory to anything the thief does with it.  Your kid shoots a friend by accident, you go to jail.  Gun shop owner doesn't do the background check on a terrorist, he'll wish he went down with the plane.

      With rights come responsibility - if I want the right to own a highly dangerous item, I have extremely stringent responsibilities to protect said item and I'm liable for what I happens if I blow it.

      I know this is off-topic now, but I concur that conservation and guns are intertwined.  If Dems were to sponsor legislation that would appeal to hunters, then some of the distrust could go away.  Personally, I won't have a gun in my house, but...

      Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

      by mik on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:12:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a logical reason for being anti-licensing (none)
        I'm not saying I agree with this, but I understand the theory:

        Basically, the theory goes, one should not have to license guns with the government, because then the government who know who to take them away from if they choose to.  That is, if a facist government took over, but the populous was armed, they could fight back, but not if the government knew exactly who had guns.

        Of course, since we almost have a facist government and an armed populous...

        •  Sure but... (none)
          1. as you sort of point out, it is a vacuous argument if everyone has guns.
          2. this perspective is incompatible with the view that you shouldn't let criminals have guns... can't have it both ways - either you know who has guns or you don't... the flip side is - shouldn't we take guns away from criminals when they are convicted?
          3. The 2nd amendment doesn't say anything about keeping the arms secret - indeed, it would seem to be a disincentive to facistic takeover if they knew that there were actually lots of people with guns instead of just a few people with weapons dumps.
          4. if this were really people's honest concern, there wouldn't be so many NRA stickers on trucks.

          I guess I'm proposing that dems make an offer that demonstrates a serious willingness to consider alternative approaches.  Sane "gun control" people are after keeping guns out of criminals' hands and keeping legal guns safe.  Sane "gun lobby" people are after keeping it legal to own and use guns for legitimate purposes.  These positions ought not be totally incompatible

          Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

          by mik on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:30:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  two words (none)
        So what should dems be saying, nay doing, about gun issues?

        Target practice.

        •  Armed Liberals (none)

          An even better idea would be to get people in your local dem organizations to take a shooting or gun safety class at a local range. Bonus points if you can get any democratic elected officials to participate.

          I think if more urban liberals were familiar with guns and knew how to shoot one many of their objections would go away. (or at the very least their policies would be somewhat more informed)

          •  Join the NRA! (none)
            How about we sign up a few thousand liberals to the NRA?

            I'm not sure what you are suggesting by "I think if more urban liberals were familiar with guns and knew how to shoot one many of their objections would go away."  I think there are valid concerns about gun proliferation, particularly in densely populated areas...  My issue with liberalization of gun laws is anything that makes it simpler for criminals to get access to them is bad, and anything that makes easier for individuals and dealers to shirk their responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children is bad.  Sure part of the latter is maybe "safety" related, but it isn't the main point.

            Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

            by mik on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 07:10:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The word "conservation" itself (4.00)
    is our ally.  It means "wise use".  All we need to do is show that we support using natural resources wisely.

    It's far better to uphold the Constitution and burn the flag than it is to hold up the flag and burn the Constitution.

    by beemer on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:36:41 AM PDT

    •  "Wise use" is a loaded term (4.00)
      It means something different to those out west, namely:  anti federal grazing rules.   Wise users are those that think that ranchers and Western farming interests are better suited without federal intervention and oversight into their environmental practices.   I don't know nearly enough about this issue not being from that region but it is definitely a "loaded" term that we should avoid until we understand what it entails.
    •  Uh oh... (4.00)
      Wise Use is the brand name in the West for rightwing nut cases that want to log, mine and pave over the last of our public wildlands. This term was hijacked years ago during the Reagan-Watt years in the early 1980s.

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:01:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wise Use is a term used (none)
      To counter preservation of wilderness areas. Even though congressionally designated wilderness areas are used for hunting, fishing, backpacking, river running, mountaineering, maintenance of bodiversity amoung dozens of things, "wise use" means "industrial consumption".  So "wise use" is used as a code word for logging, mining and ATV use in the West.

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:05:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure you can argue that (4.00)
    environmentalism is a damaged brand.

    A recent Yale Survey found overwhelming bpartisan support for environmental protection and renwable energy.  And a majority of people favour strong protection of endangered species.

    Perhaps a few strategic attacks by the Rove machine have damaged environmentalism (FBI labelling environmentalists as worst domestic terror threat), but its only a scratch on the surface.

    You also confound the animal rights movement with environmentalism.

    We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

    by petewsh61 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:37:21 AM PDT

    •  The framing is important.. (4.00)
      Conservationism = "Those corporations are going to take my hunting grounds away!"

      Enviromentalism = "Those tree-huggers are going to get my saw mill shut down!"

    •  I think many people (none)
      Would say the enviroment is important to them.....but there ability to do something about it or see damage is hard.

      You raise taxes everyone feels that, the temp raise 1 degree over 100 years....well that doesn't effect me.....(wrong) its hard to sell something so hard to pin down.  Thats why it's a valuable issue people care, but a good brand would help.

  •  Ed Schultz Show (4.00)
    This is one reason I think the Ed Schultz show is so effective.  He is an avid fisherman and a lefty.  His show is peppered with hunting and fishing references and many of his callers are gun carrying progressives.  
  •  Key issue (4.00)
    The bottom line is global warming will trump almost all other issues, whether you call them environmental issues or conservation issues.  That should be the defining environmental issue for the 21st century.

    Delenda est Sinclair!

    by mole333 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:39:16 AM PDT

    •  population control trumps all (none)
    •  bottom line (none)
      Most people can't or won't think long term about global warming in the abstract. No matter how important it is.  So that's the challenge.

      However, when people catch less fish, they get worried. They know something is wrong--and only we progressives have answers.  Since we see a positive role in government protecting the commons.

      And there is a connection here to global warming, since some species of fish and animals will have a very hard time surviving in many places.  Even with relatively minor global warming, let alone catastrophic warming. So while we talk about hunting and fishing access, and loss of habitat, it's worth bringing up global warming too as another factor in how Democrats care more about hunters and fisherman.  


      Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

      by markymarx on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:37:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People are against global warming (none)
      However, they like their SUVs.  They like having jobs.

      The problem with global warming is that anything to stop it ends up being massive restictions.  The Kyoto treaty was rejected by 100-0 in the senate for good reasons.

      We can not run on a "You all suck" campaign.  That's what running on any type of anti-global warming platform does.

      I personally don't think there is an effective solution to global warming that is politically viabile.  In fact, I'm not sure if there is a solution to the problem at all.  Basically, everything man does causes global warming.  Unless you want to completely ban cars and power plants, the best you can do is slow the problem-it can not be fixed.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't do moderate things to slow the problem (encoruage (via policy and law) high mileage, low polluting vehicles, encourage energy efficient appliances, encourage low-polluting power plants).

      •  Not necessarily true (none)
        When Louisiana, Venice (Italy), Amsterdam, Manhattan, Tokyo start finding their basements flooded or realize the increasing costs of keeping the ocean out, people may start realizing that there isn't a choice. If we don't start acting, we will be acted upon in a big way.

        This isn't a matter of minor inconveniences. It is a matter of massive changes, that will lead to hard hits on our economies. Does that mean we will do the right thing in time? We'll see, but if not, we are screwed.

        I highly recommend Jered Diamond's most recent book, Collapse. It deals in great detail not only the problems we face with ideas of ways to cope, but it also shows in great detail the fate of a society that fails to deal with massive environmental problems. For a hint as to what happens to them, note the title of the book. We are not immune to societal collapse.

        Again, this is big. This is bigger than the ozone hole, which has "merely" caused rises in skin cancer rates and crop damage in the southern parts of the Southern Hemersphere. Think about any part of your life. Whatever you just thought about will probably be adversely affected in the next 10-20 years. Are you ready to face malaria and dengue wherever you now live? Are you ready to see the collapse of many of the world's breadbaskets (with possibe shifts Northward of some breadbaskets  that will help compensate in the long run). Collapse of many of the world's fisheries? Flooding of most of the world's financial centers? Is that worth having a non-hybrid SUV?

        Delenda est Sinclair!

        by mole333 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:28:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We can't solve the problem... (none)
          ...if the Republicans keep winning elections, now, can we?

          That's my point.

          •  Maybe (none)
            Again, read the book I recommended. It isn't just leftists who get interested in legitmate environmental concerns. It is also the people of Montana and Colorado, companies like Chevron and a big chunk of the lumber and fishing industries, alternative energy companies that really are cost effective, the insurance industry, the ski industry, the maple syrup industry of Vermont...

            Global warming is a scientific fact that affects our economy. It isn't a left vs. right issue. That is my point. I see what you mean, but when a crisis hits you don't always have time for political niceities. If we want to act now is the time. If we wait until the ocean is up to our tuchuses and our summer cooling bills are thousands of dollars, it will be too late. Dealing with problems gets more and more expensive the longer you wait to deal with them. If we wait, the problem gets worse, the cost of solutions skyrockets and our chances of coming out of it with a standard of living above that of, realistically, Mexico go way down.

            When an onrushing train is barrelling down on you, you gotta DO SOMETHING.

            Delenda est Sinclair!

            by mole333 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 12:04:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Fully Agree--Conservation is a Poplulist Issue (4.00)
    that hasn't been articulated well by most Democrats. We've been framed, again, by the Republican elites primarily using the guns lobby and fear as the meme. What's really happening to our public lands and waters is their privitazation and despoilation for short term corporate benefit--and Republican donations. We should show more pictures of cows shitting in pristine streams; cutbacks in protection of trout and salmon; expansion of logging roads and reduction of elk and other habitat. Finally, we should follow Dick Cheney and his friends as they privatize the West and cut off public access to the waters. The remaining great fishing will be available to those who can pay $1000/day to throw flies with Dick.

    Democrats: The Ass You Save Is Your Own.

    by vetfordean on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:39:23 AM PDT

  •  You should point out... (4.00)
    that in order to win this block of voters, Dems have to abandon any pretense of supporting gun control as well. Dems will not bridge the gap between environmentalists and outdoorsman without dropping their support for gun control.

    I've been thinking about this lately, and it may not be a bad idea anyway. There is little evidence that gun control laws work anyway. And there is no doubt that this is an issue that absolutely (metaphorically) kills Democrats. I would settle for less gun regulation, but much harsher penalties for carrying a gun illegally.

    I used to be very firmly in favor of strong gun control laws--but I am tired of losing elections over the issue, and Ihaven't seen any compelling evidence that gun control laws are effective in reducing or preventing crime.

    •  i respectfully disagree (none)
      you can hunt or fish in ways that aren't crazy.  
      •  I don't understand your comment... (none)
        I never said that hunting or fishing were crazy. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay in MD, and I fished and crabbed all the time. What did I say that implied that any form of hunting or fishing is "crazy"?

        Maybe you meant something else?

        •  regarding gun control (none)
          no one wants to (or can) ban all guns, just the crazy guns, and to get background checks at the gun shows, to stop the illegal arms trade.  sorry for being so oblique.  i thot you were right here with me.
          •  That's not the point (none)
            People who are hunters think we are trying to ban all guns by banning some guns, so they will be against us.  Also, sometimes gun control does in fact ban or restrict hunting rifles, mostly by accident.
            •  oh, it's the point. (none)
              separating the two is as important as it is for all hot-button issues, gun contrl, abortion, the environment--because if you hold your ground and don't get pushed, the discussion stays reasonable and winnable.  i am no centrist, in fact i'm rather marxist, but we need to talk about pollution instead of the more untenable global warming, we need to talk about assault weapons and gunshows instead of all guns and we need to talk about birth control instead of abortion, at least every once in awhile.
      •  No, he's right (none)
        Most gun control attempts do not attempt to ban hunting rifles; however, people who hunt think they do, and sometimes the technical details of the rules do, in fact, ban hunting rifles.

        We should drop gun control, if for nothing else for the fact that it is impossible to effectively implement.  It is impossible for meaningful, nationwide gun control to pass, due to the make up of the populous-and local gun control is worse than useless, because people willing to break the law (IE criminals) easily can drive to another state where the laws are weaker and buy guns that way, while law abiding citizens won't.

        I want our next presidential canidate to be endorced by the NRA.  If he is, then he will almost certainly win the general election.

    •  Gun Control is a Winning Issue (none)
        Most hunters know that gun control is not an attempt to regulate hunting, but simply trying curb gun violence.  There are a small group of people who feel that any gun control is an infringement of the second amendment but these are the same people who go hunting with fully automatic M-61s.  There are the people who say home defense, but even they agree that hand-guns and shotguns make a far better home-defense firearm than an AK.  

        To summerize will we get the far right militia guys?  No.  Do we have to worry about the middle of the road hunters?  No.  Even through this last election cycle I saw more than a few "Hunters for Kerry/Edwards Stickers" and I live in the South.  Stick to our guns and show that conservation will preserve the ability to hunt for generations to come and people will support it.

      •  Perfect is the enemy of good (none)
        We need to let go of the gun control issue. And I say this as a person who would dearly love to rid the world of all guns. I hate them. I loathe them. However my fellow Americans do not and no matter how long I lecture I'm not going to change the mindset of having a gun in the house as a security blanket let alone win over the guy who loves to hunt deer on the weekend.

        If compromising on the gun issue means saving the environment, it's no contest --give me clean air to breathe and spotted owls to see.

    •  Here here (none)
      or Hear, Hear. Whatever.

      I fully agree. Gun control is one of those stupid issues we've emotionally latched onto despite voluminous evidence that it doesn't help the problem and leads to electoral disaster. As Dean himself says, there's absolutely no reason why Jericho, Vermont needs to have exactly the same gun laws as Brooklyn. The issue is not the gun itself. The issue is what an individual does or intends to do with his firearm. Additionally, we spend a lot of time talking about assault rifles and semi-automatic this and that, when in fact the vast majority of gun violence is committed by other, less menacing firearms. So gun control violates two core Jacksonian democratic principles: a)that the feds should leave well enough alone if it can't solve the problem, and b) the feds should, all other things being equal, mind their own beeswax when it comes to issues that vary state to state.

    •  What kind of hunting? (4.00)
      Is best done with concealable handguns or automatic assault rifles?

      We don't have to have the same kind of "control" for every kind of gun. But, goddammit, we control wine-making, alcohol consumption, drugs and driver's licences in this country, why the hell would we not control the purchase and distribution of weapons designed expressly to kill people?

      What's losing about gun control is that we don't stand up for rural gun-owners and hunters while denouncing the indiscriminate distribution of assault rifles. And the NRA and the right get away with suggesting that we want to impose our urban, liberal, elitist, "gay" ideas on everyone else.

      Instead of assuming that the right has a point here, look at the issue objectively. They are using this issue as a wedge, as they frequently do. It wouldn't help them to have a rational discussion about it--but it helps us.

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:02:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do believe in looking at issues rationally... (none)
        and I think we ought to take a careful look at the facts, and possibly re-evaluate our position on gun control issues.

        If you look at the statistics on gun violence you will find a few interesting things: 1) Any gun purchased legally is extremely unlikely to be used in a crime of any sort. 2) Any gun purchased or held illegally is far more likely to be used in a crime.

        It seems to me that if the goal is to reduce gun crimes (rather than to score ideological points), that the most sensible thing to do would be to make the punishment for carrying a gun illegally much harsher. Right now you can typically get off with a misdemenor for carrying an illegal handgun--which is hardly a deterent at all.

        I think we should be open to other other approaches to preventing gun violence.

        •  Limit multiple-firing capacity? (none)
          How about something about magazine or clip capacity? Limit the number of shots w/o reloading to 15 or so. If you can't drop a deer in 15 shots, it deserves to get away (and your hunting buddies deserve to slap you).

          We limit possible excesses all the time without actually banning the activity itself.

          People respect those willing to work out a compromise more than those who simply abandon their positions.

          In Your Face From Outer Space

          by mike101 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:20:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just don't let Kerry... (none)
    go out there again wearing a goose-hunting outfit.

    Next time, go all the way:

    I'm talking mullet, pickup truck, chewin tabakee, a spitoon attached to the hip, and an American flag tattoo right on the face baby!

    I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

    by diplomatic on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:40:16 AM PDT

    •  Candidates should never wear silly costumes. (none)
      White button-down shirt and jeans is a casual as a candidate should ever be seen in public. Anything else is just asking for big trouble.
    •  The irony being (none)
      that the MsM took it as a "ploy"...when Kerry's been a hunter all his life.

      Has The Twig ever hunted for anything bigger than quail? Is he "all hat and no cattle" on this one, too?

      •  the irony's irony being... (none)
        that it WAS a ploy, an attempt to soften his loud and proud support for the Assault Weapons Ban.  Gun-owner swing voters took one look, said "pandering!", and voted Bush.  

        I don't care whether he's a lifelong hunter or not. Stopping to goose-hunt in the middle of a presidential campaign is a photo op, pure and simple.  It's pandering.

        "There's nothing like poverty to get you into Heaven"
        -Patty Griffin, "Poor Man's House"

        by Leggy Starlitz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:23:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  From "Mother Jones" (4.00)
    In the April '05 edition of Mother Jones there's a great article on the growing legitimate trade in selling the rights to hunt endangered species.  They've found that by auctioning off a few licenses each year, they dramatically cut down the amount of poaching.  Innovative ideas like these will always prevail over the short-sighted views of the right.
    •  I agree (none)
      NOTE: In this case, animals like Elk are not endangered where the hunting is allowed, though they are endangered overall. The areas in question cannot support the numbers of animals through all seasons.  This points to the real problem of overdevelopment of habitat and the misuse of public lands.  

      In the east, overdevelopment is an issue a lot of NIMBY republicans are concerned about, but less so in the west.  Western cities face the same problems with sprawl and overdevelopment as cities back east.

      When you tie the issue of overdevelopment to decline in good hunting and fishing habitat, you got yourself a wedge winner out West too IMO.

      Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

      by markymarx on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:25:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The solution to overdevelopment... (none) to limit or eliminate zoning laws in built up areas.  If there are strict zoning laws in existing cities (preventing the construction of high-rise apartments, for example), that demand for housing goes to areas with lesser restrictions-such as rural, unincorporated areas.  Plus, if people live nearer where they work, there's less traffic (and less need to build new roads), public transit works better, and pollution is reduced.

        My number one choice to improve the enviroment would be to encourage urban development (and therefore discourage suburban and rural development).

  •  Hug a Tree, Shoot a Deer (4.00)
    The two aren't necessarily incompatable, although if you attempt to mix Redwood Hippies with Red-plaid Hunters you are likely not going to be talking about saving the forest habitat.

    The thing we all have in common is getting back to nature to rejuvenate our souls. Every hunter and fisherman has that in common with every hiker and rock climber.

    How to connect the two?

    Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party - DNC Chair Howard Dean

    by easong on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:41:32 AM PDT

    •  Habitat! (4.00)
      The types of issues that environmentalists (sensu Kos) and hunters have in common is that conservation/preservation of habitat is important to both.

      We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

      by petewsh61 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:46:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Focus on populations (none)
        Not the individual doe-eyed deer.  Hunters want populations protected, even if it's just to make sure they can still hunt. That means protecting wilderness corridors, cutting polution, especially stuff like mercury and lead that seeps everywhere,  keeping parks funded and open, and keeping corporate interests at bay. And that's all good in my book, even if I will never shoot a dear.  

        It's big picture stuff.    

        I pledge allegiance to the dollar of the United States of America, and to the corporations for which it stands, one consumer, under debt, invisible...

        by super ju on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:57:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Common Good vs. Private Enjoyment (none)
          Although I know conservationist hunters, I also run into a few of the other type whenever I'm out in the mountains. You know, "I paid my license fee, I'm gonna get me my deer before the other guy gets him." This is the same mentaility of folks that think burning up forest trails in ATV's is good sport. Selfish enjoyment of the wildlands. Spoilers. "I'm living my life the way I want -- screw you." Outdoorsmen really do break down into these two types.

          Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party - DNC Chair Howard Dean

          by easong on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:07:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, any group has it's dregs. (none)
            Just being a hunter doesn't mean you understand the forest.

            Let's focus on getting the conservationist hunters on our side.  The asshole "gimme my duck and get outta my way" guys are not really up for grabs anyway.  And they are no fun at parties.

            I pledge allegiance to the dollar of the United States of America, and to the corporations for which it stands, one consumer, under debt, invisible...

            by super ju on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:34:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  out of my league to comment (4.00)
    i'm no expert, but i am an environmentalist because i'm a human being!
    IMHO, the ranchers etc know that enviros will help protect their profits with sustainability as the overarching concept.  the NW is filled with success stories of groups working together.
    now, about the killing of furry creatures:  i think where most people probably draw the line is when it's done solely to protect profits, or when it's done capriciously.  nature is always balancing the populations of living things if we let it...
    •  not so easy (none)
      Well the trick is for the urban dwellers to get beyond the mind set of preserving the rural land to be their own playground.

      In King County the recent Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) has really polarized the rural folk against the city slickers.

      Between wetlands designations and salmon buffers most privately owned rural property in the county is now off limits to development. I believe that this was an over reach by the Dem controlled county council that will lead to a backlash. It has already spurred  lawsuits and much organization of people who oppose the CAO.

      •  yeah (none)
        we know what urban land use planning with the urban growth boundary did to oregon with the recent backlash in the election.  no zoning at all now.  there remains, tho, some extraordinary people trying on both sides.  the states have to make doing the right thing, ie sustainability, an incentive, thru tax breaks, not a deterrent, thru penalities.  but, what do i know...
  •  No to knee-jerks, yes to "tree-hugging" (4.00)
    I guess the one area where I seriously disagree with you Kos, is on "political strategy". While I recognize that the reality of politics is that there is the idea, the theoretical implementation of the idea, and then the practical reality of implementation. Sometimes this latter means accepting things we might otherwise prefer not to.

    As far as it goes, I have no problem with accepting hunters as part of our coalition. Hunting is not anti-environmental, per se, and while it is still "sanctioned killing" (of animals at least), I would worry about the whole meat industry before hunting, if it were animals I was interested in protecting. Not to mention encroachment on their habitats. This kills way more and with less concern shown by us humans.

    I do have a problem, however, in borrowing the marginalizing and false GOP label of "tree-huggers" and associated memes as part of our own discussion. "Tree huggers" is not a description of reality, but a loaded characterization intended to marginalize what is a diverse and generally thoughtful group. Do I want to save the spotted owl? NO. I want to save humanity. But saving the spotted owl is probably on the list of things we can do to help bring that about.

    You have a habit of occasionally losing patience with folks who are perhaps too idealistic for you, or who have different priorities. I don't think this helps either party.

    For the life of me, I can't think of what group of Democrats "Mehlman and Co" are chipping away at--nor do I know why we should be concerned about them leaving. Are you saying that the primary purpose of supporting Democrats is to have them win, no matter what they stand for? Sometimes you seem to come perilously close to endorsing that. You know perfectly well that the ends don't justify the means.

    Not that I am criticizing your right to hold this opinion. It's just that I feel uncomfortable thinking that this is all about winning, and not necessarily about changing America for the better.

    "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:41:47 AM PDT

    •  At this point in time (none)
      supporting democrats for a matter what they stand for is the best way to save the environment.

      getting hung up on pet issue X, and handing a win to the republicans, because kos said the word tree hugger, would be masochistic, self-defeating, unproductive and foolish.

      No matter how you feel about imperfect democrats, they are our only best chance to start to change things. Doesn't that seem more than obvious to you? And in fact vitally important to changing the direction of this country?

      inspire change...don't back down

      by missliberties on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:53:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, no, it doesn't (none)
        I'd much prefer the Dems in power right now. But suppose we could achieve that, through, of all the most improbable things, the President abandoning his party and claiming to want to join the Dems.

        Imagine that Dubya became a Democrat overnight, and all of a sudden, we were in power.

        Is that something you would be wiling to work for? Not me. Not if Dubya and Cheney remaind Dubya and Cheney. I'm not interested in the Democrats winning because I prefer seeing posters with donkeys rather than elephants on them. I want them to change the policies of the government.

         We can't therefore, be happy with merely winning--the values and integrity come first. It's our willingness to endorse whatever strategy or value might help us win that has helped us lose over and over again.

        People don't want to vote for "centrists", they want to vote for leaders. Let's provide the leadership along with the winning strategy this time.

        "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

        by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:11:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, that's the other point I was going to make (none)
      "For the life of me, I can't think of what group of Democrats "Mehlman and Co" are chipping away at..."

      This is a good point; Kerry got essentially the same percentage of support from African-Americans that Gore and Clinton had, and while Bush made a small gain among Hispanics in 2004, it was HUGELY exaggerated.  Still, I agree with Kos that we need to try to peel off Republican support among some of their core constituents, and we should take seriously their attempts to do the same.  

  •  add this piece by Ron Brownstein today (none)
    on Dem's congressional (senate) strategery vs Republican.

    At a Polarizing Time, Democrats Betting on Unity

    Dems are united behind Reid. R's say they'll pick off Dems in red states to punish them. But red states aren't always as red as they look, and Dems don't fear Bush the way they did in 2002.

    This is one good example.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:41:59 AM PDT

  •  this is big (none)
    i've always believed that environmentalism is the best way to sway perhaps millions of republicans to our side.  forest preservation couched as preservation of hunting rights as well as supporting state rights and private property, keeping energy giants out of people's backyards and especially from UNDER people's back yards (mineral rights).  the best way to use environmentalism against republicans is to show people, especially in the west, that republicans are the ones that want the federal government and corporations to have superior rights over YOUR land, pollute YOUR fishing streams and groundwater, cut down YOUR forests.  this is a great way to sell the "rugged individualist."  plus, i think pollution pisses people off at a fundemental level.
  •  Some Furry Animals (none)
    Need to be killed of course, just as some need ot be protected and to differing degrees. I think most serious hunters and enviros would be able to understand that and work together even while not agreeing.
  •  hunting (none)
    When I was growing up, one of my favorite activities was to go hunting with my father. My father was a good marksman, and we had meat on the table more often that we would have otherwise. As my father's income incrased, his aim became remakably worse.

    I know that some people hunt for sport, and I have never understood the impulse. But I think more people than we realize still hunt for food. Even if they don't feel the financial pressure we did, they like to know they can do it -- just in case. I understand this. It's why I grow vegetables in my back yard.

    I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

    by homeland observer on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:44:26 AM PDT

  •  killing furry animals (none)
    To me, the only logically consistent way to oppose hunting on moral grounds is to be a vegetarian. Buying meat from the supermarket might even be worse than hunting because you're removing yourself from the violent act of killing an animal for food and sanitizing the process.
    I still eat meat. I haven't killed my own food yet, but I think it's something I should do sometime to educate myself about the food I eat.
  •  Bass-boat dads are NASCAR dads (none)
    You want to get the South? Find out everything you can about bass fishing, and sell water quality improvements and fish stock preservation as saving fishing holes in the South.

  •  Hunting. (none)
    Although I'd classify myself more as a traditional environmentalist, hunting has never really bothered me, so long as the hunter is actually using most or all of the animal's carcass (i.e. eating the meat, etc.) Pure trophy hunters and poachers, that's a different story. Florida nearly lost the American alligator to them, and the key deer and panther suffered greatly as well. By far the biggest danger, though, is the destruction of natural habitats through development. I agree with you, Kos; even though environmentalism and animal protection in and of itself is a worthy cause, it calls forth images that have become negative in many people's minds. When the problem is restated in terms of how it personally affects a person or their community, people start paying attention. It's still somewhat sad, though, that there aren't more influential people who believe in protecting the environment because, well, it's just worth protecting, and the debate has to be rephrased to appeal to someone's more selfish concerns.

    "How freeing it must be to walk through this world heeding neither conscience nor soul." - the rude pundit, 5/4/05

    by pattyp on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:45:59 AM PDT

  •  Democrat (none)
    is a damaged brand.

    The repugs have turned it into a dirty word.
    Liberals (for some reason a bad word)
    Tree Huggers

    Environment should have total appeal to everyone who loves the outdoors. I love the fishing/hunting appeal.

    No matter how many facts we have stacked against Republicans on any issue, they always seem to override with an emotional appeal and of course the ever present lies. (see Clear Skies initiative)

    The emotional appeal of saving the hunting and fishing grounds is a win. Especially since hunters have guns;+)

    I don't care who joins "our" side......moderates, republicans, liberals and of (course the militant don't compromise your liberal ideals to corporate interests group). The point is to appeal in a realistic way to all those who want to have clean rivers (kayaking, rafting, fishing) and parks to play in that don't have oil rigs.

      It is a reality based approach! Oh yes.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:46:49 AM PDT

    •  Right on (none)
      That's why we must work to take back the language an not be complicit in the process to marginalize the whole discourse.

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:54:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (none)
      The western repubs have hijacked the terms "conservation" and "conservationist" and replaced it with "wise use" which is a code word for industrial development. The repubs have denigrated "enironmentalist" in the same manner they have destroyed the term "liberal".

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:12:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good points - esp. for UAW and other midwest union (none)
    This is a good point - guns and conservation should both be supported by Democrats if we want those union members in the midwest to come back to voting in their other interests and for the Democrats.   Lotsa UAW members I know vote Republican because of the "they want to take our guns away" fear .... and they love their deer hunting experiences more than anything in some cases.
  •  Pretty much lost in the (4.00)
    fog of the last presidential campaign was the fact that Bush lost the endorsement of the Outdoor Writers's Association--not exactly a bastion of liberal environmentalism.  There are some key points that conservationists can use to make the argument that the Democratic Party supports hunters and those who like to fish:

    1. If there is no wilderness there is no hunting. It's that simple. While there are some members of the Poaching Class who want to do "drive way" hunts, these people are not the ones respected by those who respect the sport.

    2. You cannot take your kids fishing in polluted water. That's just as simple. No one wants to take the family for an outing in toxic sludge.

    3. Every logging road into an area means less access for every hunter and fisherman. The traffic on these roads precludes recreational uses. It's just downright dangerous.

    4. Just a few changes in grazing regulations could preserve wildland areas for hunters. For example, allowing a rancher to move cows and calves into lower/closer grazing lands during the Spring when bears are likely to want 'fast food,' would increase the bear population at less risk to the cattle.

    5. Investing in maintenance in parks and recreation areas for senior citizens who want to take RV's would benefit the local tourism industries, increase the travel prospects of seniors, and protect wildlands from encroachment. If, for example, the Forest Service would enforce the 40 inch rule where appropriate, and if other options were available for outsized vehicles, then the interests of more people could be served. Example: Rock Creek, MT--there are designated places to park RV's in the lower campgrounds. In other parts of the wilderness area roads and trails are deliberately kept minimal.

    6. There is a growing divide between the rhetoric of the NRA and the reality of hunting enthusiasts. The NRA has adopted the sloganeering of the Poacher Class of Drive Way hunters. To repeat, this is not a popular position.

    Democrats support conservation. Republicans support exploitation.
    •  Excellent (none)
      Well said, and well laid out.  I especially like how you break it down at the end.  Democrats support conservation.  Republicans support exploitation.  That is a winning message if I've ever heard one.  The only thing is, I agree that environmentalism is a damanged WORD.  Conservation is better, but it's been shot up a bit, too.  Is there some word that's conjured GOOD ideas with equal strength that EXPLOITATION (which is perfect) conjures bad ones?  I'll think on it.
    •  a lot of non-westerners.... (none)
      ...i talk to have an image of the west as being pristine and unpolluted. they're always shocked when i tell them how many superfund sites we have in the rocky mountain region. combine the pollutants that have been left by man with the naturally occurring heavy metals and petro-based chemicals that are found here in the west, it's kinda scary.

      There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

      by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:38:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good point (none)
        The Carson River in Nevada is one of the poster children for pollution. The mills from the old Bonanza Days one hundred years ago spilled mercury into the river. Thirty years ago the recommendation was that a person could eat one or two fish from the lower river. Then later authorities warned that women who were pregnant should not eat any of the fish, and now the warning is no one should be consuming any fish in any amount from the lower stretches of the river.  This is a site--one hundred forty years after the fact--that is all but impossible to clean up.  What was done in decades will take centuries to clean up.
        •  it's amazing... (none)
          ...we worry so much about clear cutting of forest land. if you look at photos from the late 1800s, of mountains towns in this region, it's apparent that clear cutting was the norm. the trees are all back now and have been since i was a little kid. trees are fairly resilient.

          however, drive up by silverton, colorado, and the rivers still run orange with the mine tailings that have lingered since essentially the same time.

          There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

          by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:22:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  all trees aren't equal, just sayin' (none)

            trees as a group of living things may be resiliant, but it's important that the trees that have grown back resemble something like flora native to that area.

            around here we've got a lot of tree of heaven trees.  a non-native invasive species.  so many areas look well-forested, but they're not necessarily ecologically "well."

            i hope the area you're speaking of has regrown its native species.

            cheers --

            •  the trees in the mountains.... (none)
              ...which is what i was referring to, pines and aspens, are really the only thing that will grow up there, and that's what's bounced back. trees really aren't native to the high plains desert here. pioneers brought cottonwood and russian olive seeds with them to provide windbreaks. people here think they're indigenous, but they're not. i have one of the trees that you refer to, but i call it the tree of hell, in my back yard. i try to kill it dead every spring but it's indestructible. non-native invasive flora and fauna is a HUGE problem in the west.

              There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

              by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 01:01:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  tree of hell indeed... (none)

                "tree of hell" indeed.... :)

                non-native invasive species are huge problems here in the east as well (hardly any part of the country is safe, i think).

                around here misguided gardeners sometimes purposefully plant loosestrife and yellow iris (iris pseudocorous) which makes about as much sense as a termite day care center at a lumberyard.

                the roots of the "tree of hell" i understand are hard to, erm, root out.

                (sincere good luck, 'tho.)

                cheers --

  •  Environmental alliances- (none)
    Good call-no one has to change their perpsective, however we need to endorse conservation as well as environmentalism (they are different, conservation being a protection of resources for the purpose of using them)  however, the Republican Party has traditionally upheld conservationist philosophy, but has recently abandoned it, or put it on a back burner.  This gives Dems a leg up.  

    Other environmental alliances- Environmental technologies/businesses sector to promote the tech industry in enviromental solutions.  

    (Let's face it, we can use the endorsement of businesses)

    Alternative building material supply companies.

    Parenting organizations, mainstream pro-family organizations, pediatric health organizations, (like March of Dimes, Lung Association).
     Children's health is of critical importance in air quality discussion.  Increasing asthma cases put the lives of millions of children on the line. Not to mention environmental estrogens threatening our childrens future fertility, environmental causes of childrens disease and illness. Placing  Pediatric environmental awareness on the table is attractive to moms.

  •  The conservative forumla at work (none)
    Same as in every other area.

    1. Corprations don't want to deal with expensive environmental regulation. But people generally want clean air, water, and nice national parks.

    2. Use religious right and general conservative hostility to make environmentalism a joke. Set up a straw man - "tree hugging enviro commie terrorist f@gs" - and make hurting them a source of pleasure.

    3. Repeat in every motherfucking aspect of American life.

    George Bush prancing on the aircraft carrier: one of America's worst moments

    by grushka on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:49:40 AM PDT

  •  I Agree, and Have For a Long Time (none)
    Environmentalism is not about ants and owls and pretty flowers -- it is about preserving human beings!

    We need to protect wilderness so that we can use it for fun, for camping, for oxygen, for cleaning pollution from the air -- but all for us.  Screw the birdies and Bambi -- I wanna be able to go in the woods and not listen to rap music!  

    We need to have clean water so we can go swimming, boating, fishing and drink the water.  Screw the fish -- I'm just gonna eat them anyway!  But not if they are full of mercury and other toxins.

    We need to have clean air no so that it smells nice, but so that we don't get cancer and our children don't get asthma.

    I like birds, and deer, and fish.  They are kind of cool -- but I eat all of them so I can't be too worried about their happiness.

    But I am worried about my own health, my daughter's health, and our recreation and fun.  That is why I am an environmentalist.  It's cause I am a selfish bastard.

  •  I am a hunter... (4.00)
    ...and I am slightly left of center.  Hunters do a lot to protect the natural resources of this country.  I wish that super-lefty green partisans would realize that corporations do the most harm to our natural environment.

    Hunting is a natural thing that humans have been doing for well over our entire existance.  I understand and respect those that disagree and wish to pick up their meats and treats in a supermarket, but I can promise you that eating wild game is much healthier than that steriod pumped crap at safeway.

    A pheasant had a full life before the that to a chicken farm.

    I think KOS is "spot on".

    •  Good post (none)
      If humans didn't hunt, they would have died out before they were standing fully upright.  Humans are omnivores...we can all do the math on that one.

      I don't hunt, mostly because of football season.  But I've got nothing against it, as most of my family/friends hunt, and I'd probably go if had time...although I'm not sure I trust some of those fuckers with rifles (carelessness must be genetic).

      As someone else stated, most of the animals hunted would have died a worse death in the wild, especially the older ones.

      Its the fuckin' cirlce of life, Simba.

      •  Corporations (none)
        Yes.  This, again, needs to be under the overarching fold of Dems are fighting for the people and Rethugs are fighting for the corporations.  Put that together with the idea (stated in an earlier posting above) ther Dems are for Conservation while Rethugs are for Exploitation and we are beginning to really have something here...
    •  Bravo (none)
      Lots of folks on this site seem to never have set foot in the West, or in any rural area for that matter, and it offends them to think that people who don't look, talk and act the way they do may actually be able to help them achieve their objectives.

      This thread is proof that there is as much bigotry and closed-mindedness on the left as there is on the right.

      I ate elk stew every winter for 8 years. We would go up into the aspen groves in the fall, and the stench of musk would make our eyes water. The sound of bulls bugling was matched in its intensity only by the sharp tone and rustling of the aspen leaves. We cried every time we took one down.

      Anybody calls themselves an environmentalist but is against hunting is not really an environmentalist.

      •  WTF? (none)
        Practically no one on this thread has objected to hunting. What are you talking about? Or are you just one of those good ol' boys who can't go a day without whimpering about libruls?
        •  Actually, (none)
          Several comments have made derogatory statements about hunting, hunters, and Democratic efforts to reach out to these communities - specifically, how to use language that would be less offensive to these communities. There are clearly some animal activists on this thread, though I should double check their specific comments. But that's the impression I got about some who object to including hunters as environmentalists.

          If you knew who I was you would laugh at the fact that you just called me a good ol' boy. I'm laughing to tears right now myself. But I appreciate the sentiment :>)

  •  "environmentalism" is a damaged brand (4.00)
    Like Durbin, Kos is apologising to Republicans. Republicans, one more time are setting the agenda.

    Gore Vidal: "...she is uncompromised by compassion." Was he talking about a Republican?

    by oratorio on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:52:36 AM PDT

    •  kos is not apologizing for republicans (none)
      are you insane.

      this is what it means to be realistic........"hello", uniting republicans and democrats, moderates and conservatives to save something.

      He is highlighting success stories that help the environment.

      Where folks constantly come up with this persecution complex is beyond me. Jesus Christ, Mother of Mary, Kos is not the enemy.

      Do you get that?

      inspire change...don't back down

      by missliberties on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:03:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure I agree (none)
      I think this is a subset of the Core Values and how it's defined by word needs to speak correctly and to the most people.

      I've been saying for a while that I'm not a tree hugger - but I'd like to have some around in case I change my mind...

      But it can be difficult.  I love to fish and hunt, but don't think people need assault rifles.  I'd also like to see gun education in schools - yeah, getting kids to the range and having them firing guns in order to learn about them and respect what can happen if you don't.  (OK - before someone goes WAY the eff off, this is just a 50K foot level idea that I think should be explored)

      So, am I less of a Democrat because I hunt and fish?  Those who do, in my experience, also contribute more than just money to the upkeep and protection of the land and the wildlife on those lands.

      Sometimes people in the party seem to think that as long as it isn't religion, that they can still push their ideas for personal choices on people.

      And quite frankly, that's wrong.  Once you've stated your position and have been given opportunity to defend it - back the F**K OFF.  I don't need a Vegan pushing tofu down my throat anymore than me pushing a Elk medallion down theirs.  I can respect somebody's views without making judgement upon them.

  •  Some tough nuts, farms (4.00)
    While a simple rebranding works in Montana, the implications of "Conservation" must be expanded if it's to map to the urban, agricultural, and industrial zones environments.

    Conventional farmers resent being told not to use the additives and pesticides without which, due to prior degredation of soil ecologies, their crops are severely diminished. The early organic growers had enough influence during the Clinton administration to get regulations on the use of the term Organic, precluding chem farmers from merely ceasing to spray and getting the market premiun, and the organic consumer has a legitimate interest in a waiting period, but the result is that the chem farmer is trapped in the Monsanto system.

    Corollary: Farm Radio, it's advertising almost exclusively from the chemical inputs manufacturers, is more effective at demonizing the enviros, and their Dem allies, than Fox.

    No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:53:35 AM PDT

    •  Sigh (none)
      Ok, so I don't want to knock this thread off-topic, but c'mon.  If you want to get rid of all the chemicals, pesticides, and other shit that farmers have to spray to take advantage of the "Green Revolution", is a highly GM-focused "Monsanto System" a good thing?

      I mean the research and application would have to be regulated hardcore, but ultimately you'd have a much cleaner system if the plants themselves were growing better and were more resistant to pests WITHOUT the use of poisonous, carcinogenic chemicals.

      You know what the Midwest is? Young and restless... - Kanye West

      by ChicagoDem on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:04:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  crap (none)
        I mean, ISN'T a highly GM-focused "Monsanto System" a good thing...

        You know what the Midwest is? Young and restless... - Kanye West

        by ChicagoDem on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:05:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I won't claim to have the answers. (none)
          The existing economic incentives for researchers do not reward whole systems getting it right. The research is expensive, and those who foot the bills, and thus make the decisions on research priorities, want to get a product to market, and begin recouping their investment as quickly as possible. Even university ag researchers are dependent on corporate grants, and steer their work towards the next grant.

          A political process focussed on the next election, means legislators too take binary GM good/GM bad positions. Even when political compromises emerge, they'e skewed not towards sound science, but balancing voting blocs and contributors.

          No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

          by ben masel on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:35:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (none)
        Since when is Monsanto engineering crops to grow without pesticides, chem fertilizer, etc.? Their notion seems to be to develop crops that can survive the Round-Up assault that gets slathered on everything else.
  •  Who are the hunters? (none)
    I think there is probably a lack of knowledge on who exactly are hunters and what are their motivation for hunting. I myself have carried an image of them as careless, NRA-type people who are out for a joykill. Obviously that's an extreme stereotype. But certainly I don't hold the same stereotype to fisherman who do the same thing essentially but in a slightly different medium. I think -- and I can only speak for myself -- my view has been slanted by movies, books, literature saying it's bad to kill furry little creatures that are cute. Very simplistic but it's all I have for now.

    Anyone else care to enlighten me on who exactly are these hunters?

    •  it's hard... (none)
      ...i'm not into hunting. growing up in the west, though, i've had to temper my views. yes, there are plenty of irresponsible jerks who go for heads and hides, but i know plenty of people who hunt to put food on the table.

      There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

      by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:33:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most of the hunters (none)
      I've known have been hunting, not only for "trophies" or the "joy of the kill", but at least in part for food. As some here have said, it's a welcome addition to the freezer...and in some families still, the majority of the meat they see. It's also true that deer and other wild meat is generally lower in fat, cholesterol, and certainly in antibiotic and steroid residues than the usual factory-farm raised steer.

      I'm opposed to sheer trophy hunting. I feel---and I know this is a very old-fashioned attitude---that it's disrespectful of an animal that lost its life if you don't eat it. Respect for the animal also includes making sure you have a clear shot, preferably one which kills quickly...and good target skills so you don't miss. It does not include turning the beastie into chopped meat with a spray of automatic fire.

    •  Hunters are a diverse group (none)
      I have neighbors who hunt and fish virtually everything that can legally be killed. They don't buy any meat in stores. They are unalterably opposed to gun control, and they're Sierra Club members and extremely liberal Democrats. And it isn't just them - it's their families and the friends they hunt with too.

      Most of my friends, neighbors, and family follow a similar kind of pattern (pro-environment but not anti-hunting) and it's not an unusual orientation in places like WI (where I grew up) or rural WA (where I live).

      I have other neighbors who have a beautiful bear skin they shot hanging on the wall of the small guest cabin they built, but they're the same people who spearheaded the movement and lawsuit that kept logging out of the sensitive areas above our valley (ironically beating the Forest Service in court using the Forest Service's own studies from earlier years).

      Senator Gaylord Nelson, who's usually credited as the founder of Earth Day and went on to head the Wildnerness Society, never voted in favor of gun control. Neither do most liberal Democratic Senators from hunting states in the west/midwest (and the west used to have more Democratic Senators - Mansfield, Church, etc).

      I certainly know people who's preferred fishing species is bottle bass and for whom deer season is an excuse to go on a 3 or 4 day drinking binge and shoot up everything in sight - they're not an endangered species. Most of the hunters I know hold to a serious conservation ethic, respect hunting laws, and have stronger negative views than you might have about people who aren't conservationists or hunt illegally.

      We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

      by badger on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:03:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We are all of us hunters (none)
      Lots of folks on this site seem to never have set foot in the West, or in any rural area for that matter, and it offends them to think that people who don't look, talk and act the way they do may actually be able to help them achieve their objectives.

      I think we would all do well to drop our stereotypes, open our minds and not react so quickly to our fears about hunters, as so many on this site seem to be doing .... proof that there is as much bigotry and closed-mindedness on the left as there is on the right.

      I ate elk stew every winter for 8 years. We would go up into the aspen groves in the fall, and the stench of musk would make our eyes water. The sound of bulls bugling was matched in its intensity only by the sharp-toned colors and rustling of the aspen leaves. We cried every time we took one down. It took better part of a whole day to clean, quarter and carry out - on foot or horseback - the meat that we took back and packed in our freezer. It lasted til spring, and often beyond, so we'd share it with neighbors at big potlucks. Our entire community benefited from this very spiritual, very connected activity that made us all understand the value of a healthy environment - the forage that elk ate, the water he drank, ended up inside us all. The protected lands where he'd bed down for the winter allowed him to live off his body fat through the cold months. The roadless forests where he spent his summers gave him a good berth around subdivisions, logging activity, old mines, and traffic - all necessary elements in the life of north America's big game.

      Anybody calls themselves an environmentalist but is against hunting is not really an environmentalist. Sorry. I encourage all on this site to OPEN THEIR MINDS.

  •  Sustainability (none)
    Environmentalism is a damaged brand, I agree.  But I still think "conservation" is too limited a term.  It doesn't adequately capture the full scope of the political opinions of people who want to intelligently manage our natural resources.

    I believe in sustainability, not conservation.  I don't want to draw a line around, say, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and say "this patch of land will remained preserved forever".  That creates nothing but a patchwork of artifacts, museum pieces which future generations can point to as quaint conversational pieces: "This is what Nature was, huh?"  That's no good for anyone-- not for the hunters or hikers who use the land as recreation; the ecologists who understand the impact of these fragile environments on our wider health; or people like fishermen or loggers who get their economic living from the land.  A walled in nature preserve is just an outpost, it's not much of a thriving ecosystem anymore-- and that severely diminishes its value as a natural resource.

    We need a new paradigm that allows us to use these natural resources AND keep them around as complex, integrated, functioning ecosystems for the long term.  That means sustainability.  It means responsible land use, planning ahead so that our suburbs, our economic development/resource extraction, and our energy/waste/water utility use do not ruin our incredible natural resource gifts for the next generation-- not just in a series of tiny patchworks, but everywhere that we leave an impact.  That's more than conservation, that's responsibility.  That's sustainability.

    You know what the Midwest is? Young and restless... - Kanye West

    by ChicagoDem on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:59:43 AM PDT

    •  Good point (none)
      "I beleive in sustainalbility, not conservation."

      Conservation implies the use of everything, and mandates that everything on Earth has been put here for mankind's exclusive use. I don't buy that. We are caretakers of the Earth, not Walmart checkout people.

      As a wilderness supporter, I believe in preservation of large wild areas of our planet, not the slow inexerable consumpution of all of it, as is believed by "wise use" conservatinists.

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:27:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  for me (none)
        different words have different meanings.

          Enviroment = air quality (reduce emissions), no factory runoff in the water and ground

        Conservation = to conserve the land that this great country had, to the best of our ability, given our consuming nature.  that is preserve old growth forests, conserve or restore wetlands, AND (for the most part the conversation here) restore large tracts of prairie habitat to its original state (if that means private ownership and allowing controlled hunting, then so be it).

        We are better off with controlled hunting on large tracts of private land than we would be with Ag corporations stripping the land to run 1,000 acre crop factories.

        And maybe old growth forest could be preserved to hunt moose or other larger animals.  People have always hunted in those forests.  Rather the trees stay under compromise use, than to strip them out and build for 2 acre castles.

  •  Hunting and fishing (none)
    Hunters who kill a magnificent animal to brag about it should be sent to Irak to help the US troops.
    Let people who are hungry fish and hunt, the people who do it for sport are cowards. Tackle a grizzly with your bare hands. Now we are talking about sport!

    Gore Vidal: "...she is uncompromised by compassion." Was he talking about a Republican?

    by oratorio on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:00:42 AM PDT

  •  an issue close to my heart (none)
    I grew up hunting and fishing in Nebraska and now live in big game hunting Colorado in White River National Forest.  I agreed with most of my progressive thinking friends on most issues except hunting.  They could not see the good of hunting as it helped maintain ecosystems like killing off invading species of plants.  I eat most things I hunt which includes pheasants and quail and groups like Pheasants Forever have a huge following that believes in preserving wildlife habitat, ecosystems, crop rotation, and preserving species through hunting. They are not inherently tied to the NRA as their main purpose is summed up in their names like Ducks Unlimited.  We should be creating an alliance with these groups and showing how our platform better represents their interests.  This is a way to reach out to farmers and rural western folks who grow up as active outdoorsmen who understand the need for set aside acreage programs, fighting erosion, crop rotation,  
    irrigation that feeds ponds for waterfowl.  There is a need to control the deer populations becasue of the mad cow like disease that is afflicting some herds or to kill bears off if they should start breaking into trash cans.  It is not as black and white as animal cruelty.  Humans need to be more aware when they see animals in their natural habitat that it is not a closeup photo op.  Even many western ranchers are coming around to the reintroduction of the wolf in areas as long as the communities seek their input and see the good it does to protect species. Towns like Banff in Canada are roll models with wildlife bridges over hiways and interstates that can protect animals from the dangers of crossing roads.  They never cross at the yellow signs anyway.  In Nebraska, hunters pay for a habitat stamp and provide most of the money needed to preserve wildlife habitat that might be farmed or used for other purposes otherwise detrimental to the environment.  This is true of most states.  As hunters we are very conscious of limits for the most part with a few bad poachers carrying the headlines.  Most hunters are as appalled at that behavior as anyone.  
    •  shooting the poor bears... (none)
      ...and other animals (like the buffalo in colorado springs recently) is gonna have to stop tho. we have too many non-westerners out here now, and it looks bad.

      compare the outrage in colorado over such things with the ongoing brucellosis scare in wyoming/montana near yellowstone and the absolute slaughter of buffalo there. most people in the region don't even know about that, but they probably know about the buffalo who escaped on the way to the packing plant in the springs.

      There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

      by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:30:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, and (none)
        aren't there estimates that there's a lot more brucellosis in the elk herds than in the buffalo population anyway?

        Makes you wonder about the real motivations of the ranchers screaming for a buffalo kill (not).

        •  this is my theory... (none)
          ...and it's probably wacked. i think they're pissed because of the snowmobile ban and they're taking it out on the poor buffalo.

          There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

          by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:23:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the snowmobilers are a different group altogether (none)
            it's the ranchers that are pissed for reasons related to grazing/private property issues. the brucellosis hysteria (in my opinion) is a red herring.

            The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts- Bertrand Russell

            by htappy on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 06:33:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  A Developer With a View is Called (4.00)
    an environmentalist.

    Joke I heard before 1989, and it was about Colorado when I heard it.

    85 to 95% of the population are environmentalists, are for health care for all, are for a living wage, are for reproductive freedom.  

    With effective messaging, the wingnuts have got people to vote AGAINST their interests.  Note that the effective messaging relies upon LIES.

    Why can't Dems develop effective messaging with some truth?  

    Our over-educated condescending attitudes towards those who are "less educated" cause us to NOT seek effective messages?  

    From FDR to Truman to LBJ we were kings of the world, and since Nixon we've been losing the chief exuctive, then the legislatures, then the underlings of the executive, then the judiciary - and we've forgotton how to fight cuz too many of our "leaders" are from the comfortable classes?  


    •  Yeah (none)
      I was thinking this earlier this morning.  I'm sick of belonging to the Party of Clinton-- can't we belong to the Party of Roosevelt or Truman again?

      Say what you believe and stick with it.  What a concept...

      I do think the "over educated" thing is a problem.  I feel like there's a 60s pall over the party, as intellectuals tried to analyze and complicate generally simple issues.  Oddly enough, I think that problem has continued in the DLC-- these artificial "no-go" categories that prevent us from ever effectively just saying what we mean.

      You know what the Midwest is? Young and restless... - Kanye West

      by ChicagoDem on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:13:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I actually agree with Kos about (none)
        "environmentalism" being tainted.  Oh well, another phrase stolen and perverted by the right.  We still have the policy goals, we don't have the packaging.  

        The DLC types - I can only figure them out from the simple perspective of power, money, greed.  
        They've been telling Dems for 15+ years that IF we stand for anything, THEN we'll scare the middle, THEN we'll lose. We keep losing, and the DLCs keep blaming tree huggers and blaming naral and blaming men kissing men, AND the DLCs keep their cushy consultant jobs.

        I don't know why it is so hard to have hard hitting messages which work.  I did live in Boston for 11 years, initially went on financial aid to college cuz I grew up on welfare and our family had no money.  Anyway, the Northeast Corrider hotshot Dems, the intellectual ones jetting from the K-school to the Beltway to Manhattan to the Vineyard & Hamptons, I think a hard hitting hang-the-rich message is too close to home ;)


  •  the proposed alliance is nothing new (4.00)
    and traditional environmentalism is misrepresented

    hunters and fishers are traditionally part of sierra club, for example

    recent attempts by alliances of anti-immigration organizations and PETA-type organizations to take over Sierra Club were resoundingly rejected by the membership.

    is the word 'environment' sullied into uselessness by the attacks of rush limbaugh? only if we don't defend ourselves.  anything good you do is going to get attacked.  if you aren't willing to defend yourself, you are going to lose. so-called liberal wing of the democratic party could say, this is the story of our life.

    otherwise, everything good - anti racism, dailykos, kindness, clean air - everything worthwhile will be abandoned because something bad has been said about it.

    the way to success is to make the rules, not let them make the rules.  they call something bad when the people know it's good, we meet our detractors head on, we embrace the battle they offer.  enviro is all win for us except when we are meek and take half of a half of a half of a half of a loaf.

  •  Weighing in from the South (4.00)
    After reading a lot of these comments, I notice that the discussion is focusing primarily on hunting vs. the environment in the West.

    Down here in Georgia, we figured out a long time ago that the "hook and bullet" conservationists and more traditional environmentalists have much more in common than they have differences.

    In Georgia, the environmental community has formed the Georgia Water Coalition, which focuses on issues of clean water, water quantity, and water rights here in the Peach State.  It is headed up by the Georgia Wildlife Federation (hook and bullet crowd), the Georgia Conservancy, the Sierra Club, and the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, among others.  We have been extremely successful (much moreso than many other progressive groups now that all chambers of our state government are controlled by Republicans) in fighting back bad environmental legislation or amending it until it is no longer harmful.

    There have been a number of reasons for our successes with the Georgia Water Coalition.  One is unity of Vision.  Another is a great group of strategists and lobbyists.  Another is the diversity of the coalition - tree huggers and hunters living in peaceful and productive harmony.  And last is that much of what we talk about with corporate pollution, big development pollution etc. is the protection of individual property rights: that individuals should be protected from overzealous companies and developers who care little for the value of the downstream properties individuals own. And that these same individuals have a right to clean and plentiful water.  

    It works, it does not "sell out" any of the core values of any aspect of the environmental movement, and the more people we can get to understand basic tenets of clean air and clean water, the sooner they will be able to understand and embrace habitat and ecosystem preservation.

    •  keep up the good work (none)
      It's exactly this kind of coalition building among groups that will work. Too many groups have allowed themselves to be divided and conquered by the corporate/fundie crowd.

      Making the world a little better place can be fun.

      by gradinski chai on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:17:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos, not with you on this one (4.00)
    First of all, every poll ever taken on the subject says that the word "environmentalist" polls VERY well; vast majorities of Americans identify themselves as environmentalists in polls.  (Interestingly, Americans also tell pollsters that they do not mind paying more taxes if the extra money goes to protect the environment.)  This support for the word "environmentalist", not just the concept, extends across both major political parties and all demographic groups.  I'm sure that the word doesn't poll well in the rural mountain west, but bear in mind that very few Americans live in the rural mountain west.

    Speaking of the mountain west, while I hope that Dems can win more votes there, the idea that the west's "libertarian" conservatism (as opposed to the south's religious conservatism) makes it fertile Democratic territory is idealistic at best.  My parents live in rural Colorado, and I can attest that "What church do you attend?" is just as frequent a question in rural Colorado as it is anywhere in North Carolina or Alabama.  I'm not saying that because I have anything against rural Colorado (I don't have anything against religion, only against far-right religious extremism); I'm only bringing it up because I think we have to be careful with the idea that religious conservatism doesn't exist in the west (and I haven't even mentioned the LDS Church yet).  


    •  Environmentalism polls well, like negative (none)
      campaigning turns people off.

      the reality is that negative campaigning, which everyone bitches about, works.  

      unfortuneately, "environmentalism", to me, is part of the wishy-washy Dem I'll-sue-you-for-my-rights failed messages.  That does NOT mean the ideas or the policies should be tossed, it just means that the corporate thugs have tainted our message, to our detriment.

      so get another word for the message!  

      btw, I did NOT support Kerry as "electable".  I think that the country is moderate, and that progressive issues are moderate, and we lose all the time cuz our "leaders" are losers.


    •  I agree. (none)

      We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

      by petewsh61 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:51:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Conservation" (none)
    is a more appropriate and descriptive word.  Plus, its got "Conserve" in it, which must really piss off those wingnut assholes.

    "I believe in conserving the incredible planet that God gave us.  I believe it my Christian duty to respect God's creation."

    Deal with that shit, Dobson.  You've been served, bitch.  What do you believe in, ChristoGOPs?  Shitting on God's creation?  Fucking up his masterpiece?

    •  Conservation's good, but... (none)'s a bit damaged itself ("conservationist" - while a term I apply to myself - isn't going to warm the hearts of middle america).

      How about:

      Environmental "Stewardship" or "Shepherds" (which does a nice biblical reference thing) or even "Caretakers"

      •  having grown up... (none)
        ...out here in the rough and tumble west, i'm certain, that if you used those terms in, say, a small wyoming town, you might just get shot. they sound sissy.

        people out here think about "getting back to the land." need something a bit more macho.

        There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

        by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:22:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  conserve... (none) a very good term, in the western perception. people here are receptive to conserving water, agricultural land, cultural heritage, etc., etc.

      There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

      by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:24:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos is taking this brand thing too far... (4.00)
    Call it Conservationism, Environmentalism, or cute-furry-animalism, it will equal "tree hugging" in the minds of Midwesterners, southerners, and Rocky Mountain folks.  "Environmentalism" isn't a damaged brand.  Democrats simply have not created a precise, focused environmental MESSAGE people can relate to.  Repubs have, which was why the hack job that was "Clear Skies" was given consideration in the press when it should have been immediately dismissed.

    Create a MESSAGE people can relate to and you can stil call it "environmentalism."  

  •  Words do matter (none)
    No time to read through the whole thread. (Spat.)

    But, I am in a citizen's based river group in Wisconsin where most people are hunters and fishers.  We can make good alliances with them, particularly Trout Unlimited, but also Pheasants Forever.

    Nontheless, I do think that "environmentalist" is used as a pejorative among people who hunt and fish and ride snowmobiles.

    So, I have gone with a new moniker:  Nature Patriot.

    Now we'll see if they can get anything between me and my love for this country.

    Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

    by Mi Corazon on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:19:47 AM PDT

    •  "Nature Patriot" (none)
      Errr...seems a bit contrived to my ear.

      And I think preservation of the Indonesian forests and protection of coral reefs off Australia are as important as protecting California redwoods and Utah mesas. "Patriot" makes it sound like I only care about 'murican environmental issues.

      "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

      by Mad Dog Rackham on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:25:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're trying to "rebrand".. (none)
    ...out here in the West. Funny, though, I think of cattle ranchers when i say that.

    Skirmishes still arise every day here, unfortunately. Environmentalists and pro-property rights people are always going toe-to-toe out here in the West, and lots of Westerners think the government holds way too much public land that could be put to better use -- everything, from coal bed methane drilling to livestock grazing to housing developments.

    A couple years ago, hunters, fisherpeople, offroad enthusiasts and other outdoor-types went up against the U.S. Forest Service over logging roads that had been closed off in wilderness areas in Nevada. USFS officials said traffic on the road was causing erosion problems and harm to fish in streams near the road, among other things. The guv'ment and the Shovel Brigade had a stand off. (The link is to High Country News, a newspaper published in Paonia, Colorado, that focuses on western issues. It's a fantastic little newspaper. Subscribe if you can afford it and want to learn about the unique challenges we face out here in the flyover states.)

    Water is also an incredibly huge issue out here. Western water law is extremely complex, and now water districts and state governments are having to contend with a new concept: instream flow rights, meaning there should be a minimum amount of water for recreational opportunities. Meanwhile, the Colorado River is chronically over-appropriated and population growth along the Front Range of Colorado (on the other side of the mountains from the main water source) continues unabated. This rapid growth has been such a problem that numerous municipalities have adopted the Code of the West.

    There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

    by FemiNazi on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:20:04 AM PDT

  •  Environmentalism and animal rights (none)
    Environmentalism and the animal rights movement are fundamentally different things. There are six billion human beings on the planet and there will probably be twice that many in a few decades: we are a fundamental part of the planetary biosphere.

    This is not a matter of sentimentality about cute animals. Nor is environmentalism about leaving "nature" alone: that train left the station when we invented agriculture, or even earlier, when we learned how stampede mammoth herds off cliffs. It is a matter of thinking and acting in relation to ecological reality.

    Animals suffer pain and we should avoid all cruelty to them. But that doesn't mean we musn't kill them or eat them. We are not a vegetarian species, even if it is possible for us to survive on a vegetarian diet. I have no objection to any hunter who eats what he kills. People who kill animals for mere sport, on the other hand, are incomprehensible to me.

    •  No, there won't (none)
      There are six billion human beings on the planet and there will probably be twice that many in a few decades:

      The current population growth curve is flattening out.  The UN projections made in 2000 figure a population somewhere between 7.9 and 10.9 billion, with the probable figure around 9.3 billion, followed by an actual population decline.  The decline is going to hit the developed countries first as their birth rates are already barely at or even below replacement.  As the developing countries, well, develope, they will go into the same sort of pattern.

      In the near future, the headline you will read aren't going to be about overpopulation, but a critically low population.  The US, Canada and other "immigrant" countries should do okay because we have a history of bringing people in.  Countries like Japan, which doesn't have much in the way of immigration, are going to be hurting.

      •  I don't buy it (none)
        The human population has tripled in my lifetime. The growth curve is slowing, but I very much doubt it will start to decline before another doubling. War, disease, famine and economic collapse on a catastrophic scale may prove me wrong, but I think the upslope has a way to go before they set in.
  •  "Gong!" Reality check. (none)
    My husband and are are "furry creature" killing, traditional environmentalists.  You'd be surprised how many of us there really are.  It's pretty easy to understand that if we continue to allow the present junta to rape, pillage and destroy our environment--"well dang, Jethro, there ain't gonna be any furry animals left to hunt."

    Oh George, not the livestock!

    by espresso on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:21:53 AM PDT

  •  Attention Vegans and Furry Animal Lovers (4.00)
    You have already rushed to your keyboards without considering that kos seems to be trying to channel Frank Luntz on how to change the framing and language around this issue.  "Environmentalism" doesn't work for average people because of the Vegans and Furry Animal Lovers and the way that they allow themselves to be portrayed.  

    Look, I know a bunch of vegans, I have a dog I love, I'm not a hunter.  But you have to realize that there isn't going to be some tipping point or hundredth monkey moment and the world is going to come around to eating veggie burgers.  In fact, the highly visible political tactics of the environmental fringe are too weird/extreme for the average American.

    You want people to recycle-- lobby your city / political entity to do recycling collection and/or volunteer to set up a program in your area.  You want to pressure people to preserve wilderness areas-- don't go to the mall where people drive from their suburban homes and soccer fields in their minivans/SUVs-- they don't care about the wilderness.  You go to people who spend time in the wilderness and care about preserving it-- fishermen and hunters.

    bring it on-- I expect to be troll-rated into oblivion for this.

  •  Cultural Space (none)
    The Republican stranglehold on hunter/gatherer recreationalist voters is most visibly manifested in the messages emanating from certain cable networks, like Country Music Television, Outdoor Living Network, the History Channel, etc. Their programming, and the facile editorializing which accompanies it, project particular conservative narratives--self reliance, centrality of heritage, simplicity, the can-do American spirit, and the glory of God's Creation and how the best way to worship it is to shoot a bird out of the sky. (I say the best way is to then take that bird, pluck it, and bake it in the oven smothered in orange sauce, but I digress...).

    Whether these values are sincerely internalized, either by viewers/voters or the actions of the Republican Party itself, is  certainly debatable but irrelevant. Stated values trump actual virtue--indeed, that's the mantra of modern Republicanism. None of these messages are antithetical to liberalism; how they have typically been manifested, however, often is.

    The Bush campaign exploited these current normative definitions of "values" in their communications campaign, using the anger points implied by the defensive nature of these voters to "demonstrate" Democrats' hostility to these values. To combat this, we need to start inhabiting the cultural space previously ceded to the Republicans. Or, at least encourage our standard bearers to, to reassure them that doing so is not inconsistent with our core philosophy.

  •  You people are arguing so much... (4.00)
    you haven't stopped long enough to consider if this type of alliance actually works.

    Here in Louisiana, we've been doing it for decades, and it works, to an extent.

    Throw something new into the mix, and the republicans are good at this, and the delicate balance and alliance is damaged.

    Recently, Senator Vitter, our new republican senator, decided he wanted to introduce an amendment to strip the corps of engineers from the power to distribute permits for logging.

    The corps has been the only entity standing between the last of our cypress forests and the loggers.

    Environmentalists here have weighed in, but we haven't heard from the hunters yet. They are torn, I am sure, between the concept of protecting our forests, and the rights of land owners.

    The republican party is good at splitting people. The question is, how do we bring them back together?  

  •  conservation (none)
    Conservation movement sounds fine by me!

    No more gooper LITE!

    by krwada on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:25:26 AM PDT

  •  Kos is right on (none)
    For those who have been saying environmentalism is still valid, that is correct.  But not in an all-encompassing way.

    Many have pointed out the rural-urban dichotomy, and this is more valid.

    During both the 2000 and 2004 campaigns, the NRA pitched a lot in rural areas, such as northern Wisconsin to convince hunters that the Dems wanted to take away their rifles so they couldn't hunt.  There was no counter-argument.

    And up there, and in the West and rural South, environmentalism, without a strong emphasis on why it is of benefit to those that fish and hunt, does have some negative connotations.  The rationality for that may be somewhat inappropriate but that is the reality.

    The point Kos is making that we have to tailor our message.  If in a certain area conservation is a winner while environmentalism is a loser, then let's go with it.

    But we can't just use the term, we have to back it up with connecting the dots as to how our approach is of benefit to those hunters and fishers, and that we will continue to support their right to do both.

    And the reality is that many hunters (although not all) do hunt for food, not just the joy of it.  In fact in many rural areas, a poor hunting season can be an economic disaster as many people in those areas count on their hunting to provide food that they do not otherwise have funds for.

    Additionally, many states (Virginia is one) allows a hunter to kill multiple deer, but excess catch is given to food pantries and distributed among the poor.

    The problem is that the Dems are seen as anti-hunting, and in certain areas the term environmentalism is seen as an extension of that.

    Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

    by JAPA21 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:30:40 AM PDT

    •  Exactly right. (none)
      I heard the same thing numerous times in Wisconsin,  and it gets repeated throughour rural America: the Dems will take your guns away and outlaw hunting. People listen to this on AM radio while they are surveying the damage that deer did to their vegetable garden the night before, and of course they're all going to run out and get a "Sportsmen for Bush" sticker for their pickup...

      Lobbying against mercury pollution because it makes fish unsafe to eat, lobbying against cutting off access to hunting habitat, lobbying against suburban sprawl that might cut into the countryside that people know and love, these things go down well with a lot of people who otherwise are tuned to Rush all day.

      There has been an intentional conflation of environmentalism with animal rights by the Right, and by the corporate Right in particular, because it drives a wedge between rural voters and Democrats in gerneral.

      It also does not help that from the other side, I have heard some very loud, mostly vegan/PETA voices that essentially declare hunters and fishers to be so repugnant, as human beings, that they should be shunned, or even subject to violence themselves.  It is all too easy to allow these voices to be used to stand in for all environmentalist voices, and we shouldn't.

      •  here in AR too (none)
        all you hear is Dems want your guns. Bumper stickers abound with that theme more so than even the dumbya stickers. I have even tried my best to tell them that is not the case but they will not listen.
         If we choose this route Dems must make their voice loud and clear.

        Protect Life Bring Home The Troops!

        by arkdem on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 01:13:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Food for thought (none)
    This article in In These Times goes even further than Kos' statement about environmentialism being a "damaged brand.":

    "Environmentalism Is Dead.  What's Next?"

    And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

    by Linnaeus on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:32:07 AM PDT

  •  Udall-Reid Bill Passed (none)
    Looks like the Udall-Reid bill became law last month as part of a larger bill.

    May 12, 2005 - Congressman Mark Udall's (D-Eldorado Springs) bill to protect each state's right to regulate hunting and fishing was signed into law by President Bush today.   The measure was an amendment to the Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act.  
    The bill will reaffirm the long-standing right of states to make decisions about hunting and fishing licenses and tag limits.

    Read the Udall release

  •  Biofuels in OR (none)
    We just recently introduced a bipartisan biofuels package out here in the legislature and I believe it will pass because the enviros get protection/sustainabilty and the conservatives get tax breaks and guaranteed business.  Tis a good deal.

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."

    by skywaker9 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:33:57 AM PDT

  •  A lot of play on this one (none)
    From what I've seen:

    The word environment is mostly viewed warmly, while environmentalist is viewed coolly.

    I'm a vegetarian, and would never personally hunt (or shoot a gun for that matter), but if people want to hunt, it's their right, within limits (such as protecting endangered and at risk species, keeping ecosystems intact, etc).

    I don't see bubba voting democrat unless he's a single issue voter, though, and even then we've got to convince him that our limits aren't going to be a better deal for him than what's left over after the right rapes the environment.

    Most significantly, it's not good enough sometimes to have "leverage" over oil and gas companies.  What are we going to do when the oil and gas companies destroy ANWR, fine them?  Great.  And then just wait a million years for the ecosystem to recover, if it ever does.

    Still, kos does make a good point here.  If you have objectives in common, be pragmatic when you can and use those shared interests to forge outcome-based alliances.  You and I will never agree ideologically with Joe Sixpack, but that doesn't mean there aren't situations where we can work together for an outcome we all want.  No one is suggesting "watering down" our ideals, but unbending ideological zealotry is a short term lose in democratic politics.

    •  in reply (none)
      Here is a bit from the diary to which I linked in the post below yours:

      Second, choose your allies.  Rightwing sporting groups can be your friend.   I discovered one day that the Blue Ribbon Coalition, advocates of ATVs and snowmobiling, don't like factory hog farms any more than I do.  Hunting groups want to have wild places in which to hunt.  Farmers need insects to pollinate their crops.  God knows the few "small farmers" left in America don't appreciate the way they are getting gang-raped by agribusiness.  These guys won't go Democrat overnight, but with a little cooperation on issues that matter to them they will think an awful lot harder about endorsing local Democratic candidates when the Republican looks like the tool of development and polluting interests.

      Revive the spirit of Rachel Carson.  Make environmentalism an issue that every American outside of the wingnut suicide cult can identify with.

      Tom DeLay's GOP: cheating America in a time of war.

      by Tom Frank on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:47:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hallelujiah (none)

    Tom DeLay's GOP: cheating America in a time of war.

    by Tom Frank on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:42:58 AM PDT

  •  Re-appropriation (none)
    While I agree with Kos central thesis here, I have heard too many people on this thread that just want to abandon the word environmentalist in favor of conservationist.  I think a certain amonunt of damage control needs to be done here.

    By all means politicans should use conservationism more, its politically attractive and not inaccurate, but I personally am not going to abandon calling myself an environmentalist because of the marketing done by Repugs.  If someone calls me a damned environmentalists or a "tree-hugger" it is my intent to correct that perception.

    If someone were to get in my face about it, I would explain what it means to me to be an environmentalist.  I had this same experience when I stopped eating red meat.  So many people seemed to be offended that I would stop eating meat.  As if I was attacking them through my choices.

    I would go to the trouble of explaining my choices and that my choices were not a personal judgement on theirs.  As many vegetarians and animal rights activists in this thread have indicated, I intend to fight corporate farming and unneccessary research on animals before I criticize someones right to hunt furry animals.  Unless you go veg, hunting and fishing is not very different from buying meat at the supermarket.

    •  Maybe they're different issues. (none)
      I would love to see "environmentalism" to be framed entirely as a POLLUTION issue, to appeal to conservative voters who wonder why babies are being born with birth defects since that insecticide plant opened.

      Seems to me, we've got a problem with embracing many, many issues as a package deal, leaving Republicans framing the most controversial issue as if it is the only one. "Environmentalism" could encompass air pollution, water pollution, global warming, preservation of natural areas, indian land, hunting, park access and recreation, energy, lifestyles and animal rights.  Read the establishment press, and all you see is animal rights and the most counterculture lifestyle issues, all framed to pit us against potential allies outside the establishment.

      What would happen if we looked at one issue or sub-issue at a time?

      "Hit a man with a fish, and he'll have a headache for a day. Teach him to hit himself with a fish, and he'll have headaches all his life!"--Karl Rove

      by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:08:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a complicated issue and I don't think that (4.00)
    many here, including Kos, have a good understanding of the environmental movement and it's structure.  The environmental movement and the humane movement are separate movements, composed of separate organizations, with differing agendas that seldom coincide.  One example would be clashes over exterminating feral cats and pigs from natural areas.

    Environmental organizations almost always concentrate on preserving or restoring habitat.  Without certain types of habitat you will not have certain types of animals.  Hunting is often acceptable or even used as a tool by an environmentalist.  The National Wildlife Federation, the largest environmental organization, is normally pro hunting.

    Humane groups concentrate on the ethical treatment of both wild and domestic animals.  They normally oppose hunting and this often brings them into conflict with environmental groups.  

  •  Conservation (none)
    Phrasing is so important.

    Yes, Environmentalism as a term, is dead. Unfortunately, not enough Americans are educated enough to respect what the Environmental movement has been about. They've been lied to of course by people in positions of power for years... but Americans are shutting their ears to anything that will require substantial changes to their way of life.

    Conservation is a good way to frame what we want to do from the political end though. Kos is right that it's the best umbrella term... and it implies something to the average Joe that environmentalism does not.

    We need to keep it VERY simple for Americans. Conservation implies 'saving,' 'not wasting.' And that's the most important thing any American can try to do in their every day lives to help the Environmental movement... it's probably all we can hope to get from the average Joe.

    Conservation also links directly to America's tradition of beautiful natural places. No American wants to lost that... and many see the Republican Party as beginning to threaten our National Treasures here at home... finally.

    CONSERVATION: shout it to the hilltops.

    " admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!"

    King Lear

    by Norwell on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:58:28 AM PDT

  •  Look to Pete DeFazio (none)
    Democratic Congressman from OR-4, which includes not only "blue" Eugene/Springfield and coastal counties, but some very "red" south Oregon timber towns as well. The Faz remains very popular in BOTH regions, as does former governor John Kithaber from Roseburg.

    His secret is easily copied by other Democrats and can be used in Idaho or anywhere else where Democrats are struggling to gain toeholds. It's simply the realization that you don't have to choose between jobs and conservation. You can have both.

    The Faz supports aid for displaced timber workers, and points out to them how their jobs are being lost not due to keeping forests out of bounds, but by technology and exports.  Machines operated by one or two people can clear as many trees (doing more damage in the process) as could previously be done by ten men with chainsaws, or a hundred men with axes.  Timber companies are also sending raw logs, that used to be processed in Oregon mills, directly to Japan in raw form.  This is why we are cutting MORE trees than ever before, perhaps at unsustainable levels, and still more people are out of work.

    Used to be, local timber companies had an interest in the land. They needed a supply of timber to stay in business, and so they wouldn't clearcut their land at unsustainable levels.  Now, the private land and many federal contracts are as likely as not owned by venture capitalists from far away states, who don't give a damn. They liquidate the entire parcel at once, to pay off some other acquisition, leaving a clearcut that won't even have harvestable christmas trees for another 15 years.

    The mining and ranching areas have similar stories.

    Tell this to resource extraction workers who are concerned about their jobs, and they will vote Democrat, right along with the "bunny huggers".  

    And environemntalists would do well to note that the working class isn't their enemy. The other side is not the logger--it's the venture capitalist.

    deFazio knows this.  Probably so does Schweitzer.  Other Democrats should, too.

    "Hit a man with a fish, and he'll have a headache for a day. Teach him to hit himself with a fish, and he'll have headaches all his life!"--Karl Rove

    by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:00:12 AM PDT

  •  Don't Blame Enviros for Democratic Party problems (none)
    Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures. But by forging such an alliance, environmentalists can sell 95 percent of their agenda to an important, influential bloc of voters otherwise turned off by both the Green movement and the Democratic Party in general.

    The first claim in this paragraph is utterly ignorant nonsense that sets up an utterly false and unprincipled shifting of blame from the Democratic Party to the environmental movement.

    Frankly, kos, you should be ashamed of yourself, and no, I'm not joking.

    The portion of the environmental movement that is anti-hunting is a tiny, tiny fringe that is largely less concerned with environmental/conservation/green issues than it is with an effort to apply 19th century views of human rights to animals. It is no more representative of the environmental movement than the Spartacus League is representative of liberals. It is damn strange to hear a spinmeister try to sell an alliance by repeated demonstrably false charges about one of the partners in the alliance.

    Historically and today, many of the prime movers in the environmental/conservation movement have been hunters and fisherman. Not only has this been widely accepted, it has been celebrated within the movement and has been the basis for many of the limited successes it has had to date.

    However, as a number of posters have pointed out, the Democratic Party is closely identified with gun control overreach and is widely viewed as hostile to gun owners and hunters. The problem is not with the environmental movement. The problem is with the Democratic Party's perceived hostility in this area, not the environmental movement's. It is deeply irresponsible to pretend otherwise.

    With anti-environmental Dems like Byrd, Landrieu, Levin, Dingell, and a host of others, the national Democratic Party is widely, and correctly, seen in the environmental movement as only marginally better than the Republican Party.

    That great liberal paper, the NY Times, is hostile to changes in federal regulation that would reduce dioxin and mercury pollution as a result of changes in paper bleaching processes.

    The Democrats from Michigan have long been hostile to mandated improvements in automobile gas mileage.

    Senator Byrd is hostile to sound environmental regulations that might impact coal-mining and production.

    Senator Landrieu is hostile to sound environmental regulations that might impact oil-drilling and production.

    And in the past, when the issue of the anti-environmental stance of these elected Dems has been raised, the stock Kosian response is that enviros have to be tolerant and accepting because of the home-state dynamics these Senators and Reps face.

    It is precisely this systemic attitude of disrespect and (willfully?) dishonest misrepresentation of the environmental movement on the part of Democratic Partisans that is the great sticking point in collaborative efforts.

    Deal with your own problems with gun control, deal with the deep-Brown elected officials within the Party, and then maybe we have something to talk about.

    But when you lie about people to deflect attention from the Democratic Party's own lacks in this area, you've botched the alliance at the get-go.

    Mea culpa first, collegial negotiations later.

    •  Wording vs. Issues (none)
      There are a few things I would like to comment on within your post.

      The portion of the environmental movement that is anti-hunting is a tiny, tiny fringe that is largely less concerned with environmental/conservation/green issues than it is with an effort to apply 19th century views of human rights to animals.

      Yet, the right has effectively painted all environmentalists as Spotted Owl kissing, tree-loving, whistle-blowing, deer scaring, PETA members that oppose even the hunting of snipe.

      Historically and today, many of the prime movers in the environmental/conservation movement have been hunters and fisherman. Not only has this been widely accepted, it has been celebrated within the movement and has been the basis for many of the limited successes it has had to date.

      Yet, this is not a point that is well made.  As a hunter I know that it was sportsmen that brought many species back from the brink following the Great Depression - not much use hunting if there is nothing to hunt.  However, even I forget this point and tend to think of the Environmental Movement (in which I have a personal stake) as anti-hunting.

      The Democrats from Michigan have long been hostile to mandated improvements in automobile gas mileage.

      Senator Byrd is hostile to sound environmental regulations that might impact coal-mining and production.

      Growing up in a coal-mining town I can tell you the problem here first hand.  No alternative.  If we as a Democratic Party offer sound alternatives that will provide jobs, health care, and education when we close down the mines, then you would see people jump.  Few workers, almost none, really love the mines.  Instead, they have a job which supplies a decent wage and decent benefits.  Most environmentalists rail against coal mining, oil drilling, etc, without offering sound alternatives.

      I think that is why the Apollo Allianceis a good place for Democrats to focus, it offers real alternatives.  But, we need more, we need to guarantee jobs and benefits.  Then, you'll get environmental change.

      If Gore is elected in 2008, will that count as his second term?

      by chuckles1 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:46:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent Resource (none)

        Yes, alternatives are necessary and your link points to some good efforts along that line.

        Two Points:

        1. Democratic Party dependence on large donors (whether union or corporate) will always produce a continuation of business as usual. So the netroots small-donor strategy is key to freeing the party from large entrenched interests that oppose any change that might threaten their power.

        2. Patronizing, or repeating stereotypes (vegetarian-african/american relations are plagued by a perception that african/americans eat too much chicken) is not a good way to start a constructive dialogue.
      •  PETA is not an environmental organization (none)
        nor has it ever been.  Yes, the word environmentalist has been demonized and so has liberal and you know what? the same will happen to conservationist.  We will run out of words long before republicans quit trying to demonize both the words and their users.
  •  Environment as pro-business (none)
    When we ran as "Green Republicans" in the 1990 and 2002 Wisconsin primaries, we got a lot of mileage out of the argument that those businesses who could develop cleaner production technologies would see the profits in the decade ahead. Tommy Thompson and Rep. Scott Klug latched on to the idea, alas they had little success selling it to the national level GOP.

    No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:14:34 AM PDT

    •  Oops (none)
      1990 and 1992.

      Below is an early draft of our best thin piece, alas later more polished editions do not seem to survive in digital form.


       Twenty individuals from 6 counties gathered at the Old White Schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, birthplace of the Republican party, on March 20th, the 148th anniversary of the founding of the first chapter of the GOP, to launch a new political movement, the Green Republicans of Wisconsin.

       Chairing the meeting was Roger Faulkner, a declared candidate for the US Senate in the September 15 Republican primary challenging incumbent Bob Kasten. Also present was Ben Masel, who recieved almost 13,000 votes (6%) in a 1990 primary challenge to Governor Tommy Thompson, and will soon declare for the 78th Assembly District seat representing downtown Madison.

       Because we live in a one party system. Because Wisconsin's
       environment can't wait two more years. We are recruiting a slate of candidates to run in the 1992 Wisconsin GOP primaries next September 15. This electoral campaign is a wakeup call to the complacent voters and politicians of Wisconsin, and perhaps also of a larger region depending on the level of interest in the Green Republicans from activists from other states. The campaign represents an attempt to return control of Wisconsin's Republican
       party to local hands with bioregional interests. We hope to ally with Main Street Republicans against the Wall Street, or Banana Republicans, (who are turning this country into another Banana Republic, ripe for multinational exploitation.) By running in the primaries we leave voters a second chance to vote in November against any Banana Republicans who survive our challenge.

       The Green Republicans believe that Wisconsin's economy should evolve towards sustainable agriculture and environmentally sound manufacturing. We want to see Wisconsin get out front in the US as the leading innovator on environmental technology. This is a business opportunity as well as a moral imperative. We are
       committed to transforming the state towards renewable, and particularly Biomass sourced, raw material and energy. This will involve courageous actions. We do not shirk from the political challenge that hemp, the top yielding biomass plant for our climate, now prohibited by Federal policy, is an important potential contributor to economic and environmental health. This is particularly important for Wisconsin because of our paper industry, which recently began importing Brazilian eucalyptus pulp.

       We intend to "make government smaller." We therefore support free choice with regard to a person's control of one's own body. This applies to abortion rights, medical care, consentual sexual practices, and recreational drug use. The government has no business regulating morals.

       Republicans have always preached about the "sanctity of
       contracts." We take this principle seriously, and would apply it to treaties with Native American Nations.

       We agree that long term dependence on the welfare system is detrimental to both the recipient and the society that foots the bill. The answer lies not in punishment but in policies that promote innovative self-employment. We support making land available to allow the urban poor to enter a newly profitable small farm economy.

      No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

      by ben masel on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:18:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Natural Capitalism (none)
        This article might spark some ideas for reframing environmentalism as a sustainable economy based on "natural capital". It uses language and concepts that would appeal to those who are fond of the old argument "trees or jobs?"

        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts- Bertrand Russell

        by htappy on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 06:51:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Single-issue voters (4.00)
    Considering all the support voiced here recently in defense of single-issue voting, I'd think this would be a no-brainer for a lot of people.

    Hunters, fishermen and responsible gun-owners are some of the most focused single-issue voters in the country - environmentalism and environmental issues are well within the focus of their single issue if you don't drive them away on issues like gun control or with attitudes that attack them as "Bambi-killers". They aren't wingnuts or GOP voters any more than the rest of the population is.

    We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

    by badger on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:20:01 AM PDT

    •  Framing Will Win This Issue (none)
      My entire hometown votes Republican largely because Democrats will take away their guns.  This is in Pennsylvania.
      If the Senate candidates comes out next year and says:

      "I'll take your hunting rifle away when hell freezes over.  But, if you want me to let Uzis and AK-47s flow freely into the hands of murderers, assassins, and terrorists, then we're going to have a problem."

      If Gore is elected in 2008, will that count as his second term?

      by chuckles1 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:32:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (none)
        In some cases, people on the "progressive" side of issues like gun control or the environment are fighting for things that are irrelevant to or even counter-productive in achieving the things they want. People on the other side just as often oppose things that don't affect them at all.

        It would help if people on both sides of those issues were more open and willing to listen.

        We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

        by badger on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:58:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe, but I'm not convinced (none)
        I'm not sure I agree with that idea.  Rural gunowner folks are every bit as familiar with the "slippery slope" argument as we are.  We don't believe that Republicans like Santorum and Frist are going to stop with partial birth abortion, do we?  Of course not, because they have no credibility on the subject.  We know that they want to undo privacy rights, and this is just a way to get their foot in the door.

        Well, many hunter-type people feel the same way about gun control advocates.  In their minds, what to us seem like sensible reforms (assault weapons ban, etc.) appear to them as just the first step toward grabbing their guns.  Of course, the NRA keeps the pot bubbling, but there's enough truth to this because many Democrats do lack credibility on this, because we do tend to be more urban, Eastern, whatever.  

        I think we should leave the gun control stuff alone, and DEFINITELY make common cause with hunters, etc. on environmental goals, or whatever we need to call them.

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:59:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When this subject comes up I always ask... (none)
          You've known me for all my life, do you really think I want anyone taking away my gun?  When they say no, but you aren't running..

          I say,

          Well who the hell do you think these other folks are?  It might be me someday and are you gonna believe these idjits calling me a liberal tree hugger who wants to steal your rifles? So, what makes you believe it about the guy running now?  Have you looked?  Have you asked him?  You can call them you know, or email, or go to a rally.  Ask them.  

          etc etc etc

          It has never failed yet.

          If Gore is elected in 2008, will that count as his second term?

          by chuckles1 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 12:19:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Gun control organizations and environmental (none)
          organizations are concerned with separate issues.
    I couldn't disagree with Kos more on this point, CONSERVATION is alive and well and thriving!!! That's when it is not hijacked by partisan or ideological interests. Environmentalists become irrelevant when they do not address the bread and butter issues surrounding the reality of social and economic needs tied to natural resource utilization. Those who have done so in an objective, non-partisan manner have reaped great dividends. Look at an outfit such as The Nature Conservancy which is the 15th largest charity in the U.S. and still a thriving, successful environmental organization. Their members and staff come from all ideological, political and social backgrounds and yet they've still managed to craft a conservation strategy based on shared values and objectives. They've worked successfully with hunters, the cattle industry, the farming industry, corporations, real estate development firms you name a strange bedfellow, and they will have worked with them. Their approach allows this since they are non-confrontational and non-partisan.
    •  Kos is right (none)
      Just as John Kerry went hunting just before the election (in full view of the cameras), we need to be seen as the hunter friendly party. Before the last election I helped send out thousands of information letters to union members explaining that John Kerry is a true believer of the Second Amendment and all hunting rights.

      This will help persuade the single-issue voters to look beyond that issue. We all know John Kerry has always voted with the majority of our party for every common sense gun regulation that is proposed. Most Democrats know that the second amendment has nothing to do with a private person owning guns, but a well-regulated police force.

      First we need to win the elections. Only then we can gradually introduce legislation toward our core beliefs of conservation and protecting the defenseless that share our world.

      (Sorry for the redundancy, attached this to the wrong comment before)

      •  No, not quite (none)
        Kerry's hunting expedition was portrayed as a disingenuous photo op. I don't think that was entirely the case but that is certainly how it was perceived.

        I'm discouraged by the let's win first and then sneak in our agenda talk.  Isn't that what people are talking about when they say the republicans get their constituents to vote against their interest by lying? What is the difference, this lie would be righteous? (And omitting your true agenda is lying.) Don't you think that is the same thing that Bush and co believe- that the ends justify the means?

        Framing an issue is fine, but stick to some principles.  A great deal of the kos crowd seems altogether too prepared to abandon the any particular piece of the democratic constituency and principles every time it looks like a convenient way to grab a few red votes.  

        There is nothing mutually exclusive between hunting and environmentalism. That is as when  were talking about responsible hunters - which most are-  but we also need to be on the look out for those that have no regard for the delicate nature of biodiversity and who care little for preserving our natural legacy. Reckless industry is a mush bigger threat to the environment.

        And please for goodness sake can we stop feeding into the labels and stereotypes that are meant to undermine the real issues?  There nothing particularly partisan about environmentalism.  And there is no shame in being a treehugger.

        (Forgive me if there is anything goofy or wrong with the posting- long time lurker, first time poster. CS.)

      •  We'll definitely lose hunters (none)
        if you come out with the idea that the Second Amendment protects only the rights of the militia (let alone the police force!).  That's WAY one of their indicators that us liberals will be taking away their guns as soon as we can manage it.  

        Unfortunately, see my comment above, there's no such thing as "common sense" gun regulations for millions of Americans (including many potential Democrats), any more than there are "common sense" abortion restrictions as far as many of us are concerned.

        I don't hunt, and I despise killing for sport, but gun control just shouldn't be an issue for this party at the national level.    

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 12:11:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I liked (none)
          Dean's position in the '04 primaries. A lot of people jumped on him for it but there are different urban and rural gun issues. I have no problem with a hunter's rifle but no one needs a pistol or 50 caliber semi automatic weapon to hunt deer.  
        •  Where in the constitution (none)
          is the part about our right to kill animals?

          We all know that we can't win elections with the "gun control" issue out in front. That's why we change our message, not our core belief.

          We changed "gun control" into "common sense gun safety".

          That's not signaling a change in our core policy of getting guns off the streets. It's marketing to the uninformed single-issue voter.

          •  Gun control isn't a core belief (none)
            for all of us.  I would argue that it shouldn't be part of our message above the state level either.

            If we are really opposed to the yeomanry having guns, then masquerading as if we are only really advocating gun safety or whatever is both lame and ineffective.  I mean, really, are you going to believe President Bush if he tells you he's only interested in "common sense" abortion reform?  Hell no!  And NRA members really aren't any stupider than we are on average.

            Of course the Constitution says nothing about hunting, etc.  Other people can make the argument better than me, but I've seen some well-researched arguments that the authors of the Constitution were in fact interested in an armed citizenry as a counterweight to the central government.  I'm not saying that I agree with this particular check and/or balance (I mean, this IS 200+ years later and all), but,then, t is incumbent upon you to amend the Constitution, not pretend that the Constitution doesn't say what it pretty clearly seems to say, and mostly likely is saying given the historical context in which it was written.  

            As for me, I really think we should stay away from this whole area.  I'm much more interested in the environment, or conservation, or whatever we choose to call it.

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ok (none)
            fair enough...

            I just think it is especially important to be honest about our agenda. It is the single greatest difference between us and the republican leadership. It is important that our messages on key issues look and feel real because they are real and not a duplicitous way in...And some real leadership on the issue would make a big difference.  

        •  What does gun control have to do with (none)
          Environmentalism?  Two completely separate and distinct movements.
          •  You talkin' to me? (none)
            I was just replying to the previous poster on the subject.  They are sort of connected through the hunting constituency, wouldn't you agree?

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gator Keyfitz (3.50)
              The thread has gotten so complicated that I can't remember who I was talking to.  However, I do not think they are related.  Environmentalists often use hunting to help prevent damage to an ecosystem or species, especially in areas where natural predation is lacking.  Environmentalists will also align themselves with hunters for political leverage in preserving or restoring habitat.  The National Wildlife Federation is the largest environmental organization in the country and it is very pro hunting.  However, environmentalists will oppose hunting in many cases, such as with most rare and endangered species or some fragile and restricted habitats.  The recovery of the American Alligator would probably have not occurred if legal hunting had not been instituted.  This allowed the landowner to reap the benefits rather than the poacher and encouraged landowners to leave their land in wetlands.  Regulated hunting or fishing is seldom a problem in the the United States these days.  The real solution is habitat, habitat, habitat!  
              •  I can agree with that (none)
                Personally I'd just as soon people didn't enjoy violence as much as they do.  I don't find anything attractive about firearms, or using them.  

                The reason gun control came up is because about 3/4 of the same people kos is suggesting we make common cause with on conservation issues are opposed to gun control, so I was proposing the idea that part of the strategy discussed in this thread should include drooping gun control from the national platform.  In that sense they ARE linked.          

                No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 02:04:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Hunt Republicans... (none)
    ...not bears!
    Their hide make nice toilet seat covers!

    Gore Vidal: "...she is uncompromised by compassion." Was he talking about a Republican?

    by oratorio on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:29:18 AM PDT

  •  For the past several months... (none)
    I've been thinking Brian Schweitzer would be a good choice for White House.
  •  Enviros v. Hunters (4.00)
    Generally good post.


    Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures.

    This statement is just completely false.  Most hunting advocacy groups routinely deny basic ecological concepts and oppose restriction of hunting access even to the most sensitive habitat areas.

    Meanwhile, most serious enviros understand the importance of hunting and frequently take part in eradicating invasive exotic animal species (such as bullfrogs and white-tailed deer) to help native species.

    Mas vale vivir de pie, que morir de las rodillas. - not Zapata

    by Jeff Simpson on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:33:30 AM PDT

  •  Wilderness, as it turns out, is worth big $$$ (none)
    There's a good article in the March 2005 issue of Outside magazine (ususally a good read for many things, IMHO) by Bruce Barcott.
    It explains the current success of wilderness economics and valuation gurus like John Loomis --and the need to broaden the debate and conservation nets.

    Karl Rappold, who runs Black Angus cattle on 13,000 acres along Montana's Rocky Mountain Front, also understands the value of wildlands. When the Bush administration proposed leasing federal land near Rappold's ranch for natural-gas development four years ago, Rappold became a born-again wilderness advocate. "This land has hardly changed since Lewis and Clark came through," he told me. "I want to see it stay the way it is, without industrialization."

    Here's the kicker: Rappold's protest worked. Because the message came from a traditionally Republican base (ranchers like Rappold, along with fishing and hunting advocates, opposed the expanded drilling plan), the Bush administration announced last October that it would shelve the proposal--at least for now.

    Bingo. More Republicans or hunters protesting produces better results with the current administration --that we're stuck with until 2008.

    Oh, please.  The hunting photo op was just awful.  Is anyone else here a hunter?  I mean, he looked like the guy that hunters hate.  The city boy down to the country with his $2000 gun and his $500 jacket and his $300 boots and his $100 hat - all coordinated.

    Hint to candidates.  If you want to do a hunting photo op next time, get a pair of Carhartt bibs with a fluorescent orange jacket and a pair of Mickey Mouse boots from the Army-Navy store.  Get it all dirty and go to your photo op.

    If Gore is elected in 2008, will that count as his second term?

    by chuckles1 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 12:25:24 PM PDT

  •  Defense (none)
    I totally agree that we need more Environmental debates in politics and it's great that the Dems could possibly getting a grasp on how to have a Green movement w/o being called Hippies. But I think we would need some solid D to support it. One of the reasons Dems sometimes stay away from the issue is because the Repubs always say something like it will hurt the economy of market or whatever. And that's all they say without any stats or science to back it. So before the Dems get into this they may want show how it's good for the economy and not just the environment because when it comes down to it, people care about stock prices more than the price we pay for destroying our planet.

    Side note: Well actually they do care about the price we pay for screwing up the environment but most people are too stupid to make the connection between health care costs and crazy amounts of toxins being released into the air in addition to the Mercury in the water.

    Double side note: maybe we should have an Environment Stock that shows how the environment is actually doing. Then maybe people would understand that the self-proclaimed Environmental President is fucking liar!

  •  this is typical elitist eastern ignorance (none)
    "Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures"

    As others have noted, "real" hunters like those represented by the national and most state Wildlife Federations, are true environmentalists on wildlife issues.  They support habitat protection and preservation of endangered and non-game species, not just hunting "rights".  And GASP sometimes they even support some kinds of gun control  (though the urban-rural-western gulf between those for whom a gun is a weapon and those form whom it is a tool appears to be insurmountable)

    The history of the environmental movement has 2 strains:  the John Muir "save for its own sake" strain and the Gifford Pinchot "save for wise use" strain.  Both are equally "traditional"

    The biological illiterates that Kos evidently thinks of as "environmentalists"... PETA and their ilk... deserve no place in this discussion.

    PETA wants no "furry creatures" killed, even by another furry creature. They don't believe in predation.  They are morons.  They are the left's equivalent of James Dobson

    In addition, urban environmentalism and its concerns is a very different kettle of fish (or, dare I say, "piece of pie") from wildlife/wildlands environmentalism.

    Kos needs to stop filtering everything through his own limited experience

    •  conflation (none)
      This thread is probably dead but I was reading over a little looking for a link and anyhow there seems to be a serious conflation on the issue groups were talking about here.

       PETA is not an environmental group. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)are about animal rights. I imagine they are concerned about the environment particularly where it intersects with their interest in protecting animal rights and habitat.

      Greenpeace, Sierra Club etc, are enviromental groups and I've never seen them rail against hunting save for the cases where they are concerned abou species extinction, like the case of whales or seals.

      Of course as has been discussed there is some overlap in the interests of these groups but the basic premise from the original post "Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures" is laughably ignorant.

      Perhaps this explains a bit of kos's hostility to single issue groups.

      PS- pitbullEmily - I very much enjoyed your pie snark :)

  •  Conservation Value (none)
    There is a LOT to be gained through POSITIVE environmental vision--communicating the "people" values of maintaining a healthy environment.

    Clean energy as profitable, tax cutting (with all the incentives), security increasing (the less middle east oil we need, the less we need to spend billions fighting middle east wars), health protecting, cancer preventing.  A lot on this at

    And healthy ecosystems as providing valuable services, often at a price that is far cheaper than humans can do it.  Take the famous example of New York City protecting the forests around its reservoirs for $1.2-2 billion, saving billions from the $6-8 billion cost of building a water filtration plant.  The forest's "ecosystem service" of water filtration came much cheaper than a human-built filtration plant!

    There is much to gain from increasing public awareness of the "Conservation Value" of a healthy environment, and from communicating these issues from a "positive vision of a better life" standpoint as opposed to gloom and doom.

  •  The Most Important Issue (none)
    I'm a lifelong environmentalist, and studied environmental science in college.

    But the American people are terrified, and thus irrational, based upon the trauma of the 9/11 attacks. Since most Americans believe that the bad guys are "out there" and are about to get us unless we have a strong leader to fight them, they will not and CANNOT make any logical decisions about the environment or other issues because they are in fear for their lives. Unless 9/11 truth is revealed to them, showing them that 9/11 only happened because certain radical elements in our own government allowed and indeed caused it to happen, they will NEVER be able to look at any other truths, be they the environment or anything else.

    Imagine, if you would, that you were a liberal activist in Germany right after the Reichstag fire (i.e. the burning down of the German parliament building by Hitler's men) had occurred. Do you believe that you would have any success working on poverty, health care, unemployment, war or labor issues? I believe not, not without first exposing that the Reichstag fire -- the single thing which allowed the German parliament and other institutions to hand Hitler total power -- was exposed.

    Please consider the following:

    (1) Never before have planes been allowed to fly over military basis and gone unchallenged by fighter jets for so long (flight paths, including maps of military bases, are publicly available, as is the history of fighter jet interceptions when planes go off course);

    (2) Never before has the Secret Service allowed a president to remain in a well-publicized location (the school) when there is danger (specifically, if there were really a terrorist attack using planes, and if the U.S. really didn't know where the planes were going, the Secret Service would have evacuated Bush from the school, and would never have allowed Air Force One to subsequently take off without fighter jet escort); and

    (3) Never before have steel-frame buildings collapsed due to fire, and the world trade centers were dramatically over-built with steel cores (building 7 collapsed even though NOT hit by a plane, and the leaseholder -- Larry Silverstein -- admitted on a widely aired PBS documentary that he had caused the building to be "pulled", a construction term for "demolished").

    These are just 3 of many publicly available, documented facts which show that 9/11 COULD NOT have happened without active government assistance.  See (summary); (article).  See for further info.

    Please reflect on this.
    Counsel (attorney and former law school professor).

  •  I think Kos is full of shit. (none)
    Here's why: the crux of his position, the basic belief that environmentalists do not like to kill 'furry creatures' is bullshit.

    I'm an enviro and I love to hunt.  Fish too.  By far the majority of environmentalists I know are avid hunters.  That is not to say they are gun-rights/NRA folks.  

    Many of the most rabid Wilderness activists are hunters and anglers.

    Sure, there are the PETA people or whatever they are.  I dont mean to knock them but my point is that whithin the conservation community I would be there is less that 1% vegetarian, anti-hunting hippies.  I've been doing this for a long time and I rarely meet those people.

    If we continue to see the issue of conservation and the conservation players in the same, simplistic and stark black and white eyesight that Bush uses, then we will get nowhere.

    The Gov of MT and WY only seem radical in thier actions if you dont have a clue about the workings of the environmental movement.

    "People cannot stand too much reality." - Carl Jung

    by environmentalist on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 03:16:17 PM PDT

  •  Markos, please don't do Karl Rove's work (4.00)
    I agree completely and enthusiastically with the strategy of alliances between hunters and environmentalists. But I think you're taking a wrong turn in sneering at the "tree-huggers".

    Over the last few decades, the right wing noise machine has made an industry out of ridiculing the people who made progress on environmental protection, women's rights, and other liberal values.

    The word "liberal" was turned into a dirty word, along with "enviro", and "feminazi". The mockery mechanism takes the most extreme and absurd examples and uses them to tarnish the whole enterprise.

    You are stalwart about opposing centrist democrats who undercut and stereotype liberal democrats.  The so-called centrists who bash Dean in public are carrying Republicans' water.

    Please realize that the same evil hand is at work in the stereotypes of environmentalists and women's rights proponents.

    It is a good thing to ally with hunters who want to conserve unpolluted open spaces. It is also a good thing to study and test and refine messaging that works with the people we are seeking to communicate with.

    But it is bad to simply repeat the "volvo-driving, latte-swilling, tree-hugging" slurs, without recognizing that those stereotypes mostly benefit the right's strategy to divide and rule.

  •  It's about f**king time! (none)
    I've been waiting for hunters and conservationists/environmentalists to form an alliance.

    About 15 years ago, the township of Milford, Michigan banned centerfire and rimfire hunting within township limits.  This was done in response to increasingly frequent complaints from longtime residents over having their windows shot out and bullet holes in their exterior walls.  At the time, Milford was on the bleeding edge of the expanding exurban ring around Detroit and with each pssing year another cornfield became a McMansion development.  The situation had simply gotten to the point where there was virtually no place in the township where one could stand and not be within about a quarter mile of an occupied building.  It was not a place to go throwing lead that might travel a mile.

    The hunters I grew up around and admired, like my Uncle John who seemed to know the names and lifecycle of all the flora and fauna in the woods, would never even have considered rifle hunting in Milford - not enough open space.  And yet a bunch of "hunters", including Ted "Dickwad" Nugent (who lived about 60 miles away) came out of the woodwork to protest the ordinance (and many of the "hunters" who attended the SRO town meetings on the issue were the same guys who made a habit out of shining deer and shooting from vehicles).  Why?  "Property Rights"!  The argument was that the ordinance violated the property rights of hunters who lived in the township.  

    "Property Rights" was exactly the argument that developers employed whenever a township like Milford considered an ordinace that might present an obstacle to them developing property they owned in a manner that they pleased.  So, of course, the developers came out in support of the protesting "hunters" and were welcomed by them.  I could never get these so-called hunters to grasp the idea that it was exactly the actions of those developers, using exactly the same argument, that were inexorably destroying their happy hunting grounds.

    Jesus H. f**king Christ!  It's about time that hunters woke up to the fact that a good part of the conservationist agenda is a helluva lot more in their favor than that of the developers!  I can't believe that they're just now starting to get this.

  •  Nuclear Power (none)
    I know I'm going to offend the sponsers, but I think enviro attitudes towards nuclear power should be reexamined. (Come to think of it, anything involving Jane Fonda and the Democratic Party needs to be reexamined.)

    While nuclear power is not perfect, inovation in Europe and Japan have made it safer and more efficient than the plants that we still have. Our moritorium killed our innovation and stifled the kind of technology we need to reduce and prevent climate change or ocean acidification from CO2 buildup.

    Many environmental groups around the country have come around on this issue. Listen to Kristof.

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