At The Public Square, I have two articles up adapted from a forthcoming paper evaluating recent shifts in U.S. climate advocacy. Below is a brief summary of the article followed by a reference and link to the paper.

Following the death of cap-and-trade, environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Bill McKibben’s have engaged in a form of grassroots activism and civil disobedience not seen since the 1970s. While the ideological mobilization has undoubtedly elevated particular environmental issues – the Keystone XL pipeline, fossil fuel divestment, and climate change denialism – the discourse is so divisive as to deepen political polarization, even between moderates and liberals, and has contributed to public distrust of the government’s ability to solve problems. In exchange for potent cultural symbols, these groups’ in-your-face activism surrenders broader and potentially more substantive goals, such as protecting communities from climate risks through adaptation, or advocating for the development of cleaner, more reliable energy technologies that can power low-income countries.

Nisbet, M.C. (in press). Environmental Advocacy in the Obama Years: Assessing New Strategies for Political Change. In N. Vig & M. Kraft (Eds), Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, 9th Edition. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.