Climate Activists Split on Tactics

With cap-and-trade legislation to combat climate change the next big-ticket item in Congress after health care, environmental groups are gearing up to rally the public to their cause. But activists are divided over how best to present their case. Some large organizations, such as the Environmental Defense Fund, have done away with previous ads warning of apocalyptic consequences for unchecked climate change and featuring threatened children in favor of new optimistic commercials showcasing potential job growth thanks to green sources of energy. The economic argument may fit the recession, but some are worried that letting up on the urgency of turning back climate change may weaken the public's resolve for tough measures. "It's a lack of faith in the American public," one activist told the Washington Post. "If the scientists, the environmentalists in our country do their jobs, and explain the test of climate change, the public will come along." The House passed a climate bill earlier this year while the Senate has begun to take the issue up this week.