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Imagining wilderness

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Imagining wilderness exploring the historical roots of "Frontier Identity" and its impacts on the environmental movement
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Exploring the historical roots of "Frontier Identity" and its impacts on the environmental movement
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Gabehart, Kayla M. ( author )
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Since colonization, Euro Americans have set foot on the shores of what would become the United States with the intent to civilize a savage “wilderness,” whether that be in the name of religious piety, economic gain, or settlement and expansion. This idea of civilizing “wilderness” has gone through many re-imaginings in American culture, from Manifest Destiny to the “American Dream” to foreign interventions, Americans have perceived the physical environment as a “frontier,” separate from the human condition, to be crossed into and improved via settlement, development, or preservation. The environment thus has effectively been commodified in the sense that it can be bought and sold. The buying and selling of the physical environment and the potential of massive payoffs has further led to the corruption of some non-profit environmental organizations, as evidenced by the case study of the Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy has bought and sold carbon offsets and tracts of land they vowed to protect, often dispossessing Native populations in order to reap massive profits in a sort of postmodern colonialism dynamic. This construction of modern “frontiers” is now impacting the environmental movement, as evidenced by the geopolitical divide that separates the United States and much of the rest of the world, particularly the European Union, when it comes to negotiating international agreements to mitigate the effects of manmade climate change. Thus, any progress towards cooperative global efforts to combat climate change are currently unlikely due to poor communication about climate science amongst the general population in America, politicization of the issue, and marked differences in climate and energy policy in the United States, compared to the European Union.
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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Colorado Denver, 2017.
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by Kayla M. Gabehart.

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Full Text
IMAGINING WILDERNESS:
EXPLORING THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF "FRONTIER IDENTITY" AND ITS IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT
by
KAYLA M. GABEHART B.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2014 M.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2017
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts History Program
2017


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Kayla M. Gabehart has been approved for the History Program
by
Dale Stahl, Chair Pamela Laird Greg Whitesides
Date: May 13, 2017


Gabehart, Kayla M. (M.A., History Program)
IMAGINING WILDERNESS: EXPLORING THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF "FRONTIER IDENTITY" AND ITS IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Dale J. Stahl
ABSTRACT
Since colonization, Euro Americans have set foot on the shores of what would become the United States with the intent to civilize a savage "wilderness, whether that be in the name of religious piety, economic gain, or settlement and expansion. This idea of civilizing "wilderness has gone through many re-imaginings in American culture, from Manifest Destiny to the "American Dream to foreign interventions, Americans have perceived the physical environment as a "frontier, separate from the human condition, to be crossed into and improved via settlement, development, or preservation. The environment thus has effectively been commodified in the sense that it can be bought and sold. The buying and selling of the physical environment and the potential of massive payoffs has further led to the corruption of some non-profit environmental organizations, as evidenced by the case study of the Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy has bought and sold carbon offsets and tracts of land they vowed to protect, often dispossessing Native populations in order to reap massive profits in a sort of postmodern colonialism dynamic. This construction of modern "frontiers is now impacting the environmental movement, as evidenced by the geopolitical divide that separates the United States and much of the rest of the world, particularly the European Union, when it comes to negotiating international agreements to mitigate the effects of manmade climate change. Thus, any progress
m


towards cooperative global efforts to combat climate change are currently unlikely due to poor communication about climate science amongst the general population in America, politicization of the issue, and marked differences in climate and energy policy in the United States, compared to the European Union.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Dale J. Stahl
IV


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION: CONSTRUCTING WILDERNESS........................................1
II. CONSTRUCTING GREEN: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AS A
"FRONTIER" AND A TOOL OF DISPOSSESSION........................................5
Early Identity Formation, the Roots of Liberal Capitalism, and Dispossession..8
Western Frontier Identity, Early Capitalism, and Violence Against Natives and Labor. 12 American Exceptionalism in the Progressive Era, the Domination of Industrial
Capitalism, and the People of the Margins.....................................14
Post-War Idealism, Modern Capitalism, and the Market Production of Inequality.16
Conclusions: The Perpetuity of the Frontier...................................21
III. BUYING GREEN: THE ENTANGLEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTALISM WITH BIG BUSINESS
& ITS IMPACT ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD..........................................23
From Green Motivations to Green Motivations...................................31
Big Business and the Bottom Line..............................................38
Prioritizing Wealth & Privatizing the Environment.............................44
Conclusions: Imminent Consequences............................................53
IV. DECONSTRUCTING GREEN: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE...............................................57
The Rhetoric of Globalized Risk and Shortcoming in Climate Communication......60
Analyzing Divergence: The Environment in the U.S. and Europe Post-1970s.......65
Legalized Difference: Climate Policy in the U.S. and Europe...................74
Conclusions: Where Do We Go From Here?........................................77
v


V. CONCLUSION: "THE SCIENCE ISNT IN YET"...........................81
BIBLIOGRAPHY............................................................84
vi


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION: CONSTRUCTING WILDERNESS
"For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease has not fully infected the earth, wrote environmental historian William Cronon in his 1995 work, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. He continues, "It is an island in the polluted sea of urban-industrial modernity, the one place we can turn for escape from our too-muchness.1 Thus, as cities expanded both upward and outward to suburbs, and suburbs edged closer to rural America in the twentieth century, our "too-muchness led to the idealization and conceptualization of the less-densely populated, flora and fauna rich areas of the physical environment as wilderness, untouched, venerated, and a maker of Americans, separate from the human condition and that "urban industrial modernity in which we live our lives from day-to-day.
While Cronon points out that as late as the eighteenth century "wilderness was synonymous with savageness and waste, the history of drawing lines and demarcations between "civilization and "wilderness by Americans and the would-be Americans who colonized before them, extends far back to the beginnings of British forays into the "New World. The Puritans believed that their superiority over this New World was the result of a divine ordinance, exemplified in biblical terms in Genesis 1:28: "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.2 Explorers and those hoping to amass wealth
1 William Cronon, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co), 1997, 69-90.
2 Peter Harrison, "Fill the Earth and Subdue It: Biblical Warrants for Colonization in Seventeenth Century England, E Publications at Bond University, http://epublications.bond.edu.au/hss pubs/54. last accessed October 25, 2015.
1


were less inclined to biblical justifications than to those economic reasons proposed by Richard Hakluyt in his Discourse Concerning Western Planting. These explorers hoped to discover "merchantable commodities, extract them from the land, and profit from them.3 Whether biblical commandment or economic necessity motivated various early New England colonists, they set foot on New World soil with the intention to "improve the land and live on it, not within it, creating almost a naturalized separateness between areas colonists and explorers deemed "civilization and those deemed "wilderness. Iterations of these ideas about the environment and "wilderness have since impacted choices and decisions throughout American history. Cronon also points out that, "wilderness is "quite profoundly a human creation, and the notion of designating a particular tract of land as a "wilderness is "the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires... we suppose [it] can be the solution to our cultures problematic relationships with the nonhuman world. This phenomenon is perhaps best reflected in the establishment of the United States national parks. While these areas often boasted beautiful and sometimes rare and endangered plant and animal specimens, their establishment by both wealthy benefactors and government officials proved problematic, as historian Karl Jacoby demonstrated in his 2001 book, Crimes Against Nature. Jacoby shows that during the establishment of Adirondack Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canon Forest Reserve, and other national forests, Native Americans and other individuals subsisting off the land were pushed out when officials decided on borders for each particular protected space, constructing these the Natives
3 Richard Hakluyt, Discourse Concerning Western Planting, originally written in 1584, in E.G.R. Taylor, ed., Original Writings and Correspondences of the Two Richard Hakluyts (Hakluyt Society, 1935), II, 211-37.
2


and those living off the land as the titular squatters, poachers, and thieves intruding on arbitrarily drawn tracts of "wilderness.4 Thus, whether it is the well-intentioned establishment of national parks, or other projects undertaken by Americans throughout history with the desire to "improve the land in some manner, the human creation, the social construction of "wilderness often leads to unintended social and environmental consequences.
This study explores some of the unintended consequences of the myth making of
the environment as "wilderness that is imbedded in many historical moments
throughout American history. The story that I will weave is interdisciplinary, and
ultimately focuses on how one of these unintended consequences is the hampering of
the modern environmental movement. Chapter I examines the historiographical
literature regarding how different lines of "frontier have been constructed throughout
American history, imposing "improvement in many different forms over many
different decades, and often dispossessing the groups living in a particular "wilderness.
Chapter II, building off of the notions of the constructing of frontiers, explores the
frontier of postmodern colonialism as exemplified through the case study of the Nature
Conservancy. The Conservancy began as a science-based ecological preservation society
and grew into one of the largest and wealthiest environmental non-profits in the world.
Though its goal is to preserve the land it purchases, the Conservancy has become
embroiled in for-profit business model that often prioritizes profits, dispossesses the
most vulnerable populations around the world, and ultimately undermines the
organizations original goals. Chapter III then examines global climate change and the
4 Karl Jacoby, Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation (Berkeley: University of California Press,) 2001.
3


environmental movement as a worldwide phenomenon, and analyzes the rhetorical differences between environmental policy in the United States and the European Union, the laggard and the leader of the developed world respectively. These differences make any progress towards cooperative and imminently needed global efforts to combat climate change highly unlikely, and show how the long-term consequences of global climate change continue to dispossess the worlds most vulnerable populations, and potentially put all of the worlds people in danger as the planet continues to warm. This study ultimately holds that imagining various areas of "wilderness has contributed a sort of commodification of the physical environment through narratives upholding improvement and preservation. This commodification of nature, as tracts of land or carbon offsets to be bought and sold in the capitalist, free-market, hinders rather than helps the environmental movement. And while those dispossessed already deal with the effects of a warming planet, climate change, ultimately will not discriminate.
4


CHAPTER II
CONSTRUCTING GREEN: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AS A
"FRONTIER" AND A TOOL OF DISPOSSESSION
"Above all, it seems to me wrongheaded and dangerous to invoke historical assumptions about environmental practices of native people in order to justify treating them fairly... By invoking this assumption to justify fair treatment of native peoples, we imply that it would be OK to mistreat them if that assumption could be refuted."
-Jared Diamond Collapse: How Societies Fail or Succeed
The Oxford-English Dictionary defines frontier as "the extreme limit of settled land beyond which lies wilderness, and wilderness is by definition "an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region, or "a neglected or abandoned area. These definitions are important to understand in that groups of people throughout American history have used these definitions to inform ideas about the physical landscape, and changed and manipulated these according to desires and circumstances. These definitions and the ideas often impacted history in distinct ways. Diamonds quote demonstrates these definitions applied to ideas about Native Americans as stewards of the land, though perceptions of these same environmental practices has also historically been used to categorize Native Americans, and later other minority groups, as savages incapable of "improving the land, thus becoming a part of the frontier themselves to be conquered. Thus, definitions and the way they are applied matters, even if they do not necessarily make sense in some contemporary schools of thought.
At the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner presented his own ideas regarding the definitions of frontier and wilderness when he lamented, "the
5


frontier has gone.5 Now known colloquially amongst historians as the "Frontier Thesis, modern academics have largely refuted the work of Turner. In her 1986 study of the American West, The Legacy of Conquest, historian Patricia Limerick characterized Turners ideas as "ethnocentric and nationalistic, criticisms shared by many historians of the West and throughout the many sub fields of the discipline.6 Nonetheless, hardly any historian of the American West has left Turners "Frontier Thesis untouched. Because, ethnocentric and misguided as they are, Turners ideas exemplified contemporary feelings of declension and anxieties about the perceived closing of the frontier, a passing of the "first period of American history, and of "gifts of free land. For Turner and his like-minded colleagues, the crossing of this "line of most rapid and effective Americanization and the subsequent conquering of the "wilderness produced the ideal citizenry necessary for the "Great American Experiment to succeed. However, Turner indicated, and Limerick critiques, Turners ideal Americans were "European in dress.7 Thus, the exclusivity of Turners frontier is crucial in understanding the scholarship of not only the American West, but also particularly of the environment, as historians have demonstrated repeatedly that the environment is a tool of oppression. Since Euro-Americans set foot on the North American continent, they have incorporated this frontier ideology of the environment into varying and evolving conceptions of American identity, and have subsequently exploited and manipulated the environment in ways that have allowed them to marginalize minority
5 Fredrick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History, originally written in 1893, in Carolyn Merchant, ed., Major Problems in American Environmental History 2nd ed., (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2006), 281-3.
6 Patricia Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1986), 21.
7 Turner, "Frontier Thesis, 281-3.
6


groups on the basis of race, socioeconomic class, and gender.8 While Turners literal frontier may be closed, a claim he justified with population density statistics, a number of historians have demonstrated the various ways in which conceptions of the frontier as an idealized force of Americanization have served to dispossess a number of different groups by a number of different mechanisms at various points throughout American history.
The social construction of American identity, and within it a preservation of a frontier mentality, necessitated both certain ideas about the environment as well as the oppression of various other races, classes, and genders of people to sustain those ideas. Environmental historians have studied Euro-American beliefs about the environment extensively, particularly the notion that land can be commodified and bought and sold in a market system. Fewer historians have focused exclusively on the environments role in producing and reinforcing inequality, but the former story cannot be told without some mention of the latter. The incorporation of conceptions about the environment into American identity and the manipulation of the environment to marginalize various groups of people are inextricably intertwined. To demonstrate how intimately these two historiographical stories go hand-in-hand, I will trace
8 For a discussion of nation-state identity formation, see Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (LondomVerso, 1983). Andersen asserts that nation-building identity myths, such as Turners frontier are imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or ever hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion. Rather, in Turners imagining of the frontier, the majority of the members that he would likely never meet were not Natives, but individuals who looked like himwhite men. Stemming from this imagining then, to quote Ernest Gellner, Thought and Change (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964), 169, as quoted in Andersen, Imagined Communities, 6, "nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist.8
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environmental thought, identity formation, and the production of inequality through four "eras that span American history temporally: 1) early identity formation, the roots of liberal capitalism, and Native dispossession; 2) the Western Frontier identity, early capitalism, and violence against Natives; 3) American techno-exceptionalism in the Progressive Era, the domination of industrial capitalism, and the people of the margins; and 4) post-war American idealism, modern capitalism, and the market production of inequality. The texts within each "era essentially agree with one another, and each builds upon the last. Additionally, these "eras are fluid, and I do not mean to suggest that any one definitively ends while another begins. Rather, I mean to trace the various strands of conceptions of identity and the environment as historians have traced their emergence and influence. The texts I have chosen vary across one another widely. Some are very regional in focus; other span a few decades, and some hundreds of years; some deal with water, others with oil; and still others with suburbanization, disease, fisheries, or food shortage. Their only universal similarity is that they all address environmental history, and they all demonstrate that the need to overcome various "frontiers, the definition of which changes and evolves according to circumstance, has served to produce ideal Americans, and have simultaneously constructed a dichotomy to that ideal. The creation of an "in-group in America has always also required the creation of an "out-group, and the "in-group often achieved this by drawing arbitrary lines across the physical land.
Early Identity Formation, the Roots of Liberal Capitalism, and Dispossession
The construction of this "out-group began even before the advent of North American colonization, as did notions about the environment as a commodity. In Guns,
8


Germs, and Steel, 1997, scientist Jared Diamond articulates perhaps the earliest instance of the environment facilitating the dispossession of Native peoples. Beginning in prehistory, Diamonds study asserts that the less-varied latitudinal, east-west geographic orientation of Europe, in contrast to the north-south orientations of the Americas and Europe allowed for the domestication of plants and animals, as well as the subsequent developments of technologies and the transplant of ideas. This facilitated the transition from a hunter-gatherer society to an agrarian society. While I find Diamonds study environmentally deterministic, he asserts that the production of "germs, technology, political organization, and other ingredients of power that "allowed people, who by accident of their geographic location... became able to engulf geographically less endowed people.9 In a more complete study, historian Carolyn Merchant, while largely in agreement with Diamonds ideas, asserts that the ability to "engulf other people was not simply a product of geographical determining factors. Rather, she attributes this to human agency, particularly to the worldview produced by the emphasis on rationality and mechanization during the Scientific Revolution. Merchant further posits that this period not only produced technological process, but also a shift from a community-based, agricultural economy to an early capitalist economy.10 Thus, when Europeans arrived on American soil, a cultural rationale that favored Native dispossession in favor of the exploitation and private ownership of land, as well as the technology necessary to
9 Jared Diamond, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), 386.
10 Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1980). Merchant also explicitly addresses the effect that the ideas that became prevalent during the Scientific Revolution had on women. She posits that the shift to a capitalist economy facilitated the exploitation of nature and dispossession of women of their traditional production roles in the agrarian economy.
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facilitate this dispossession, namely Diamonds guns and steel, had already been practiced and used widely in Europe. While previous explorations and colonization in Africa and Asia certainly contributed, Merchant further asserts that the "modern scientific and economic world that took form in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries still "pervades mainstream values and perceptions.11
When Europeans did indeed set foot in North America, they construed the bounding and commodification of land as a mark of civilization. Historian William Cronon asserts that New England colonists believed land ownership was predicated on "improvement, a mark of said civility, and "revealed the assumptions by which they misconstrued the supposed poverty of the Indians. Colonial conceptions of "improvement included bounding the land into individual parcels, the private ownership of those parcels, permanent settlement, and the planting of crops and keeping of livestock.12 Historian Virginia Andersen reinforces Cronons point about livestock ownership, arguing that "improvement also meant domestication of animals.13 While Natives attempted to incorporate these perceptions of the environment on European terms, colonists continually reinforced differences rather than recognizing similarities between themselves and Natives. When Natives attempted to engage in the colonial marketplace, to buy and sell land and livestock, the colonists resisted, refused to acknowledge Native claims, and claimed their land in the name of "civilization.
11 Merchant, The Death of Nature, xvi.
12 William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (New York: Hill & Wang, 1983), 34.
13 Virginia Dejohn Andersen, Creatures of Empire: How Domestic Animals Transformed Early America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
10


While Christopher Morris studies a different geographical area of North America in his 2012 work The Big Muddy, he too reinforces the arguments of Cronon and Andersen that "improving the land in a manner explicitly European denoted civilization. Morris argues that the Spanish explorers, and later French settlers, constructed their notions of the Mississippi River Delta by distinguishing between wet and dry land. These explorers "dried the valley because they believed they had to if they were going to live there in a manner in which they lived elsewhere, in Europe. The effect was that the Natives, black slaves, and eventually African Americans in the modern era were relegated to live in closer proximity with wetland, as the Euro-Americans of higher socioeconomic and civilized status pushed these people out of the artificially dried land.14 These marginalized groups were also most acutely affected by the drying of the land and its consequences, most often at the expansion of commerce and tradeearly capitalism.
The early colonial motivation to manipulate and "improve the land in order to denote civility translated into the commodification of land. This commodification fit nicely into the early iterations of capitalism that Merchant argues emerged during the Scientific Revolution in Europe. And as these early colonists continually justified their claiming of Native lands on the basis of superiority, they incorporated such ideas about the physical environment into their identities. Native dispossession also facilitated early liberal capitalism through land commodification, which also became a sign of civility, and thus a facet of early pre-American identity.
14 Christopher Morris, The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and its Peoples From Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 1.
11


Western Frontier Identity, Early Capitalism, and Violence Against Natives and Labor
In the nineteenth century, following the American Revolution, the constitutional period, and the assertion that the United States was a "Grand Experiment in republican government, Turners frontier, the American West, was very much open in that it was largely unsettled by Euro-Americans. When settlers decided to move west, motivated by Manifest Destiny and the desire to conquer and "improve the land, they employed violence against those groups that had, in the colonial period, been construed as inferior. Historian Elliott West demonstrates this dynamic in Contested Plains: Indians; Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado, 1998, in which he asserts that both Euro-American gold miners and Plains Indians were fighting for control of the same land, and that the two could not occupy the same physical space by virtue of the inability to reconcile each others contrasting worldviews. Euro-American settlers eventually won the land due to economic, numerical, and power advantages. Violence also often facilitated Native dispossession.15 Historian Andrew C. Isenberg makes similar claims about the irreconcilable nature of Native and Euro-American worldviews, claiming the commodification of buffalo in order to sell their pelts for robes drew Native Americans into the Euro-American market economy.16 When Euro-Americans later attempted to save the buffalo, they did so on the basis that the animal was a remnant of a bygone era, of the frontier that Turner venerated as an Americanizing force. Thus, Euro-Americans attempted to preserve the buffalo via conservation efforts, like Yellowstone,
15 Elliott West, Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1998).
16 Andrew C. Isenberg, The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
12


commercializing such areas as tourist attractions and forcing Natives off the land in the
process.
In Killing for Coal, 2008, Thomas Andrews also demonstrates that individuals of low socioeconomic status, in this case coal miners, faced violent repercussions for challenging the inequalities inherent in labor-employer relations that allowed capitalist elites to reap massive profit margins. While I find Andrews reification of coal as a historical agent problematic and his discussion of the transition from an organic to a mineral economy lacking in context, his argument that a half-century of tensions between laborers in the coalfields and the capitalists business owners that employed them culminated in the violence at Ludlow, Colorado is sound. Additionally, Andrewss analysis supports the idea that capitalism and land ownership became not only inextricable, but were frequently utilized to oppress those who challenged this relationship. He asserts that Ludlow and the larger "workers movement... failed to reform either the mining workscapes or the company towns, which together bore the responsibility for fomenting decades of industrial struggle... yet like John Osgood and William Palmer before them, the Rockefellers held to a vision of Western industrialism that left workers no real place on the land.17
In this, Andrews, as well as West and Isenberg, exemplify the ways in which the
colonial conceptions of land as a commodity evolved in parallel with the capitalist
economy and the emergence of the frontier identity throughout the nineteenth century.
The idea of land as a commodity was applied to justify the claiming of that land for the
purposes of harvesting natural resources like coal that fueled the many technologies
17 Thomas Andrews, Killing For Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 286.
13


that made the capitalist economy tick. The idea could also be applied to the marketing of a particular tract of land, like Yellowstone, which appealed to consumers as a tourist destination, as it was constructed as an exemplification of the frontier ideal. Euro-Americans claiming of land during the nineteenth century was perhaps about pursuing civility even more so than in the colonial era, as contemporaries, and Turner himself believed the land "made Americans. Those that were pushed off the land, Natives and laborers, thus struggled to present themselves as good Americans because the wilderness did not find them "European in dress.
American Exceptionalism in the Progressive Era, the Domination of Industrial Capitalism, and the People of the Margins
After the turn of the twentieth century, following Turners proclamation that the frontier had closed, many Americans increasingly turned to technology and efficiency as the means by which they would "improve the natural environment and facilitate the growth of industrial capitalism, and thus institute "progress and "civility. Out of this efficiency movement also grew a sort of techno-exceptionalism, a by-product of the belief in American exceptionalism, which held that technology would only ever produce upward progress, and that if it created problems, there was yet another technology available to remedy that problem. Historian Samuel P. Hays describes the emergence of this Progressive Era belief in technology and efficiency, asserting that many grassroots activists had concerns about the "Gospel of Efficiency being utilized to marginalize people and facilitate the unequal distribution of wealth. Nonetheless, techno-exceptionalists assumed that technology could solve problems of inequality, and that efficiency, rather than democracy was best suited to "improve the environment.
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A number of historians have since shown that these techno-exceptionalists were wrong. Analyzing the consequences of this movement from the eco-systemic level to the national, historians have shown that rather than producing solutions, technology and the unwavering belief in it often resulted in environmental degradation and the pushing of disadvantaged groups to the margins of society. The application of technology did however, almost always in this era, bolster industrial capitalism and the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few. Joseph E. Taylor III demonstrates how scientists and fishery "experts attempted to breed salmon in the Northwestern United States in order to increase runs. Despite repeated failures and the destruction of the habitat of the Pacific salmon, a steadfast belief in technology motivated these experts to use opposing interests as scapegoats in political debates regarding fishing rights. At the benefit of industrial interests, and "for economic and cultural reasons techno-exceptionalists "tried to save these runs almost regardless of cost, creating a "fiscal and ecological disaster, and stripping away the fishing rights of Native Americans, the poor, and those dependent on salmon for their subsistence.18 Making many of the same points as Taylor, historian Matthew Klingle, in his study of the development of Seattle, asserts that the filling in of waterways and wetlands in Seattle to support an industrializing economy was the result of "linking social progress to the ability to improve nature. While industry, speculators, and railroad magnates benefitted, Native Americans and squatters suffered.19 Historian Norris Hundley Jr. corroborates Klingles main arguments in relation to the construction of Californias "hydro-society. As population
18 Joseph E. Taylor III, Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 236.
19 Matthew Klingle, Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 119.
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grew and water infrastructure became larger and larger it became increasingly centralized, benefitting large-scale farmers, corporations, and industries, and denying equal access to water to small-scale farmers and those of lower socioeconomic classes.20
All three of these authors demonstrate that techno-exceptionalism resulted in the destruction of the environment in order to foster industrial production. However, colonial conceptions of land as a commodity and the frontier identity that dominated the nineteenth century had already marginalized those that did not fit "Turner-esque conceptions of Americanism. Techno-exceptionalism further relegated these groups of people to the margins of society.21
Post-War Idealism, Modern Capitalism, and the Market Production of Inequality
With the advent of the Cold War following the conclusion of World War II, techno-exceptionalism by no means fell out of vogue, nor has it today, but it was augmented by capitalist-exceptionalism in the face of the perceived Soviet threat. At the end of the Cold War, when Reagan took office, he along with Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain, heralded capitalism as the epitome of "progress, and ushered in ideological support for free market capitalism. With a sharp decline in oil prices in the mid-1980s
20 Norris Hundley Jr.. The Great Thirst: Californians and Water, 1770s-1990s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992).
21 Historian Laura Ann Staler, "Tense and Tender Ties: The Politics of Comparison in North American History and (Post) Colonial Studies, Journal of American History 88, no.3 (2001): 862, adds that adhering to these "originary narratives designed to show the "natural teleology of future nations, later republics, and future states, we neglect the people of the margins, their movements, and their interactions with Turners idealized national members.
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following the crises of the 1970s, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, many policy makers hailed that a battle had been decidedly won for capitalism. Heralding capitalism as the "best economic system, in the 1980s and early 1990s, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund withheld money from developing countries unless they agreed to privatize, liberalize, and democratize their economies. While the developed countries of the world appeared to flourish, those relegated to the margins of "progress in the preceding decades and centuries did not. Rather, the free market produced and reproduced this inequality, facilitated once again by the manipulation of the environment for the benefit of those at the top of the racial, socioeconomic, and gender hierarchy.
Historian Andrew Hurley demonstrates this in his study of the industrial sector of post-war Gary, Indiana. Hurley asserts that while "dirty air and water was the price one paid for industrial prosperity, this pollution disproportionately implicated individuals on the basis of race, class and gender lines. For example, black and Mexican workers were disproportionately assigned to unskilled jobs in which they were exposed to the most pollutants. When minority and working-class people eventually gained access to better housing, they found that the affluent had abandoned these areas due to the proximity of these locations to pollution.22 These wealthy individuals, as well as the magnates at U.S. Steel, had no desire to introduce environmental protection standards for fear of sacrificing profit margins. They did, however, have the means to abandon the polluted areas, taking their tax base with them, and leaving those of lower
22 Andrew Hurley, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 43.
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socioeconomic status to live intimately with the pollution that had contributed to the market production of affluence.
Affluent populations financial ability and desire to abandon polluted cities motivated the construction of suburbs and the infrastructure that connected the two areas. In Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism, 2001, historian Adam Rome claims that home ownership became a cornerstone of American identity thanks to mass production.23 This mass production, though, was facilitated by the exploitation of labor of the people at the margins. Rome demonstrates that this mass production enabled the suburban growth necessary to satisfy the flight of those of some level of means from the cities. Not only did this urban sprawl have severe environmental consequences, caused by, for example, faulty septic tanks, but as Hurley claims, those of lower socioeconomic classes and people of color that remained in the cities suffered.24 "White flight made the cities poorer on the whole, creating a systemic cycle of inequality produced by the unequal distribution of wealth in the industrial capitalist model. Christopher Wells, in his study of the construction of the systems of roads that connected the cities and suburbs, essentially agrees with Rome. Wells makes the argument that consumer and economic interests, namely the commodification of the land that occurred in the process of suburbanization, produced man-made landscapes that necessitated cars and complex road systems. Once again, this car culture further disadvantaged blighted populations that remained in cities, as many of them were not able to take advantage of the
23 Adam Rome, Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001).
24 Rome, Bulldozer in the Countryside.
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convenience provided by the car.25 While, as Wells asserts, the car shrunk the "mental geography of the landscape for those able to reap the benefits of automobiles, it effectively expanded it for those marginalized. The people of the margins were pushed ever farther from inclusivity in the capitalist economy.
Particular groups of individuals were not just marginalized for the benefit of industrial production, but also for the benefit of agricultural production in rural areas.
In her study of conceptions of disease in California, historian Linda Nash traces how the introduction of DDT and other pesticides to facilitate mass production of fruit and other crops was accompanied by new, unidentified outbreaks of diseases related to human contact with these chemicals. Mexican-American workers were amongst the groups that most often fell ill due to their intimate proximity to pesticide-laden crops. However, their perceived inferiority, constructed by decades of thought that relegated them to the position of "un-ideal Americans, resulted in many scientists and public health officials attributing disease to character defects unique to Hispanic peoples.26 Via the exploitation of the environment to mass produce fruit, the labor of their agricultural workersand their bodieswere exploited for the benefit of capital accumulation.
Belief by American policy-makers in various iterations of exceptionalism American, techno, and capitalistin conjunction with the manipulation of the physical environment, impacted disadvantaged populations abroad, as well as domestically. Historian Nick Cullather demonstrates how the United States government exploited the
25 Christopher Wells, Car Country: An Environmental History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013).
26 Linda Nash, Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge. (Berkley: University of California Press, 2006).
19


land to combat communism during the Cold War. He claims that the Green Revolution spearheaded by the United States was in fact driven by capitalist-exceptionalism combined with the belief that working-class struggle would fuel communist support in post-colonial countries. Thus, with a belief in unequivocal "progress and techno-exceptionalism, the government engineered programs in Mexico and Asia that were, at times, exaggerated and often led to social turmoil in these countries.27 Nonetheless, the government promulgated rhetoric of increased well-being of these "disadvantaged and "needy people via the superior agricultural methods of the United States in order to promote the capitalist mode of economic thought.
Culminating these four "eras of American identityearly identity formation,
the roots of liberal capitalism, and Native dispossession; the Western Frontier identity,
early capitalism, and violence against Natives; American techno-exceptionalism in the
Progressive Era, the domination of industrial capitalism, and the people of the margins;
and post-war American idealism, modern capitalism, and the market production of
inequalitythe evolution of capitalism, and the exploitation of disadvantaged people by
the way of the environment, historian Timothy Mitchells Carbon Democracy: Political
Power in the Age of Oil, 2011, analyzes U.S. dependence on the global oil market.
Mitchell corroborates my argument by predicating his thesis on the assertion that U.S.
corporations manipulations of Middle East oil was and continues to be dependent on
the belief in the exceptionalism of techno-progress and the promulgation of the
mythical "principle of limitless growth. Mitchell then argues that by forging relations
with Middle Eastern countries and fostering dependence on oil, the industry effectively
27 Nick Cullather, The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle Against Poverty in Asia. (Cambridge: Harvard University press, 2010).
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sets limits to the possibilities of democracy, in that the parties in power decide who has access to the benefits of the oil market, and thus economic growth. Growth is not limitless for those populations taken advantage of by the beneficiaries of that growth. Thus, the environment has not just been used to relegate people to the margins domestically. In the face of an ever-increasingly globalized world, business and industry elites in the United States have taken advantage of the decades of exploitation of individuals on the basis of race, class, and gender to effectively expand the borders of said exploitation to vulnerable populations across the globe.
Conclusions: The Perpetuity of the Frontier
Colonial European settlement brought with it ideas about land as a commodity. Whether such notions of the environment as a product that could be bought and sold in the early capitalist market place emerged from the Scientific Revolution, as Merchant claims, or from Diamonds geographic determinism, bounding the land established a physical and mental boundary of "civility and "progress. As with Turners frontier, some individuals could cross these literal and figurative demarcation lines and become ideal "Americans. Those constructed as "out-groups could not. And early conceptions of the environment as individual, privately owned parcels of land evolved to allow for the reaping of the resources from the land, the facilitation of mass production by those resources, the grafting of technology onto the land to solve problems often brought about by industrial degradation of the environment, and finally, the reproduction of inequality by the market itself. However, at each stage of development, in each "era, the oppression of groups on the basis of race, class, and gender via the environment facilitated such development. Whether by dispossessing Natives of their lands,
21


exploiting labor to extract coal, pushing groups to the margins to facilitate industrial development, or expanding the "mental geography of the environment, the exploitation of disadvantaged peoples has aided "progress and the production of "ideal Americans. Whether it is the unsettled American West or the line between cities and suburbs, the various ideas about definitions of frontier often exclude the most vulnerable populations. As Mitchell demonstrates, the globalized world has allowed for the expansion of a modern version of the frontier mentality. In the face of global climate change, for example, the most vulnerable populations of the world are indeed most acutely affected by not just the direct consequences of climactic change, but the indirect consequencesmass migration, civil war, and geopolitical conflict.
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CHAPTER III
BUYING GREEN: THE ENTANGLEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTALISM WITH BIG
BUSINESS & ITS IMPACT ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD
"Those of our worthy publicists to whom Wall Street is anathema have, in the debauchery of their muckraking, been silly enough to insinuate that the Department of State was run by Wall Street. Any student of modern diplomacy knows that in these days of competition, capital, trade, agriculture, labor and statecraft all go hand in hand if a country is to profit."
-Francis Huntington-Wilson, ~191328
In the first half of the twentieth century, journalists and other critics questioned
the State Departments tactics of colluding with wealthy, private companies, such as Pan
American Airlines and United Fruit, in order to achieve foreign policy objectives and
influence over the United States Latin American neighbors. Rather than denying such
allegations, State Department official, Francis Huntington-Wilson confirmed them in
1913, asserting that such machinating between private and governmental spheres was
self-evident, necessary, and a positive partnership in terms of economic gain. Fast-
forward almost a century, replace "Department of the State with "environmentalism,
and Huntington-Wilsons words are equally true. Wall Street, the embodiment of the
free-market, capitalist system, influenced certain aspects of foreign policy in Latin
America in the first half of the twentieth century via financial, social and political
capital, and many Wall Street investors continue to influence how some environmental
non-profits operate today. The July 2015 issue of National Geographic exemplified this
trend is in their "3 Questions expose. The article features former U.S. Treasury
Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., who now co-chairs the Risky Business Project, the goal
28 Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993), 62.
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of which is to attach a dollar amount to the consequences of global climate change. In the piece, titled, "Why Fixing the Climate Is Like Fixing the Economy, Paulson likens global climate change to the 2008 financial crisis during which he was treasury secretary, affirming, "excesses of debt created the financial crisis; excess of CO2 created the climate crisis.29 These indeed were the proximate causes of the financial crisis. What he does not consider are the distant causes that led to such excesses of debt, namely dishonest business practices, the bundling of debt into risky credit derivatives, and questionable Wall Street trading. Similarly, Wall Streets involvement with what Paulson calls the "climate crisis goes beyond the proximate economic risk assessment into a long-line of decision making that has produced equally questionable and uncharted territory.
In the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis, predatory lenders employed a new iteration of a dishonest business practice pioneered after the establishment of the Federal Housing Administration with the passage of the National Housing Act of 1934.S Sociologist Gregory D. Squires asserts that during this period redlining practices "starved many urban communities for credit and denied loans to racial minorities in order to keep suburban neighborhoods racially homogenous, or to put it bluntly, to keep them white. In creating the housing bubble that would pop in 2008, some housing lenders engaged in predatory reverse redlining, targeting these previously deprived groups, often low-income minorities, via "exploitative loan products that these individuals did not legitimately qualify for, did not have adequately explained to them, and ultimately could not pay back. While redlining deprived these people of the equity
29 "3 Questions, National Geographic, July 2015.
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provided by a home, reverse redlining seemingly provisioned it, though eventually the result would be the loss of this equity and the depletion of "the wealth of those communities for the enrichment of distant financial service firms, according to Squires.30 At the same time, middle- and upper middle-class, often white individuals exploited these questionable loan qualification practices to buy second or third homes in vacation destinations that they, ultimately also could not afford. This then, created a bubble in the housing market that brought down the global economy.31
Amongst some environmental non-profit organizations, an equally predatory practice also benefitting distant financial firms has emerged: postmodern colonialism. Traditional settler colonialism involves some form of deprivation of native populations, whether through slavery, marginalization, or genocide, that facilitates the extraction of resources, from the colonized country for the benefit of the colonizing country, be they natural, monetary, or commercial. Conversely, what I call postmodern colonialism is a phenomenon that emerged in the last decades of the twentieth century, and that provides developing countries, many of them once colonized by the developed countries of today, with economic resources via loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. As with reverse redlining, the ultimate consequence for these developing countries is deprivation for the sake of financial institutions abroad, as low to no environmental, labor, and business regulations allow for exploitation of local people, resources, and land.
30 Gregory D. Squires, "Predatory Lending: Redlining in Reverse, Shelterforce Online,
139 (January/February 2005), by the National Housing Institute.
31 Jeff Holt, "A Summary of the Primary Causes of the Housing Bubble and the Resulting Credit Crisis: A Non-Technical Paper "Journal of Business Inquiry 8, no. 1 (2009): 120-129.
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The Nature Conservancy, one of the wealthiest nonprofits in the world, epitomizes this relationship. Originally the Conservancy was a United States based organization dedicated to "preserving] or aid[ing] in the preservation of all types of wild nature and of "our primitive forests, prairies, marshes, deserts.32 Initially dependent on member donations or gifts in kind in order to purchase tracts of land for preservation, the Conservancy gradually became engaged in corporate real estate investing and development. Now an international body with a presence in all fifty states and over sixty-nine countries, the Nature Conservancy partners with the United Nations, the World Bank and IMF, and developed countries in order to funnel their budgeted development money to green infrastructure projects in developing countries, primarily in Africa and Latin America.33 The Nature Conservancy attempts to allow developing countries to leapfrog the fossil fuel stage of development by provisioning monetary, R&D, and labor resources in order to promote green infrastructure development and the transition to renewables. While the Conservancy does not necessarily maliciously or intentionally pursue exploitative ends, the dynamics of postmodern colonialism are a product of its entanglement within the capitalist, free-market economic model. While this problem is indeed systemic, it resulted from a number of human decisions.
32 Members Booklet, October 1950, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF11, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; Walter S. Boardman Objectives of the Nature Conservancy for the Sixties, August 29,1961, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF11, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
33 "About Us, The Nature Conservancy, 2016, last accessed March 29, 2015, available from http://www.nature.org/about-us/index.htm?intc=nature.tnav.about.
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Philosopher of technology Langdon Winner describes the process by which series of decisions produce systems through the example of technology, asserting that "technology is neutral and tool-like until a "whole new order is builtpiecemeal, step by step, with the parts and pieces linked together in novel wayswithout the slightest public awareness or opportunity to dispute the character of the changes underway. Thus eventually, technology "legislates the conditions of human existence through "an ever-increasing array of rules, regulation, and administrative personnel needed to maximize benefits and minimize costs.34 The same can be said of the big-business approaches to preserving the environment in that private donations were first a tool for non-profits like the Conservancy until a number of decisions and processes slowly linked a number of pieces togethermore private money necessitated more business-savvy CEOs who required larger paychecks and thus peddled the land they once sought to preserve. Big money legislated the conditions of the Conservancys existence. It is important to recognize, however, that the Nature Conservancy and its practices are not representative of all environmental non-profits, but rather the Conservancy serves as a cautionary tale of how a series of decisions can lead to such big-business approaches to preserving the environment. Nonetheless, while the Conservancy is arguably the most successful at operating within this particular business model, they are not the only environmental non-profit that operates in this way.
34 Langdon Winner, Autonomous Technology: Techniccs-out-of-control as a Theme in Political Thought (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978), 323-324.
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In 2014, Nature Conservancy assets totaled $6.18 billion, a figure that exemplifies its intimate entanglement with private business.35 Thus many environmental nonprofits and some nonprofits from other sectors, as well as corporations around the world have attempted to emulate its business model. However, the historical roots of the Nature Conservancy, as well as its evolution from a largely scientific conservation organization to a prosperous and influential powerhouse in terms of environmental nonprofits, remain somewhat unexplored. Perhaps because of the Conservancys massive success and contemporary nature, academics and writers have only just begun to scratch its topical surface. In Nature's Keepers: The Remarkable Story of How the Nature Conservancy Became the Largest Environmental Group in the World, Bill Birchard does discuss the formation of the organization in the second half of the twentieth century, though he does so by exploring nine of the organizations leaders. His is less a narrative of economic dynamics and the development of a real-estate capitalist business model, than a story of leadership, success, and management. While he does touch on some of the controversies in which Conservancy has found itself embroiled in recent years, this is secondary to his story. As his title indicates, he aims to construct a narrative of the Conservancy as "remarkable, and how they, for better or for worse, became "Natures Keepers. However, as a self-described "veteran journalist of not only business and management, but also the environment and social
35 "Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As of June 30, 2014, The Nature Conservancy, October 10, 2014, last accessed March 29, 2015, available from http://www.nature.org/about-us/our-accountability/annual-report/2014-financial-report-with-report-of-independent-auditors.pdf.
28


Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, South Africa to protest this erosion of "Native control of forest territories.79 They have done so at every year at ever COP since then. Most recently, at Paris in 2015 (COP21), Nnimmo Basey, co-coordinator of the No REDD in Africa Network stated that "REDD may result in the largest land grab in history. It steals your future, lets polluters off the hook and is new form of colonialism. We demand that states and corporations stop privatizing nature! The Indigenous Environmental Network released a press release headlined: "UN Paris Accord could end up being a Crime against Humanity and Mother Earth.80 Thus, at least some of the indigenous people of the world recognize that postmodern colonial dynamics are operating in their countries under the guise of environmental protection. But, REDD+ generates some serious greenfor investors, and generally not the environment. Thus, the Conservancy and other money-fueled non-profits are turning a blind eye.
These same non-profits have also been accused of utilizing eco-tourism to dispossess indigenous people. For example, in June of 2011, a Kenyan documentary revealed that the African Wildlife Foundation forcibly removed the Samburu people from their land in order to conserve lands via the establishment of Laikipia National Park. The Samburu reported that local police forcibly removed them, burning their homes, raping women and children, and murdering anyone who protested or refused. Survival International reported that more than three thousand people are now displaced, "living in makeshift squats and "despite heavy rains and flooding in the area
79 Bill Weinberg, "Newest Scam on Fringe of Climate Change.
80 Chris Land, "COP21 Paris Snapshot #2: No REDD! REDD Monitor (December 2015), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from http://www.redd-monitor.org/2015/12/ll/cop21-paris-snapshot-2-no-redd/.
50


women and children are sleeping in the bush in the face of continuing brutality. Oliver Steeds, the lead journalist in the documentary points out that, despite these reports, AWF president, Helen Ginoche, denied any responsibility, and gave a speech at COP 17 promoting REDD, asserting that "For REDD to work we need to bring down transaction costs of getting carbon to market. We need to design way of sharing carbon incomes fairly and equitably, particularly those who bear the opportunity costs of foregone forest uses.81 It is safe to assume carbon incomes will not be equitably distributed to the Samburu displaced from what is now Laikipia National Park. The price tag for the park was four million dollars, of which AWF paid half. The Nature Conservancy paid for the other half.
Additionally, many of the Conservancys real estate practices have come into question. Historically, it has utilized land easements as one of its primary methods of acquiring land designated for preservation. In an easement, land on which future development is restricted is purchased from or donated by landowners to the Conservancy in exchange for tax reductions. In recent years, "limits in the amount of tax credits a donor can use in one fiscal year have led "land-rich donors to sell tax credits for cash.82 The Conservancy and its corporate partners have engaged extensively in this practice. In 2003, after an expose series by the Washington Post, the Conservancy
81 Chris Land, "A Question for African Wildlife Foundation: Is This What Conservation is Really About? REDD Monitor (December 2011), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from http://www.redd-monitor.org/2011/12/14/a-question-for-african-wildlife-foundation-is-this-what-conservation-is-really-about/: Oliver Steeds, Conservation's Dirty Secrets, documentary, directed by Richard Sanders (London: Blakeway, 2011), video.
82 John Andrulis with reporting by Amanda Hawn, "Conservation Easements and Tax Reform, Ecosystem Marketplace (August 31, 2005), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/articles/conservation-easements-and-tax-reform-1969-12-31/.
51


was forced to terminate practices including the "buying or selling of land in transactions involving board members, state trustees, and employees in their families, among others.83 Author Naomi Klein also revealed that the Nature Conservancy allowed preventable oil drilling on a refuge for the endangered prairie chicken in Atwater,
Texas. Though the Conservancy had pledged not to allow drilling more than a decade ago, they earned millions from the deal.84 The Conservancy has also allowed drilling on other conservation land around the world.
By allowing for the exploitation of these designated lands, particularly those in developing countries, the Nature Conservancy undermines not only its underlying goals, but abandons the development of green infrastructure that could promote leapfrogging. Instead, via the influence of money from corporate partners, the Conservancy has prioritized profit margins for their investors. Under the guise of providing green development in energy-poor countries, the Nature Conservancy has instead exploited the resources and markets of these countries. The financial world sees the benefit of the environmental sector; Henry Paulson encouraged the use of the environment as a financial instrument, encouraging businesses to "factor the threats
83 "Its Integrity Questioned, Nature Conservancy Drops Controversial Policies, Philanthropy News Digest (June 17, 2003), last access April 3, 2016, available from http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/its-integrity-questioned-nature-conservancy-drops-controversial-policies.
84 Naomi Klein, "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, (New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2014); Justin Gillis, "Group Earns Oil Income Despite Pledge on Drilling, New York Times (August 3, 2014), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/science/group-earns-oil-income-despite-pledge-on-drilling.html.n n
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from climate change into their investment decisions.85 They are doing just that trading capital assets for carbon assets.
Conclusions: Imminent Consequences
In 1854, Chief Seattle allegedly gave a speech in which he lamented the dispossession of his people by Euro-Americans. As the city that now bears his name was established, industrialized, and grew, his Duwamish people were progressively pushed off of their ancestral lands in the face of environmental degradation. In his speech, though perhaps apocryphal, he advocated environmental responsibility and mourned, "My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain.... There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory.86 Whether these words are truly that of Seattle or a fiction created by the journalist who published them matters little. Rather, they exemplify the plight of indigenous peoples, of those dispossessed by both the colonial excursions of Europeans during the Age of Exploration and Americans via Manifest Destiny, and by the greenwashed, postmodern colonial schemes of the developed world. Postmodern colonialism differs from earlier iterations of exploitation only in that resources are provided via the free-market-governed international financial system.
But when the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, many conservativeleaning policy makers proclaimed that collapse as evidence of the superiority of free-
85 "3 Questions, National Geographic.
86 Henry A. Smith, "Authentic Text of Chief Seattles Treaty Oration 1854, Seattle Sunday Star, (October 29,1887).
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market capitalism, though this was and still is only one of many explanations. In this narrative, privatization and minimal government control prevailed in the ideological battle against communism. Thus, in the face of financial struggles in an era of privatization and through a number of decisionsthe receiving of large grants, the transition to business-minded presidents, the desire to turn a profitthe Nature Conservancy and other non-profits with similar business models too morphed into what resembled private, non-governmental entities. And the bottom linethey needed money, and it came in the largest, most reliable sums from private businesses and for-profit corporations. These groups cannot be inherently faulted for seeking out larger bottom lines to pursue their environmental goals. Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that the individuals working on the ground around the world are not complicit in this, but rather generally believe that they are doing meaningful work, which oftentimes they are. But the upper management arms should be faulted for allowing their investors to sway their intentions away from encouraging environmentally-friendly behavior towards preserving profits margins for their investors and themselves.
Furthermore, there must be some recognition in the environmental sector that by virtue of operating within the capitalist economic model, unintended consequences result. The natural world has been conceptualized as separate from the human condition, and this separation has facilitated the morphing of the natural world into a commodified market asset, rather than as our means of physical survival. Additionally, because there is a rich land asset market in the developing world, the most vulnerable populations in those countries, those who most often are dependent on the land for
54


survival, have fallen victim to exploitation of their land under the guise of the provision of green infrastructure. At this point, a path dependency encourages environmental non-profits like the Nature Conservancy to maintain this status quo and reinforce unregulated, free-market economics. While in its early years the Nature Conservancy initially operated with grassroots-based goals that sought to preserve small tracts of land for aesthetic and educational purposes, its members and leaders also believed in the notion of a separate nature to be acquired through real-estate transactions. Thus the Conservancys projects have evolved from on-the-ground attempts to improve conditions for local people to macro-level schemes disguised as development projects that reap the benefits of the global market for the organization and its executives. For example, Mark Tercek, though his salary and bonus amounts to just over $600 thousand dollars annually, his stock options total nearly $4 million.87
We are quite literally running out of time to change these practices and combat climate change. Research shows that 2016 was the hottest year on record, with fourteen of the hottest fifteen years ever recorded occurring since 2000. President Barack Obama affirmed, "no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.88 Projections indicate that unless we begin implementing the most aggressive mitigation measures of greenhouse gas emissions immediately, the chances of containing the global average temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius
87 "The Nature Conservancy: CEO and Executives, Bloomberg Business, April 18, 2017, available from
http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapld=654990. last accessed April 18, 2017.
88 Terence P. Jeffrey, "Obama: Climate Change is the Greatest Threat, CNS News (January 2015), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from
http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/terence-p-jeffrey/obama-climate-change-greatest-
threat.
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are almost zero.89 The consequences of this are numerous. Perhaps most obviously, the sea level will rise as ice continues to melt. More than seventy percent of the worlds gross domestic product is localized in port cities, many of which would be in imminent danger if the sea level rose just two meters.90 Money will not change this. The solution rather, is a shift towards environmentally-friendly behavior and an understanding that nature is our means of survival, not the financial instrument that Paulson and Tercek want to exploit for profit. Money bailed out Goldman Sachs in 2008, but it will not bail us out in the face of environmental disaster. This is a truth that is already all-too-real for the indigenous of the developing world. Their displacement should scare us because it could realistically, in the not-too-distant future, be us. The difference is, we can control the current dispossession of indigenous around the world from becoming, in the words of Seattle, "a mournful memory, but only if we prioritize people over profit. Prioritizing money will ensure that the rainforests of the world "protected in REDD+ projects "resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain." Prioritizing money will ensure that we as a human race will be able to lament, like Seattle, "My people are few. Money can buy billions in carbon assets, but green cannot buy green.
89 "Future Climate Change, Environmental Protection Agency (2016), available from epa.gov; "The 2013-2015 Review, United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2015), available from unfccc.int.
90 Ralph Bodle, "International Climate Negotiations, lecture, Ecologic Institute, Berlin Germany (October 2014).
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CHAPTER IV
DECONSTRUCTING GREEN: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE
"...A bad condition does not become a problem until people see it as amenable to
human control."
-Deborah A. Stone, 1989
In the fall of 2015, the disturbing photograph of three-year-old Aylan Kurdis washed-up, lifeless body lying on the shores of Turkey brought the brutal realities of the Syrian Civil Wars refugee crisis to the forefront of American news media and politics. Media reports were bleak and bluntthe Washington Post described the scene as thus: "He is wearing a red T-shirt and long shorts that stop below the knee. His shirt is hiked above the waist, exposing his midriff. He is wearing black sneakers with no socks. And he is dead, face down in the rocky surf. In captioning a second photo depicting a law enforcement official carrying boys body away, the Washington Post continued, "And though we cant know what the policeman is thinking as he carries a dead child from the ocean, one thing is clear: He is looking away.91 Kurdi is only one of millions of Syrian civilians, most of them women and children, who sought refuge from the barrage of bombings by Russia, ISIS, and the Assad Regime.
A, however, made no mention of research conducted in part by NASA that suggested that the drought that precipitated the Syrian Civil War was likely the worst in 900 years, causing 75% of farms to fail, 85% of livestock to die, and forcing more than
91 Justin William Moyer, "Aylans Story: How Desperation Let a 3-year old Boy Washed Up On a Turkish Beach, Washington Post, September 3, 2015.
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1.5 million Syrians to move to urban centers.92 Coupled with refugees pouring into Syria from surrounding countries plagued by conflict, this drought caused severe overcrowding in urban centers, massive food and water shortages, and ultimately spurred the ongoing unrest and violence. Meanwhile, the United States, who has emitted 33% of the worlds carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution 129,408 million metric tonscompared to 22.5% emitted by most of the rest of the world, is governed by a deeply partisan government that refuses to participate in international climate agreements, and a large percentage of its citizens and policy makers deny its role in man-made climate change.93 Furthermore, while the United States bears at least some of the responsibility for climate-related consequences like the Syrian Refugee Crisis, in terms of carbon emissions, it pledged to take in only 100,000 refugees in 2016, a figure that potentially stands to decrease substantially during the Trump presidency. Comparatively, Germany took in over one million in 2016, a figure that, in just twelve months, exceeded the total taken in by the United States in the previous ten years combined.94 Now, the Syrian Civil War is still raging after nearly six years, with no end in sight. Despite the fact that the United States led the world in producing this carbon in terms of emissions per capita, until China took over the first place spot just a few years ago, and that 99% of scientists agree on the anthropomorphic roots of global climate change and Americas leading role in that change, some media outlets and a large
92 Elaisha Stokes, "The Drought that Preceded Syrias Civil War was Likely the Worst in 900 Years, Vice News, March 3, 2016; Henry Fountain, "Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change, New York Times, March 2, 2015.
93 "Cumalitve Carbon Emissions, figure, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2010.
94 Garza, Frida. "Germany is Taking in More Refugees in 2015 Than the US Has in the Past 10 Years, Quartz, December 7, 2015; Maiziere, Thomas de, "965.000 Fliichtlinge bis Ende November in Deutschland, Die Welt, December 7, 2015.
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portion of the American people and politicians do not.95 This is a humanitarian disaster that is only one of many to come, and such disasters stand to increase in severity as the planet continues to warm. While the European Union is on the forefront at combatting and mitigating the climate change that contributed to this event, the United States, at least in terms of cooperative international agreements and goal-oriented domestic renewable energy targets, has largely taken a position of inaction in the face of popular denial of objective science. How did we get here?
There is a disconnect amongst many citizens and policy makers in the United States in regards to the rhetoric and "staging of global climate change, a disconnect not just in terms of who should take responsibility for it and its consequencesincluding the Syrian refugee crisisbut in terms of its reality at all. This disconnect stems from a historical tendency of frontier building, as demonstrated in Chapter I, in which physical land can be bought and sold. This view contrasts sharply with that of the European Union, which has legally enshrined the status of the environment as a public good via the mandating of the precautionary principle that, in its simplest form, holds that scientists and scientific testing must prove a technology is not harmful prior to its implementation, rather than implementing a particular technology and demonstrating its dangers before ceasing to use it. This difference is evinced in the environmental policies of the United States and the European Union respectively. The fundamental differences between the policies of these regions are severely hampering international
95 Naomi Oreskes, "Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus of Climate Change, Science 306, no. 5702 (2004): 1686.; Art Swift, "Americans Again Pick Environment Over Economic Growth, Gallup, March 20, 2014.
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efforts to deal with global climate changeleaving crises with human costs in their wake.
The Rhetoric of Globalized Risk and Shortcoming in Climate Communication
To understand the implications and the historical roots of this disconnect regarding American and European conceptions of the environment and the deliberative or policy rhetoric that reflects them, it is important to acknowledge the theories of rhetorical scholars. Rhetoric, the language we use to discuss amongst one another, often reflects deeply held cultural beliefs, historical legacies, and current anxieties, and establishes the "staging by which we understand a particular issue, such as global climate change. Whether or not global climate change is perceived as a risk appears to be influenced by culture, or rather the extent to which certain individuals in a given culture perceive climate change as a risk. Thus, it may be possible to illuminate where understandings of both risk and global climate change overlap and differ, and, potentially begin to use this information to bridge across these culturally-dependent perspectives.
It is first important to acknowledge that in regards to global climate change, many Americans cultural perception of risk fails to incorporate the globalized nature of carbon emissions, as well as both the invisible and latent side effects of living in what sociologist Ulrich Beck calls a "world risk society.96 Beck defines a "risk society as one that "wrestles with the side effects of successful modernization domestically, while a "world risk society incorporates the dynamics of globalization.97 While "risk society
96 Beck, World at Risk.
97 Beck, World at Risk, p. 7-8
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and the "world risk society could be perceived as binary in any given culture, they are also intimately intertwined. Beck states that the cultural perception of risk varies across national borders and can only be overcome via a "cosmopolitan moment, in which "human beings must lend meaning to their lives through exchanges with others and no longer with people like themselves.98 In terms of global climate change, the problem is that the "staging of the anthropomorphic causes of climate change as fictitious by rightist factions in politics, media, and the public of America prevents such a cosmopolitan moment, and therefore also prevents the passage of meaningful and goal-oriented environmental policy consistent with that being implemented in the European Union and elsewhere around the world. While the United States refusal to mediate cultural perceptions of risk seemingly removes global climate change as a legitimate risk at all, invisible side effects are impacting individuals around the globe because of the globalized nature of climate change. Beck describes invisible side effects as a phenomenon in which "the more people who are poisoned, the less poisoning takes place, or rather "the greater the number of smoke stacks, sewage pipes, etc., through which pollutants and poisons are emitted, the smaller the 'residual probability' of calling a perpetrator to account. Furthermore, Beck posits that the latent side effects of climate change, those that are exported outside national borders from "risk donor countries like the United States to "risk recipient countries like Syria, make denial of both responsibility and reality easier, as perpetrators are not "directly confronted with the consequences of their actions.99 Beck argues that this allows for "relations of definition, a concept based on Marxs relations of production, in which relations of
98 Beck, World at Risk, p. 15.
99 Beck, World at Risk, p. 30-31.
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domination are created and reinforced through staging of risk.100 The dynamics of the "staging of global climate change thus theoretically allow for the disconnect that absolves the worlds most virulent carbon polluters of direct responsibility for humanitarian disasters like the Syrian Civil War, namely in America where the politicization of the issue prevents consensus that might lead to action on the international stage. Beck, would point out, however, that "boomerang effects will eventually bring these consequences to bear in the United States as well, despite the countrys overall denial of responsibility as represented by its unwillingness to sign onto and ratify internal climate agreements.101
Building on the work of Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, a sociologist, economist, and political scientist, characterizes as "a world where life is no longer lived as fate, a phenomenon that emerged out of a process that Ulrich Beck calls "individualisation.102 Beck defines individualisation as the "unexpected renaissance of an enormous subjectivitywithin and outside of institutions.103 This resurgence of subjectivity, this individualization, may very well be at the core of climate change denial. This has further transformed risk from external risk, which Giddens defines as "events that may strike individuals unexpectedly but that happen regularly enough and often enough in a whole population of people to be broadly predictable, to manufactured risk that is "created by the very progression of human development, especially by the progression of science and technology... we often dont really know what the risks are, let alone how to
100 Beck, World at Risk, 24.
101 Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, (New Delhi: Sage, 1992).
102 Giddens, "Risk and Responsibility, 3.
103 Beck, World at Risk, p. 44.
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calculate them accurately in terms of probability tables.104 Or in the case of climate change, it is impossible to accurately calculate and deal with risk in the face of subjectivity about that risk. Consistent with Becks definition of organized irresponsibility, Giddens further demonstrates that "given the inherently ambiguous nature of most situations of manufactured risk... responsibility can neither be attributed nor assumed. Thus, in the case of global climate change, even with near universal scientific consensus and highly correlated relationships that point to the United States as a country as bearing the most responsibility for our warming planet, manufactured risk allows for doubt because there is no historical context to reflect on and guide decision makers, as was the case with external risk. Giddens posits, "risks only exist when there are decisions to be taken... The idea of responsibility also presumes decisions. What brings into play the notion of responsibility is that someone takes a decision having discernable consequences.105 Deborah Stone, in her work on the formation of policy agendas, affirms Giddens point, as she demonstrates that the creation and politicization of a problem "is a process of image making, where the images have to do fundamentally with attributing cause, blame, and responsibility.... a bad condition does not become a problem until people see it as amenable to human control.106 No individual or group or nation anticipated climate change as a result of industrialization, and in the absence of any decision of the like, it is conceivable that both climate change as a risk and the consequences of it can reasonably be denied or ignored.
104 Giddens, "Risk and Responsibility, p. 4.
105 Giddens, "Risk and Responsibility, p. 8.
106 Deborah A. Stone, "Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas, Political Science Quarterly 104, no. 2 (1989): 281-300.
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While the theories of both Beck and Giddens point to the culturally-dependent nature of risk, particularly in regards to global climate change, rhetoric scholars Jeffrey Grabill and Michelle Simmons point out that predominantly linear models of communication undermine public communication about risk. Grabill and Simmons demonstrate that technocratic approaches, or the "one-way flow of technical information from the experts to the public, and negotiated approaches, in which public perceptions are gauged only in order to discern how far they deviate from scientific "truth, are both inadequate in promoting informed understanding about risks.107 Particularly in the case of global climate change, "these approaches to risk communication have been arhetoricaltypically decontextualizing risk and failing to consider social factors that influence public perception of risk. These models also "explain why communication problems ariseeither audiences fail to understand risk and/or they reject what they are hearing.108 Linear communication models often assume that the basic facts and scientific roots of issues like climate change are universally understood, and thus are not explainedmaking it easier for some individuals faced with this information to cast-off more complex, difficult to understand details as partisan or agenda-laden rhetoric. Grabill and Simmons also point out however, that, consistent with Becks concept of risk-donor countries and risk-recipient countries, power is unequally distributed. Lack of access to community acceptance, education, and resources is compounded in linear models of risk communication, making it extremely difficult for those with minimal access to influence
107 Grabill and Simmons, "Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, 421-422.
108 Grabill and Simmons, "Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, p. 416.
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the risk decision-making process.109 These individuals without access, however, are often also the most acutely affected by risk.
Analyzing Divergence: The Environment in the U.S. and Europe Post-1970s
The disconnect between American and European conceptions of the environment, as evidenced in their respective policies, and the differences in which the issue is staged must also be understood by analyzing the divergence between the two regions in terms of energy policy following the critical juncture that was the 1970s energy crisis. Political scientists Christoph Stefes and Frank Laird have demonstrated that while the United States was on pace to lead the world in renewable energy following the stagflation of the 70s, institutional and social barriers coupled with path dependency and a decline in oil prices derailed its efforts. Germany, and eventually the larger European Union, instead fostered a social and political climate conducive to change, which coupled with environmental disasters like Chernobyl and innovative measures like the feed-in-tariff, helped to institutionalize the renewable transition over the next decade and a half.110 These diverging paths led to the legal enshrinement of the precautionary principle into EU environmental law, and promoted the perception of the environment as a public good. Conversely in the U.S., policy rhetoric, such as that in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, emphasizes business opportunities and corporate social responsibility in terms of energy and the environment, effectively providing incentives
109 Grabill and Simmons, "Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, p. 427
110 Frank N. Laird and Christoph Stefes, "The Diverging Paths of German and United States Policies for Renewable Energy: Sources of Difference, Energy Policy 38, no. 8 (2010): 4741-4742.


to buy and sell land and the resources within it, thus complicating the conception of land as a public good.
The precautionary principle, or the Vorsorgeprinzip, is derived from the German word vorzorge, or foresight, and was first incorporated into German environmental law in the 1970s. While the term lacks a clear definition, it essentially embraces Hippocrates tenet "to do no harm, and holds that a policy, technology, or practice must be shown to be safe prior to its implementation or practice.111 Following the successful beginning of Germanys green transition, policy makers enshrined the precautionary principle in a number of international laws and agreements as the guiding principle of environmental politics and development. In 1987, the preamble to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the most "widely ratified treaty in history, affirmed that "Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer have the responsibility to be Mindful of their obligation... to take appropriate measures to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting or likely to result from human activities which modify or are likely to modify the ozone layer, and to note "the precautionary measures for controlling emissions of certain chlorofluorocarbons.112 In 1991, policymakers included the principle in the Maastricht Treaty, the document that created the European Union and formally bed-rocked the precautionary principle into European environmental law. In June of 1992,
111 C.J. Pereira Di Salvo and Leigh Raymond, "Defining the Precautionary Principle: An Empirical Analysis of Elite Discourse, Environmental Politics 19, no. 1 (2010): 86-106.
112 Joel Tickner, Lower Myers, and Nancy Myers, "Precautionary Principle: Current Status and Implementation, Synthesis/Regeneration 23 (2000): 33; United Nations, "Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, August 26,1987, Vienna, Austria.
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the principle gained wider international recognition at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, where it was declared in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration that "in order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States... where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific understanding certainly shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.113 While the precautionary principle is widely hailed as the cornerstone of European environmental law, there is much debate as to its efficacy, as well as to whether the benefits outweigh the costs. John H. Jacob points out a common criticism of the precautionary principle in that it is "difficult to establish risk with certainty. The variability and lack of complete field data, and the reliance on increasingly complex computer models has made it difficult to produce accurate estimates with high confidence of the extent of health and environmental risks.114 Additionally, many critics, particularly those in the United States, contend that the implementation of the precautionary principle hinders innovation and business. President George W. Bush affirmed this disbelief in the precautionary principle, rolling back the Clinton administrations tough standards on arsenic levels in water, declaring, "the science isnt in yet.115 He also refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement based on
113 European Union, "Treaty of Maastricht on European Union, Maastricht Summit, December 9-10,1991, Maastricht, Netherlands; United Nations Environment Program, "Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, June 3-14,1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
114 J. Roger Jacobs, "The Precautionary Principle as a Provisional Instrument in Environmental Policy: The Montreal Protocol Case Study, Environmental Science & Policy 37(2014): 161-171.
115 Michael Pollan, "The Year in Ideas: A to Z; Precautionary Principle, New York Times Magazine, December 9, 2001.
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emissions reductions goals that are guided by precautionary standards, calling it "fatally flawed, and a measure that "would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy, due to its mandate of sharp reductions on fossil fuels in favor of renewables.116
In regards to these criticisms, many scientists and researchers have pointed out that while it is true that climate change and other atmospheric environmental concerns rely primarily on computer models, it is also true that there is near unanimous scientific consensus regarding the realities and dangers of climate change, as well as of its contributing anthropomorphic factors.117 Furthermore, the very point of the precautionary principle is that it is difficult to establish risk with certainty, but that the potential worst-case scenario in terms of the consequences of global climate change could very well be catastrophic, and thus "better safe than sorry. Jacobs also points out that "fields of research that are propelled by a policy concern will assure the longevity of the precautionary principle, "in both science-for-policy research, and a place on the political agenda.118 The principle has already been applied to other fields outside climate policy. Frida Kahlau et al. suggest that the precautionary principle can be used within the life sciences if it is "applied as a context-dependent moral principle and allowed flexibility in its practical use.119 Robert H. Richmond has also demonstrated the strengths of the principle in regulating biotechnology in order "to insure the
116 Cass R. Sunstein, "Montreal Versus Kyoto: A Tale of Two Protocols, Chicago Working Paper Series, University of Chicago Law School, August 2006.
117 Naomi Oreskes, "Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change, Science 306, no. 5702 (2004): 1686.
118 Roger Jacobs, "The Precautionary Principle as a Provisional Instrument.
119 Frida Kuhlau, Anna T. Hoglund, Kathinka Evers, and Stefan Eriksson, "A Precautionary Principle for Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences, Bioethics 25, no. 1 (2011): 1-8.
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benefits of biotechnology are enjoyed without unacceptable and irreversible environmental costs.120
However, the central tenets of the precautionary principle, that in regards to environmental protection, we are "better safe than sorry assume that the physical environment is a public good, or rather a "commons that belongs to no one but is available for the use of everyone. In his now canonical essay, Garrett Hardin coined the concept the "tragedy of the commons to describe the overuse and degradation of this public good. He explains the tragedy thus: "Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons.... But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Though this arrangement can function for quite some time, according to Hardin, "each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limitin a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination.121 In the context of global climate change the stakes of ruin are much
120 Robert H. Richmond, "Environmental Protection: Applying the Precautionary Principles and Proactive Regulation to Biotechnology, Trends in Biotechnology 26, no. 8 (2008): 460-467.
121 Garrett Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons, Science (1968). Hardins theory has also been widely criticized on a number of points: Among them, Julian L. Simon, "Resources, Populations, Environemnt: An Oversupply of False Bad News, Science 208, no. 4451 (1980): 1431-1437 critiques Hardins assertions that overpopulation is the cause of degredation, as overpopulation is often associated with poverty that accumulations; Tim ORiordan, Environmentalism (London: Pion, 1976) criticizes Hardins solutions to environmental problems as regressive; J.B. Wadley and J.C. Jurgensmeyer, "The common Lands Concept: A Commons Solution to a Common Environmental Problem, Natural Resources Journal no. 14 (1974): 368-381 lodged similar criticisms against Hardins Darwinist belief in natural selection as elitist, as well as his definitions of commons. While I acknowledge these criticisms, it is necessary to point out that my argument applies Hardins theory to perceptions of the environment as a public good, not as a specific public good with definable boundaries. For a summary
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higher. The pasture is the world and the herdsmen are all of us. Gulam Mujaddid agrees that this first tragedy of the commons, the original scenario envisioned by Hardin, in which carbon emissions are pumped into the atmosphere and natural resources are reaped to depletion, ultimately suggests that ruin is the fate of everyone involved. He posits, however, that an interim second tragedy of the commons lies in that there is competition and conflict over available "pastures even as they move towards exhaustion. The borders of these "pastures, however, these commons, increasingly extend outward in a globalized world.122 Thus, Becks risk recipient countries often have the least claim to these pastures, while the risk donor countries control them. The consequences are events like the Syrian Refugee Crisis. The policy makers utilization of the precautionary principle, then, attempts to prevent, or at least mitigate, this tragedy, not by quantifying risk or establishing cost-benefit analysis before we stop utilizing fossil fuels or cease cutting down trees, but rather assumes that for the benefit of all, it is best first to do no harm rather than to either stop when harm first rears its head or collectively forge ahead despite warnings.
However, the lack of belief and adherence to the precautionary principle
amongst policy makers in the United States has produced this very tragedy. Anwar
Hussain and David N. Laband have demonstrated that because "environmental
regulations are structured to impose differential costs on certain parts of the United
States, in order to address environmental issues according to severity, "vote-
maximizing politicians rationally attempt to export the costs of providing public goods
on these criticisms, see Subhash Sharma, "Managing Environment: A Critique of Tragedy of Commons, Journal of Human Ecology 12, no. 1 (2001): 1-9.
122 Ghulam Mujaddid, "Second Tragedy of Global Commons: Strategic Competition and Conflict Over Humanitys Common Assets, Strategic Studies 32, no. 41 (2013): 85.
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to their constituents by instituting taxes and regulations whose burden is borne... by individuals living outside of their political jurisdiction. Hussain and Luband have termed this phenomenon, the "tragedy of the political commons, and have demonstrated via federal Congressional voting records spanning 1992-2002 that politicians generally only vote in favor of environmental regulations when the benefits are internalized and the costs are externalized.123 Thus, in a body of individuals who vote according to short-term payoff, environmental regulation never happens.
Rather than controlling and regulating access, many economists and policymakers hail privatization as the surest path to sustainability. Ellerbrock, Bayer, and Bradshaw assert that adherents to the tenets of free-market economics assume rational actors in a deregulated economy have self-interest in preserving and preventing the environmental devastation of their privately-held land.124 The free-market, of course, will provide the best sustainable alternatives, as it is assumed that competition always produces the "best solution. That is not true, in regards to sustainable development and environmental protection any more than in financial markets. Actors are not rational, free markets often breed self-interest and profits, and "the Invisible Hand can fail to achieve sustainability.125 Furthermore, privatization also requires ownership of land and the bounding of it into individuals tracts via accumulation. Ashley Dawson has pointed out that in a globalized world, this results in
123 Anwar Hussain and David N. Laband, "The Tragedy of the Political Commons: Evidence from U.S. Senate Roll Call Voted on Environmental Legislation, Public Choice 124, no. 3 (2005): 353-364.
124 Mike Ellerbock, Jessica Bayer, and Rose Bradshaw, "Sustaining the Commons: The Tragedy Works Both Ways, Bulletin Of Science, Technology & Society 28, no. 3 (2008): 256-259.
125 Ellerbock et al., "Sustaining the Commons, 256.
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"accumulation by dispossession, leaving some to profit at the hands of others. Accumulation in a globalized world often does not ultimately produce environmentally friendly behaviors either, as according to Edward J. Garrity, free trade between nations with different and varying environmental and labor standards will result in a "standards-lowering competition, or the race to the bottom, the net result of which is that "more and more of global production will move to countries that do less and less environmental and labor protection.126 So, in an economic system that prioritizes profit over protecting the environment, how is privatization the answer to attaining sustainability?
Corporate social responsibility is the proposed answer. This involves businesses implementing individualized environmental action and community involvement in conjunction with economic growth. The problem is, in the United States, that very little uniform, formal regulations mandate corporate social responsibility, let alone the programs and standards that individual companies and corporations put in place. Additionally, businesses will sometimes only behave altruistically if it also preserves profit margins and fulfills fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders.127 This conflict between environmental corporate responsibility and maximizing profit has been demonstrated in the case of Coca-Colas plant in the Kaladera region of India. As their business is water intensive, Coca-Cola established a plant in this rural area primarily due to the fact that there are no regulations regarding who, or how much groundwater
126 Edward J. Garrity, "Tragedy of the Commons, Business Growth and the Fundamental Sustainability Problem, Sustainability 4, no. 10 (2012): 2443-2471.
127 Aneel Karnani, "Corporate Social Responsibility Does Not Avert the Tragedy of the CommonsCase Study: Coca-Cola India, University of Michigan Ross School of Business Working Paper Series, Working Paper No. 1210 (2013): 1-35.
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can be pumped. However, the Kaladera region is now facing groundwater shortages and potential depletion in the near future. Coca-Cola, has decreased its water use in recent years due largely in part to its shift from glass to plastic bottles, and not for environmental reasons. Even so, it is one of, if not the largest, extractor of groundwater in the region. The reduction in water use has come "at the expense of increasing the problem of non-degradable plastic bottles.128 Profits are high as ever, while environmental problems are increasing, despite Coca-Colas policy that "they are committed to conducting all its business activities responsibly, with due regard to environmental impact and sustainable performance.129 The Coca-Cola case study is also a prime example of the race to the bottom phenomenon. While the company asserts that it "conducts operations in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and applies its high internal environmental standards, India has no federally mandated standards and Coca-Colas "high standards assumedly prioritize profits.130
The Coca-Cola case study demonstrates that corporate social responsibility is generally only upheld when it can be maintained while also maximizing profits.
Timothy Luke, using the theories of Michel Foucault, suggests that through tools like corporate social responsibility, "many dynamics of environmentality under todays neoliberal economic policies have allowed sustainability to be mobilized to give the
128 Karnani, "Corporate Social Responsibility, 1-35.
129 Coca-Cola HBC, "Environmental Policy, Policies. 2016.
130 Coca-Cola HBC, "Environmental Policy, Policies. 2016.
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mechanisms of competition freer play as regulatory principles.131 This has led Marc T. Jones to conclude that if environmentalism is being exploited to be bought and sold on the free market, then "the concept and discourse of social responsibility are viable only in the absence of a historically grounded understanding of capitalist political economy.132 This brings us to the paradox of Hardins tragedy of the commons, for the principles of a capitalist political economy then suggest that profits to be made from the physical environment will be maximized at all costs and environmentally-friendly means will only be implemented if they fulfill that end. It can then be deduced that corporate social responsibility often does not characterize the environment as a public good, but as a commodity in the sense that it can be bought and sold. If there are no public goods, then, there is no tragedy of the commons, and thus no need for the precautionary principle.
Legalized Difference: Climate Policy in the U.S. and Europe
These different conceptions of the environmentas a public good or as a commodityare reflected and legalized in the energy policy legislation of the United States and the European Union respectively, namely the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Policy of the European Union, which was also approved in 2005. The United States Energy Policy Act, does not incorporate the precautionary principle, but rather emphasizes business opportunities via the provision of incentives for implementing clean energy and decreasing pollution and carbon emissions. While the
131 Timothy W. Luke, "Climate Change and Environmentality, The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society, edited by John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, and David Scholsberg, pp. 96-112, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011): 99.
132 Marc T. Jones, "Missing the Forest for the Trees: A Critique of the Social Responsibility Concept and Discourse, Business Society 35, no. 1 (1996): 7-41.
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Act does instruct the Department of Energy to conduct assessments and implement "renewable domestic energy resources, including solar, wind, biomass, ocean (tidal and thermal), geothermal, and hydroelectric energy, it stipulates that this should be done "taking into account changes in market conditions, available technologies, and other relevant factors. Tax credits and incentives are also provided for the implementation of the aforementioned renewables, but the policy also "adds Indian coal as a qualifying energy source. Furthermore, in accordance with the accompanying Set America Free Act of 2005, the desire to "achieve energy self-sufficiency by 2025 in outlined, though renewable means are not the preferred method for achieving this. Rather, the Act continues and even promotes a path-dependency on fossil fuels, instructing the "Secretary of Energy to establish a task force to develop a program to coordinate and accelerate the commercial development of strategic unconventional fuels, including oil shale and tar sands resources, These unconventional fuels, which also include fossil fuels extracted by hydraulic fracturing and deep sea oil, are difficult and expensive to harvest, and increase emissions not only as a byproduct of their use, but as a byproduct of their extraction. They are, however, profitable. Thus, the Act also "extends the tax credit for producing fuel from a nonconventional source to include facilities for producing coke or coke gas, and "reduces the motor fuel tax for certain water-based mixtures of diesel fuel. R&D funds are provided for renewables, but this also includes provisions for the "coal gasification technologies. While increasing energy efficiency is outlined as a goal of the Act, no quantitative or means for achievement are identified. Goals for renewable energy are similarly vague, requiring "federal purchases of
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renewable energy to escalate in accordance with certain percentages.133 While the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was amended by the Obama Administrations Clean Energy and Recovery Act, a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the subsidies for fossil fuels remain. The amendment did increase subsidies and R&D for renewables substantially, but only marginally compared to traditional fossil fuels. These revisions still prioritize business-centered incentives for implementing renewables and fail to articulate meaningful long-term goals in regards to clean energy systems.134 To put the results of this legislation into perspective, only 9.5% ofU.S. energy was generated by renewables in 2014, and the fossil fuel industry annually receives subsidies thirteen times greater than those provided to renewables, accounting for $446.96 billion in subsidies since 1918.135
In contrast, the Energy Policy Act of the European Union and its subsequent amendments, emphasize numerical goals for clean energy implementation with deadlines for achievement, provide massive subsidies for renewables, and penalize fossil fuel use. In its introduction, the Act asserts, above all, "European environment policy rests on the principles of precaution, prevention, and rectifying pollution at the source, and on the polluter pays principle. Furthermore, the strategic goals of the Act mandate a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, a 40% reduction by 2030, and an 80-95% reduction by 2050. These larger goals also include sub-goals that include a reduction in emissions in the "transport sector by
133 Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law No. 109-58,109th Congress, 2005-2006, August 8.
134 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law No. 111-5,111th Congress, 2009-2010, February 17; "Face Checks, ACORE, 2014, available from energyfactcheck.org.
135 Institute for Energy Research, World Energy Outlook 2014, OECD/IEA, (2014).
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60% in 2050... and by around 20% by 2030, and the greening the agriculture sector.
The Act details an action plan to meet these goals, stipulating that the European Commission must provide "detailed guidance.... Preparation of Member States through an iterative process, and assessment of the Member States plans and commitments. The Act also proposes specific action steps to ensure progress, including monitoring "energy price differentials between the EU and major trading partners.... deployment of smart grids and interconnection between Member States...., technological innovation, and in increase in R&D from 3.2 to 5.4 billion per year, and interaction between centralized and decentralized systems.136 The EU is on track to meet and potentially exceed these goals. Iceland and Switzerland are carbon neutral in regards to electricity production, with Norway and Sweden close behind, and nine other countries producing at least 50% of their electricity from renewables.137 Copenhagen, Denmark is carbon neutral across all sectors. The Act proclaims that "decarbonisation is possible, yet recognizes that "the EU cannot achieve its energy and climate objectives on its own, as it will "consume less than 10% of the worlds energy by 2030.
Conclusions: Where Do We Go From Here?
The year 2017 gave rise to the terms "post-truth and "alternative facts in a divided, politicized America. Just as linear models of communications have failed to adequately inform and scaffold discussions regarding global climate change from the most basic to the more complex, so too have they failed in the same way regarding a number of other issues. Communication across cultures, socioeconomic classes, races,
136 European Commission, "Energy Strategy, European Union, 2016.
137 U.S. Energy Information Agency, "No-carbon Electricity Generation Share in Europe and the United States, chart, U.S. Dept, of Energy, 2012.
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ethnic groups, and geographic location is less than adequate and elitist in tone as information largely flows in one direction from experts at the top to the public at the bottom. As these failures in communication complicate a number of other issues, they simultaneously compound the already fraught conversations about climate change. Improvements in communication may help to improve these unproductive conversations and rejections of objective and well-supported, facts. Grabill and Simmons acknowledge this, asserting that linear models are ones where "perceived responses to risk are important only in understanding the extent to which ordinary peoples ideas deviate from the truth. We have seen then, that ordinary peoples ideas, do indeed, deviate from the truth in many instances, and linear models of communication are exacerbating this, not remedying it, and certainly not doing anything to approach global climate change and our perceptions and staging of it in any meaningful way. Thus, Grabill and Simmons instead suggest "negotiated approaches to communication that prioritize "community collaboration and participatory democracy in which "anyone affected by a given risk is considered a stakeholder, and community collaboration only works when a degree of participation is included in public decision making in order to link "power (and powerlessness) to the exercises of power involved in knowledge production.138 These negotiated approaches encourage grassroots mobilization, a move many climate policy experts have also advocated for in the absence of meaningful and widespread success from top-down, international measures.139
138 Grabill and Simmons, "Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, 422-424.
139 Bodle, "International Climate Negotiations.
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Furthermore, such a rhetorical exchange could begin to illuminate the facts that are most often unknown, misunderstood, misinterpreted, or dismissed. Bridging such a knowledge gap would not only allow for rhetorical exchange amongst those typically left out of such discourse, but could also begin to reveal a chain of linked events that begins with industrialization and ends with consequences like the Syrian refugee crisis, effectively resulting in a "re-staging of our understanding about climate change and its long-term consequences.
For as Deborah Stone argues, problem definition and causal theories "have a strong normative component that links suffering with an identifiable agent, and so they can be critical of existing social conditions and relationships. They implicitly call for a redistribution of power by demanding the causal agents cease producing harm and by suggesting the types of people who should be entrusted with reform. Many individuals perceive the Syrian refugee crisis as directly impacting them, as suggested by fears over radical terrorists infiltrating America as members of the refugee population. This fear has been adequately exploited by some politicians and pundits to, in the words of Stone, "restructure political alliances by creating common categories of victims. In the scenario of terrorism, Americans are victims and the identifiable agent of that sufferingSyrian refugeesmust be dealt with in whatever means necessary. In the scenario of global climate change, Americans and Syrians are a common category of victims and the identifiable agent of sufferingglobal climate changemust be dealt with in whatever means necessary. But, "a bad condition is not a problem until people
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see it as amenable to human control,140 and that will require understanding in people
and places where understanding has been neglected.
140 Stone, "Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas, Political Science Quarterly, 281-300.
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CHAPTER V:
CONCLUSION: "THE SCIENCE ISNT IN YET"
In Miami, Florida, local government officials are preparing to build a wall. This barrier is much like the mental one that has for so long allowed people to perceive the environment as separate from the human condition, but it is also ominous in that it might soon be the only physical protection between the citizens of Miami and the water surrounding the city. "Sunny-day flooding is becoming a reality of day-to-day life, as several inches of water come and go with the tides and inundate the streets of the city. "Welcome to rising sea levels is the response of Hal Wanless, the chairman of the University of Miamis geological-sciences department. But, this is just the beginning.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that sea level will rise by three feet by the end of the century, other estimates range from five to six and a half, and Wanless and many of his fellow geologists see the possibility of a ten-to-thirty foot rise.141 For him, the science is in.
The science, however, has been in since the late 1950s and 1960s. Yet Miami, not to mention the Netherlands and other low-elevation and coastal and island regions around the world, are preparing to ward off their demise at the hands of sea-level rise due to global temperature change. According to climate-change deniers, this is of course, normal atmospheric change, not the result of intense human industrial activity. These deniers refute science by casting doubt upon near consensus through politicization of the issue, much like Big Tobacco did to deny that smoking cigarettes
141 Justin Gillis, "Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun, New York Times, September 3, 2016; Elizabeth Kolbert, "The Siege of Miami, The New Yorker December 21 & 28, 2015.
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caused cancer. We now know that smoking cigarettes almost certainly does cause cancer. Whats only recently been uncovered, however, is that Big Tobacco learned how to "bend science from Big Oil itself. According to an expose by VICE News, not only did Big Tobacco take a page from the Big Oil playbook, but "they arguably were less good at it than oil. Prosecutors in at least 17 states are investigating these connections, and if a successful lawsuit were to come to fruition against Big Oil, it would dwarf the multi-billion-dollar court settlement Big Tobacco was forced to pay in the 1990s.142
But Miami is already flooding. Somalia is in the midst of a famine, and the Syrian Civil War and refugee crisis rage on.143 Arctic ice melt threatens to trigger uncontrollable consequences, and scientists describe the Arctic temperatures at 20 degrees Celsius above average as "off the charts.144 2017 is on track to beat out 2016 as the hottest year ever.145 Only the most drastic and immediate measures could potentially mitigate these and more severe future consequences, but that seems highly unlikely as the United States has set forth proposals to drastically cut the EPA and withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement in the Trump era.146Whether or not either of these proposals become reality remains to be seen, but they are certainly not moving the world any closer to dramatic and immediate action against anthropomorphic climate change. For now, Miami will have to build walls, but eventually that will not be
142 Matt Smith, "How Big Oil Taught Big Tobacco to Bend Science, VICE News, July 24, 2016.
143 Fahmida Miller, "Famine Stalks Somalia Again, Aljazeera, March 6, 2017.
144 Fiona Harvey, "Arctic Ice Melt Could Trigger Uncontrollable Climate Change at Global Level, The Guardian, November 25, 2016.
145 Justin Gillis, "Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year, New York Times, January 18, 2017.
146 Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin, "Trumps Budget Takes a Sledgehammer to the EPA, Washington Post, March 16, 2017; Jean Chemnick, "Could Trump Simply Withdraw U.S. from Paris Climate Agreement? Scientific American, November 10, 2016.
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enough. Just as adherents to Turners frontier thesis dispossessed Natives, the Nature Conservancys practices have dispossessed indigenous around the world, and the longterm consequences of climate change have dispossessed millions of Syrians, climate change will displace humankind, and we will be our own undoing.
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Political Thought. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978.
"William D. Blair Jr.; Reporter, Nature Conservancy President. The Washington Post (August 7, 2006). Last accessed April 1, 2016. Available from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/06/AR2006080600828.html.
Williams, Raymond. "Ideas of Nature. In Problems in Materialism and Culture. London: Verso, 1980.
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Full Text
responsibility, he misses the punch line and neglects to illuminate the implications of the business model that has come to guide the Conservancys functioning.36
Likewise, in Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Timothy Luke recognizes that like Birchard, "many find it difficult to criticize the work of The Nature Conservancy, as it is doing something "tangible, immediate, and significant to protect Nature... by sticking to the ground rules of the current capitalist economy. However, Luke is not one of those many, and rightly points out that even the Conservancy must "accept the dictum that the marketplace will rule everywhere, even in "Conservancy lands, because these plots are mostly marked out in market-mediated trades. He claims that this dependence on market transactions to preserve the environment has, to quote Carolyn Merchants 1980 work, resulted in the death of nature. Thus, Luke claims that rather than preserving nature, the Conservancy is actually undermining it through "antiquated perceptions that "cling to the illusion that Nature is alive, and somehow avoiding its subjection to capital in the commodity form by remaining wilderness, when in reality, "the true totality of transnational capitals power... easily commodifies wilderness.37 While I agree with Luke that the commodification of land is the bedrock of the failings and shortcomings of the Nature Conservancy, he, with a background as a political theorist, constructs a large, rather abstract theory regarding the Conservancys operation within the global marketplace. His arguments certainly support and agree
36 Bill Birchard, Nature's Keepers: The Remarkable Story of How the Nature Conservancy Became the Largest Environmental Group in the World, (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, A Wiley Imprint), 2005.
37 Timothy W. Luke, "The Nature Conservancy or the Nature Cemetery: Buying and Selling Perpetual Care as Environmental Resistance, Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997): 56-74.
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with my own conclusions, but I think his study lacks tangible context and contingency, as well as on-the-ground examples of the implications of natures subjection to capital for the environmental movement as a whole.
While Birchard and Luke present a number of points foundational to my arguments, in Buying Nature: The Limits of Land Acquisition as a Conservation Strategy, Sally Fairfax et al. directly address arguments similar to mine, namely the shortcomings in the Nature Conservancys model. The authors point out that, while the Nature Conservancy is not the first organization to use land acquisition as a means of preservation, it is the first to rely so heavily on such methods. In regards to the Conservancys practices, the authors point out that these land transactions have become increasingly complex and expensive, and that such transactions increasingly blur the lines between private and public actors in terms of who owns land, how much each party owns, and who exerts control over that land. Fairfax et al. argue "we neither can nor should buy out way out of all or even most of our conservation problems, as it allows for the avoidance of "the messy and unpopular process of enforcing regulations.38 This study is robust and well-researched regarding the details and process of land acquisition, and the authors are very critical of the Nature Conservancy throughout. However, they present only a few alternatives to the land acquisition model, and do not thoroughly address some of the consequences of this model in developing countries. Thus, while my work will build on the foundational ideas of
38 Sally K. Fairfax, Lauren Gwin, Mary Ann King, Leigh Raymond, and Laura A. Watt, Buying Nature: The Limits of Land Acquisition as a Conservation Strategy, 1780-2004, (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2005), 257.
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Birchard and Luke, it will also largely be in agreement with many of the criticisms lodged by Fairfax et al. However, it will also expand on these studies, and contribute to them via specific, grassroots examples, particularly regarding "postmodern colonialism and the marginalization of the developing world.
From Green Motivations to Green Motivations
The Nature Conservancy was officially incorporated in 1951 in the District of Columbia for "non-profit educational and scientific purposes. Formerly known as the Ecologists Union, the organization had been operating unincorporated under the direction of the Ecological Society of America since 1916.39 Originally housed with the offices of the National Parks Association and the Wilderness Society, the Conservancy also held membership in the Natural Resources Council and the International Union for the Protection of Nature, and was an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.40 During its early years and on the eve of its incorporation, the Conservancy committed itself wholly to scientifically-centered goals that emphatically stressed the importance of preserving "primeval nature, and its members wholly believed that time was "urgent before [samples] are forever lost by the continuing pressure of mens shortsighted interests on the land. The original by-laws of the organization also stressed that the land not only be preserved, but be established as "protected areas to be used for scientific, educational, and aesthetic purposes
39 "The Nature Conservancy, early to mid-1950s, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
40 "The Nature Conservancy, early to mid-1950s, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
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through the establishment of what Executive Director George B. Fell termed "living museums. 41
Though often idealistic, as exemplified in Fells fear of the "nearing of the final conquest over the wilderness that he perceived as "comparatively untouched by the activities of man, the Conversancy employed realistic means to preserve their romanticized version of nature.42 These means reflected the scientific goals of the organization, and advocated for the establishment of nature preserves to serves as "laboratories for "future biological research, "storehouses of scientific treasure, and "standards by which the scientist engaged in land management research may measure the effect of farming, forestry, and grazing and which the ecologist must use for "measuring and development and change in natural communities.43 This rhetoric harkens back to that of Frederick Jackson Turners frontieran untouched, primitive "wilderness in need of "progress; in this case, progress required a certain amount of preservation. These perceptions of nature as a mythical wilderness motivated the Nature Conservancy to pursue scientific means to its conservation and preservation ends, and in its early years it remained true to the guiding principles under which it was incorporated.
41 "Interpretation of Nature Conservancy Objectives: Why Nature Conservancy? Feburaiy 1958, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; George B. Fell, "Letter to Friends, February 1955, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives
42 George B. Fell, "Letter to Friends.
43 "The Need for Natural Areas, early to mid-1950s, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
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To pursue its aims, the organizations 600 members, primarily volunteers and "predominantly scientists, initially depended almost solely on public fundraising via membership dues, donations, grants, loans, and gifts in kind for financial support. Membership dues ranged anywhere from two dollars to one hundred dollars depending on membership level. Donations, grants, and gifts were given in a number of amounts from varying donors, generally depending on the location of a particular project and whether or not it held any particular significance to a donor. For example, in 1958, in order to secure and preserve a 55-acre tract of land in Missouri, the Conservancy agreed to allow "life tenancy to "Mr. McCormick of St. Louis. In exchange for maintaining the property in its entirety and paying his $20,000 mortgage, the Conservancy received the tract valued at $113,000 and a $30,000 gift upon Mr. McCormicks death.44
Despite such gifts, in 1962 the Board of Governors cited "serious problems facing the Conservancy... including that of financing.45 For example, a report compiled in March of 1959 "under considerable pressure assessed that the "status of the national account was valued at $85, 371 and estimated that another $24,629 needed to be raised to fund the activities for the remainder of the year.46 On top of financial struggles, in 1957 the Board of Governors proposed that a staff be organized as the
44 "Minutes of Board of Governors Meeting, August 28,1958, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
45 "Minutes of the Board of Governors Meeting, January 20,1962, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
46 "Minutes of the Board of Governors Meeting, March 3,1959, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
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Conservancy was still "fundamentally a volunteer organization. While there was a
realization that "the degree of development necessary to put such a set-up completely
into operation may be some years into the future, the Board recognized the inadequate
nature of their volunteer-based framework and sought out capital-generating methods
beyond their traditional fundraising and charitable donations
In lieu of constraints, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Nature Conservancy
took a decided turn towards the use of financial products to fund their organization.
Such instruments included stocks, credit derivatives, and other "marketable securities.
This shift towards a focus on market instruments and away from its previous
dependence on financial gifts appears to have gained speed in the last few years of the
1950s. On March 25,1957, Theodore M. Edison and his wife gifted 300 shares of
McGraw-Edison Company, an electrical equipment manufacturing company founded by
Theodores father, Thomas Edison himself. The stock was valued at $11,325 dollars at
the time of its donationthis sum would have covered half of the $24,000 that the
Board of Governors lamented raising in 1959. The Edison gift appears to have been a
significant event for the Conversancy as it is mentioned several times in the meeting
minutes, most notably in March of 1957 at the time of the donation, again in April, and
in June where the board resolved that "official recognition be given to the donation. It
is also mentioned many more times in passing in the minutes throughout 1957.47 By
1959, the desire to invest parts of current funds in stock was expressed by "Messrs.
47 "Agenda for the Board of Governors Meeting, June 18,1957, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; "Informal Report on Management and Finance Committee Meeting, April 22,1957, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
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Gravatt and Munns, in order to increase assets and to "obtain greater protection against inflation.48 It is not clear whether this transition to investments was intentional or driven by Edisons gift, but it would become the organizations status quo. In a 1963 stock investment report, the market value of Nature Conservancy stock holdings was valued at $101,555.49 Investment in stocks was, quite literally, paying off. The Edison gift provided the Conservancy a taste of what big money could do and thus catalyzed a number of decisions that began to change the way the organization raised money and ran business.
The Conservancy acknowledged the benefits of their foray into the investment world. At a conference at Purdue University in 1961, Director Walter S. Boardman highlighted the Conservancys objectives for the sixties, and posed to his audience the problem of "public versus private agency, as well as the question of "How far must private organizations go and to what extent should we look to units of government to accomplish desired results? In answering this question, Boardman first praised the English Nature Conservancy, an unaffiliated organization of the same name that succeeded in securing government funding and existing as a governmental entity due, in large part, to severe environmental degradation and a "different attitude among the majority of the English people. Boardman affirmed that the Nature Conservancy faced "a different set of circumstances and that financing and "the major responsibility will
48 "Report of Meeting Held February 27,1959, 1959, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
49 "Report on Stock Investments, March 6,1963, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
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have to rest with private associations.50 Rather, due to differing conceptions of the environment, the Nature Conservancy could not adequately rely on public money and public oversight via government support as the English Nature Conservancy could. Instead, the organization required donations and management from private monetary sources, though in name and status it remained a non-profit. His message did not fall on deaf ears, as the Conservancys total assets grew, albeit at a relatively steady rate, throughout the early years of the 1960s. The September 1963 financial statement showed that investment and other financial instruments had replaced gifts, bonds, and grants on the balance sheet, with these products making up nearly half of the total assets for that year. Additionally, conditions had improved enough that the Conservancy drafted job descriptions for a paid part-time staff, clerical staff, and president, affirming that the president especially had been "doing the work of a paid staff member on a volunteer basis... a situation that should undoubtedly be changed.51 While the Board did not formally adopt these suggestions immediately, 1965 would mark the year that the Conservancy elected its first paid president.
In 1965, the Nature Conservancy was awarded a Ford Seed Grant. Totaling $550,000 over four years, with a first-year payment of $90,000, the Conservancy installed its first paid staff.52 This money appears to be reflected in the fluctuation of the "Cash in Bank line item between the March and June 1965 financial statements, as it
50 Walter S. Boardman, "Objectives of the Nature Conservancy for the Sixties, August 29,1961, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
51 Alexander B. Adams, "Administrative (Internal) Organization: The Nature Conservancy, January 17,1964, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
52 Birchard, Nature's Keepers, 30.
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increased from $30, 614.37 to $203,155.74. Seed grants also permit the grantor an equity stake in the company, and in some cases, seats of the board of directors. While such grants are not inherently unfavorable, in recent years Ford Seed Grants have been criticized. In 2004, John Perazzo of Front Page Magazine asserted that these grants establish "independent entities that can thereafter commence their own fundraising operation under the pious banner ofenvironmentalism. Private corporations with deep pockets, whose primary goal is often not environmentalism, sometimes also gain a degree of influence over organizations like the Conservancy via not just their monetary donations, but also through seats on Boards of Directors granted in exchange or as a condition of their donations. The Conservancy has since received more than two million dollars in additional seed grant money.53 It should also be noted that marketable securities totaled $501,804.41 in March prior to the Ford Grant, which amounted to 98.8 percent of current assets. Marketable securities in June of that year, after the grant, totaled $428,789.40, nearly five times greater than the Ford Grant, and still accounting for just under one third of current assets.54 Assets continued to increase rapidly after 1965, and in June of 1967 the Nature Conservancy was worth $8,232,061.14, compared to just $149,475.08 in June of 1957, and $693, 779.39 prior to the Ford Grant.55 While
53 John Perazzo, "Ford: Sugar Daddy of the Greens, FrontPage Magazine (Monday, January 19, 2004, last accessed March 31, 2016, available from http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=14531.
54 "Statement of Financial Condition, March 31,1965, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; "Statement of Financial Condition, June 30, 1965, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
55 "Statement of Financial Condition, June 30,1962, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; "Statement of Financial Condition,
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John Perrazos words definitely carry a certain bias, The Ford Grant, as well as the dramatic increase in marketable securities holdings, affirmed the position of the Nature Conservancy as a private entity, a desire iterated by Director Walter S. Boardman in 1961. While the Conservancy is legally a non-profit, by 1965, it began to look and operate very much like a for-profit corporation.
Total Annual Assets, of the Nature Conservancy, June 1957 to June 1967
10000000
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Total Assets
CO CO O' C^ o O T1 CM oj CO CO LO LO so SO
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Figure 1: Nature Conservancy assets, June 1957 June 1967
Big Business and the Bottom Line
As the funding strategies of the Nature Conservancy evolved from grants and gifts to investment instruments and private money, so too did the backgrounds of the presidents evolve from environmental biologists, ecologists, and other scientists of the
September 30,1963, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; "Statement of Financial Condition, March 31,1965;"Statement of Financial Condition, June 30,1965; "Statement of Financial Condition, December 31,1966, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; "Statement of Financial Condition, May 31,1967, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; "Statement of Financial Condition, June 30,1967, Richard H. Poughs Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7,
Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives.
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like, to economists, MBAs, and former CEOs of capital-rich private corporations. The Nature Conservancys first president, Richard H. Pough, was the son of a geologist and a conservationist with a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an avid observer of birds, and as such worked for the National Audubon Society, wrote a series of bird guidebooks, and became one of the first individuals to raise awareness about the dangers of DDT. He also worked for a time at the American Museum of Natural History before he assumed the lead at the Conservancy.56 Succeeding presidents included an honorary curator of Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, a Katherine Blunt emeritus professor of botany at Connecticut College, and a former dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.57 The careers of these men prior to their tenure as presidents of the Conservancy reflected environment-centric goals and the original mission of the Conservancy.
However, beginning in the early 1970s, the credentials and qualifications of the men who headed the Conservancy changed markedly, as the influx of greater amounts of capital, and thus responsibility, necessitated this. They were employees at IBM, local politicians, State Department officials, and entrepreneurs; they had MBAs and PhDs in
56 Stuart Lavietes, "Richard Pough, 99, Founds of the Nature Conservancy, New York Times, (June 27, 2003), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/27/us/richard-pough-99-founder-of-the-nature-conservancy.html.
57 Alexander Adams, "Alexander Adams; Writer Had Headed Nature Conservancy, New York Times, (February 22,1984), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/1984/02/22/obituaries/alexander-adams-writer-had-headed-nature-conservancy.html: Dennis Hevesi, "Richard H. Goodwin, Preserver of the Environment, Dies at 96, New York Times, (July 14, 2007), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/14/nyregion/14goodwin.html? r=0: "In Memoriam: Charles H.W. Foster, Yale News (December 12, 2012), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://news.yale.edu/2012/12/07/memoriam-charles-hw-foster.
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economics and international affairs.58 Everett M. Woodman, perhaps not coincidentally, worked for the Ford Foundation prior to his presidency from 1972 to 19 7 3.59 Steven J. McCormick went on to become the CEO of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the largest private donor to environmental organizations in the United States.60 William D. Blair raised three hundred million dollars in private funds between 1980 and 1987, and both he and Frank D. Boren, his immediate successor, also received Chevron Awards.61
Formerly known as the Gulf Oil Conservation Award, Chevron Awards are given to individuals who have "demonstrate[d] the value of partnership... their ability to work effectively with diverse organizations to achieve consensus, and to find "solutions that provide both economic and environmental benefits.62 Chevron is certainly a "diverse partnership, as oil companies and environmental organizations generally have conflicting goals. Nonetheless, such a partnership exemplifies the consequences of the
58 "Obituaries: Thomas W. Richards, The Washington Post/' (December 7, 2011), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/2011/12/07/gIOA38INdQ storv.h tml: "Patrick F. Noonan, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (2005), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.aapra.org/pugsley-bios/patrick-f-noonan.
59 "Memorial for Former President Everett M. Woodman, Colby-Sawyer College (2007), last accessed April 1, 2016, avabilable from http://colby-
sawyer.edu / currents/woodmanmem.html.
60 "Steven J. McCormick, President/CEO, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Philanthropy News Digest (June 19, 2008), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/newsmakers/steven-j.-mccormick-president-ceo-gordon-and-betty-moore-foundation.
61 "William D. Blair Jr.; Reporter, Nature Conservancy President, The Washington Post (August 7, 2006), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/06/AR2006080600828.html.
62 "Chevron Conservation AwardsHeroes Wanted, Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire (May 9, 2006), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.csrwire.com/press releases/26251-Chevron-Conservation-Awards-Heroes-Wanted: "People and Places, BioScience 37, no. 2 (Feb. 1987): 162-6.
40


intermingling of profit politics with environmental ones, as economic solutions that benefit oil companies can certainly not simultaneously benefit the environment.
While the solutions that benefitted oil companies may not have advanced the environmental goals of the Conservancy, money did. In a March 25,1988 address to the City Club of Portland, the events host rhetorically questioned, "Big Business and environmental conservation go together about as well as Reagan and redwoods right? He answered his own question: "Wrongmaybe... Companies themselves are altering this perception through gifts that include "cash, company lands that contain habitat for rare or endangered plants and animals, and surplus property that the Conservancy can sell to acquire other natural areas. Chevron Award winner and Nature Conservancy president, Frank Boren, then took the stage where he spent the next hour talking less about the topic of the event, "environmental conservation, and more about the Conservancys partnership with big business. Boren emphasized the success of a relationship with Procter and Gamble, particularly on a preservation project in Florida that they had supported via donations of land and cash. Boren also emphasized that in 1987, with "over 1000 corporations supporting us financially, in terms of cash, the financial support was $6.3 million. He also characterized the Conservancy as a "private recycle business as it had received more than "100 million worth of property from corporations since getting into the "trade land business to get more capital. While Boren seemed to have no problem fraternizing with big business, when the program was opened up for discussion, an audience member lamented whether or not big corporations were the ultimate villains in terms of environmental destruction. Boren responded, "Well, there are no villains. That is the Conservancys
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straight line, and Im sure the villains you described are supporters of the Nature Conservancy directly or indirectly. We dont get into the moral character of our stockholders... Its helped us get to where we are.63 Borens words embody the fundamental shift in the Conservancy and the undermining of the core tenets of environmentalism, as exemplified in the Global Greens Charter: ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, sustainability, and respect for diversity.64 While Poughs Conversancy focused on grassroots participation and emphasized scientific education to encourage environmentally-friendly behavior, Borens Conservancy desired money to achieve its narrowly-focused projects, regardless of the environmental consequences wrought by the individuals writing the checks.
Beginning in the 1970s, big business and bottom lines heavily influenced the actions of the Nature Conservancy. The same is true, even more so, of the Nature Conservancy today. The current president and CEO, Mark Tercek, is a former managing director of Goldman Sachs, and a personal friend of former treasury secretary Paulson. Tercek took over at the Nature Conservancy in July of 2008 after 24 years at Goldman Sachs. It is important to note here, that in the last months of 2008 Goldman Sachs received a $13 billion dollar payout from AIG via government bailout money. A 2009 Economist expose revealed that in 2005, Goldman Sachs had purchased $20 billion from AIG in credit default swaps, the instruments that would bring the American economy to
63 City Club of Portland, "City Club Weekly: Environmental Conservation, March 25, 1988, featuring guest Frank Boren, YouTube video, 53:57 [published May 12, 2015], last accessed April 1, 2016, available from
https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=aenwkGEAwKY.
64 Global Greens "Global Greens Charter, Global Green Conference, Canberra, Australia, 2001.
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its knees after being repeatedly bought and sold on Wall Street. When the financial crisis hit, AIG still owed $13 billion of this to Goldman Sachs, its most prominent client and the only one of its counterparties that would be paid in full. "Banks like Merrill Lynch from other failed insurers "were paid 13 cents on the dollar.65 In April of 2009, Goldman Sachs reported a $1.8 billion quarterly profit, while other banks and insurance agencies still floundered to keep their heads above water. The company, which suffered massive losses in December, and would have shown a loss in that December to February quarter, simply changed its fiscal year, and waited for their AIG money to hit the books. The firm also received a $10 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) investment from the federal government, a recovery program advised in part by another former Goldman Sachs executive, Henry Paulson, Jr. Goldman Sachs reported a gain in April, and chief financial officer David A. Viniar credited it to their "compliance and following rules.66 By then, of course, Tercek had been gone nearly a year, avoiding the crisis altogether.
The implications of this matter, as both Paulson and Tercek, and perhaps other upper-echelon bank and insurance executives, left big business at the height of the financial crisis to make their foray into environmental non-profits. In this particular case, it seems that business investment in nature, however, is not for purely for natures benefit, also for profit. This is evinced in the title of Terceks 2015 book, Nature's
65 "Like Everyone Else, Goldman was in Trouble, Economist (July 28, 2009), last accessed April 2, 2016, available from
http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2009/07/like_eveiyone_else_goldma
n_was.
66 Floyd Norris, "Dimming the Aura of Goldman Sachs, New York Times (April 16,
2009), last accessed April 2, 2016, available from
http://www.nytimes.eom/2009/04/17/b usiness/economy/17norris.html?_r=0.
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Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. In an interview with Harvard Business Review writer Sarah Green, he called nature a "capital asset.67 This notion of the natural environment as separate from the human condition, as a financial instrument for profit, opens up the possibility that environmentalism will be manipulated for quarterly gains. Furthermore, New Yorker columnist, D.T. Max, commented that in his own interview with Tercek, when he asked whether the train or plane was the better way to travel between Nature Conservancy headquarters in Washington, D.C. and fundraising events in New York, Tercek said that "he was something of an expert on the commute, and brought up speed and weather considerations, but not carbon emissions.68 With the chief executive of one the worlds wealthiest and influential environmental non-profits seemingly unconcerned with his personal carbon emissions, it begs the question: is the environment, specifically the tracts of land and carbon emissions bought and sold by the Nature Conservancy, another profit machine for the business world and a way to manipulate financial instruments or mortgage markets? Does Tercek have well-meaning and environmentally-friendly goals in mind as well? I cannot reasonably say.
Prioritizing Wealth & Privatizing the Environment
This widespread shift in leadership within the environmental community towards the Terceks and Paulsons of the financial world occurred at roughly the same time as the rise of free-market economic theory as an ideology. In the United States, the
67 Mark Tercek, Nature's Fortune: How Business an Society Thrive by Investing in Nature (New York: Basic Books, 2013); Sarah Green, "Yes, Business Relies on Nature, interview with Mark Tercek, Harvard Business Review (April 25, 2013).
68 D.T. Max, "Green is Good: The Nature Conservancy Wants to Persuade Big Business to Save the Environment, New Yorker (May 12, 2014).
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Chicago school of economics shifted from monetarism to laissez-faire neoliberalism in the mid-1970s as a macroeconomic alternative to Keynesian economics.69 Keynesianism fell out of favor with the onset of global stagflation brought on by the oil crisis in 1973. With a global shift towards neoliberalism, as exemplified by the elections of Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States, the World Bank and IMF began requiring that developing countries implement Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPS) as preconditions to the provision of development loans. SAPs require privatization by "removing excess government controls and promoting market competition as part of the neo-liberal agenda followed by the Bank, while also forcing the privatization of all "state-owned industries, including the health sector, and opening up their economies to foreign competition.70 On their face, SAPs are intended to assist developing countries by drawing them into the global market and providing them with democratic, free-market infrastructures. This type of globalization has instead resulted in the "race to the bottom phenomenon, in which developed countries exploit "the reduction in labor, social, and environmental conditions that results directly from global competition for jobs and investment.71 While the World Bank and IMF do indeed provision money and resources to these developing countries, the conditions that must be met allow the wealthy, developed world to exploit nascent markets, outsource production to cheap labor, and exert influence over low-income
69 Ross B. Emmett, editor, The Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2010), 133.
70 "Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), World Health Organization (2016), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/stoiy084/en/.
71 Jeremy Breecher and Tim Costello, Global Village or Global Pillage: Economic Reconstruction from the Bottom Up (New York: South End Press, 1994), 130.
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countries through capital investment. In this way, developed countries, through the entities established by the Bretton Woods System, namely the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), have engaged in postmodern colonialism.
As nations became intertwined in an increasingly globalized economic system, so too did the Nature Conservancy, now heavily influenced by the same sources of private, corporate money reaping the benefits of SAPs. By 1980, the Nature Conservancy launched its International Conservation Program to expand its work to Latin America, and later to the Caribbean in 1989. The first official South American headquarters opened in Brasilia, Brazil in 1994.72 In his 1988 speech to the Portland City Club, Frank Boren spoke at length about this expansion to the south, particularly as it related to raising funds to support a now multinational Conservancy. He asserted that in terms of fundraising for Latin America, "We no longer raise money for our supporters and take it down and hand them the money, we will expose them to U.S. donors... and were also trying to teach them to raise money in their own countries. Additionally, Boren mentioned a budding partnership with the World Bank, articulating his belief that "the Bank is gonna come around, which if the bank comes around, that will be very significant if they develop a sensitivity. Barber Conable, the new head of the bank, gave a speech in July... he happens to be a member of the Nature Conservancy... he comes out of the New York chapter.73 Money from the World Bank for Nature Conservancy worked much the same way as SAPsmarket conditions had to be met before the Bank would turn over any money to any particular Latin American country, and then it could
72 "Our History: History and Milestones of the Nature Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, 2016, last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.nature.org/about-us/vision-mission/history/.
73 City Club of Portland, "Environmental Conservation.
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only be spent on Bank and IMF approved projects for which it was earmarked.74 Thus, the Conservancy became embroiled in the dynamics of postmodern colonialism indirectly through the caveats attached to World Bank money.
With great successand growing wealthin the 1980s, the Nature Conservancy continued to expand its global presence. The Conservancy made its first expansion outside the western hemisphere with its establishment of an office in the Republic of Palau in 1990. The Africa program was launched in 2006, and in October of 2007 the first European office was established in Berlin, Germany.75 With such international reach and influence, the Conservancy also began tunneling green development money from individual donor countries to projects in developing countries through their Development by Design program.76 This money is often paired with appropriate projects through partnerships, including the United Nations, particularly the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+).
By directing money towards developing countries, particularly those in Africa and Latin America, the hope amongst a large sector of the environmental policy world is that these countries can leapfrog the fossil fuel stage of development. However, since the 2000s, the Nature Conservancy has been embroiled in a number of controversies
74 "Some Key REDD+ Players, Carbon Trade Watch (June 2011), last accessed April 2, 1016, available from
http://www.carbontradewatch.org/downloads/publications/REDD key players.pdf
75 "Our History, The Nature Conservancy; Rebecca Patton and Miranda Mchreurs, "Transatlantic Perspectives on Biodiversity and Climate Change, Ecologic Institute (October 11, 2007), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://ecologic.eu/2197.
76 "Development by Design, The Nature Conservancy, 2016, last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/land-conservation/smart-development/index.htm.
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that exemplify the implications of the influence of big business. Carbon Trade Watch asserts that corporate sponsorships are "allowing these industries to greenwash their destructive activities, as they stand to potentially profit immensely from programs like REDD+. For example in 2009, the Nature Conservancy, along with Conservation International (Cl), began a REDD+ program in the Lancondon Rainforest in Chiapas, Mexico. They lobbied for the circumventing of national targets when it came to the implementation and funding of specific projects. The Conservancy and Cl instead pushed for sub-national targets so that money could flow directly to the individuals and groups controlling the projectthemselves. An anonymous source from inside one of the organizations told journalist Johann Hari that these forests "are worth billions in a carbon market as offsets even though the implications of subnational targeting and carbon offsets are "much more environmentally damaging than the alternatives. The source added that "They [The Nature Conservancy] know it. Its shocking.77
The Nature Conservancys exploitation of REDD+ projects across the globe also has implications for local people. In the case of Chiapas, the Lancondon Rainforest supports not only billions of dollars in carbon assets, but also the indigenous Tzeltal Maya. This community, among others in the area, is slated for government-sponsored removal. Amador Hernandez, a member of the Tzeltal community, has condemned the project as a scheme "to cover up the dispossession of the biodiversity of peoples under the guise of an environmental protection project. Other residents in the Lancondon area
77 "Some Key REDD+ Players; "The Commodification of Earths Forests: The Key Players Behind REDD, Canadians for Emergency Action on Climate Change (December 2011), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from
http://climatesoscanada.org/blog/2011/12/01/the-commodification-of-earths-
forests-the-key-players-behind-redd/.
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have similarly charged that the "Mexican governments real reasons for relocation is to undercut the support base of the Zapatista rebels, who control much of the zone.78 It can be reasonably assumed that this mutual beneficence for the Mexican government justifies its lack of protest against subnational targets for UN money. Thus, while the ancestral lands of the Tzeltal and indigenous group may indeed be preserved, it will not be for their benefit, but rather for the monetary gains of Conservancy and other nonprofit investors. These monetary gains subsequently satisfy political motivations of national governments.
This native dispossession is an increasingly common hallmark of the REDD+ projects of the Nature Conservancy and some other environmental non-profits. The indigenous of the world are taking notice. The Ogiek people in Kenya were removed from the Mau Forest Complex, despite local protest; the Jambi were evicted from the island of Sumatra; villagers in Papua New Guinea were coerced into forfeiting their lands; the Clinton Foundation supported a project that removed Natives in Indonesian Borneo, as it stood to profit immensely from carbon credits; the Warufiji people in the Rufiji Delta in Tanzania report that they have been banned from cultivating their native lands; the Matses in the Peruvian Amazon have taken legal action to preserve their right to native lands, and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) continue to protest government support of REDD+ programs in their country. The examples do not end there. Indigenous leaders gathered at the 2011 United Nations
78 Bill Weinberg, "Newest Scam on Fringe of Climate Change Involves Land-Grabs in Peruvian Rainforest, Indian Country Today Media Network (March 2012), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from
http://indiancountiytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/03/08/newest-scam-fringe-
climate-change-involves-land-grabs-peruvian-rainforest-101867.
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PAGE 1

IMAGINING WILDERNESS : EXPLORING THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF FRONTIER IDENTITY AND ITS IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT by KAYLA M. GABEHART B.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2014 M.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2017 A the sis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts History Program 2017

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Kayla M. Gabehart has been approved for the History Program b y Dale Stahl, Chair Pamela Laird Greg Whitesides Date: May 13, 2017 ii

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Gabehart, Kayla M. (M.A., History Program ) IMAGINING WILDERNESS: EXPLORING THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF FRONTIER IDENTITY AND ITS IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Dale J. Stahl ABSTRACT Since colonization, Euro Americans have set f oot on the shores of what would become the United States with the intent to civilize a savage wilderness, whether that be in the name of religious piety, economic gain, or settlement and expansion. This idea of civilizing wilderness has gone through many re imaginings in American culture, from Manifest Destiny to the American Dream to foreign interventions, Americans have perceived the physical environment as a frontier, separate from the human condition, to be crossed into and improved via settlement, development, or preservation. The environment thus has effectively been commodifi ed in the sense that it can be bought and sold The buying and selling of the physical environment and the potential of massive payoffs has further led to the corruption of some non profit environmental organizations, as evidenced by the case study of the Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy has bought and sold carbon offsets and tracts of land they vowed to protect, often dispossessing Native populations in order to reap massive profits in a sort of postmodern colonialism dynamic. This construction of modern frontiers is now impacting the environmental movement, as evidenced by the geopolitical divide that separates the United States and much of the res t of the world, particularly the European Union, when it comes to negotiating international agreements to mitigate the effects of manmade climate change. Thus any progress iii

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towards cooperative global efforts to combat climate change are currently unlikely due to poor communication about climate science amongst th e general population in America, politicization of the issue, and marked differences in climate and energy policy in the United States, compared to the European Union. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Dale J. Stahl iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION: CONSTR UCTING WILDERNESS ................................ ............................................ 1 II. CONSTRUCTING GREEN: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCT ION OF THE ENVIRONME NT AS A FRONTIER AND A TOOL OF DISPOS SESSION ................................................................................. 5 Early Identity Formation, the Roots of Liberal Capitalism, and Dispossession ................... 8 Western Frontier Identity, Early Capitalism, and Violence Against Natives and Labor 12 American Exceptionalism in the Progressive Era, the Domination of Industrial Capitalism, and the People of the Margins ................................ ........................................................ 14 Post War Idealism, Modern Capitalism, and the Market Production of Inequality ......... 16 Conclusions: The Perpetuity of the Frontier ................................ ................................ .................... 21 III. BUYING GREEN: THE EN TANGLEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTALISM WITH BIG BUSINESS & ITS IMPACT ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD ................................................................................ 23 From Green Motivations to Green Motivations ................................ ................................ ............... 31 Big Business and the Bottom Line ........................................................................................................ 38 Prioritizing Wealth & Privatizing the Environment ................................ ................................ ...... 44 Conclusions: Imminent Consequences ................................ ............................................................... 53 IV. DECONSTRUCTING GREEN : A RHETORICAL ANALY SIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE ................................ ................................ .............................. 57 The Rhetoric of Globalized Risk and Shortcoming in Climate Communication ................. 60 Analyzing Divergence: The Environment in the U.S. and Europe Post 1970s ................... 65 Legalized Difference: Climate Policy in the U.S. and Europe ..................................................... 74 Conclusions: Where Do We Go From Here? ................................ ...................................................... 77 v

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V. CONCLUSION: THE SCI ENCE ISNT IN YET ................................ ................................................... 81 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................ ............................................................................................................................... 84 vi

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION: CONSTRUCTING WILDERNESS For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease has not fully infected the earth, wrote environmental historian William Cronon in his 1995 wo rk, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature He continues, It is an island in the polluted sea of urban industrial modernity, the one place we can turn for escape from our too muchness.1 Thus, as cities expanded both upward and outward to s uburbs, and suburbs edged closer to rural America in the twentieth century our too muchness led to the idealization and conceptualization of the less densely populated, flora and fauna rich areas of the physical environment as wilderness, untouched, ven erated, and a maker of Americans, separate from the human condition and that urban industrial modernity in which we live our lives from day to day. While Cronon points out that as late as the eighteenth century wilderness was synonymous with savageness and waste, the history of drawing lines and demarcations between civilization and wilderness by Americans and the would be Americans who colonized before them, extends far back to the beginnings of British forays into the New World. The Puritans b elieved that their superiority over this New World was the result of a divine ordinance, exemplified in biblical terms in Genesis 1:28: Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.2 Explorers and those hoping to amass wealth 1 William Cronon, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co), 1997, 6990. 2 Peter Harrison, Fill the Earth and Subdue It: Biblical Warrants for Colonization in Seventeenth Century England, E Publications at Bond University, http://epublications.bond.edu.au/hss_pubs /54 last accessed October 25, 2015. 1

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were less inclined to biblical justifications than to those economic reasons proposed by Richard Hakluyt in his Discourse Concerning Western Planting. These explorers hoped to discover merchantable commodities, extract them from the land, and profit from them.3 Whether biblical commandment or economic necessity motivated various early New England colonists, they set foot on New World soil with the intention to improve the land and live on it, not within it, creating almost a naturalized separateness between areas colonis ts and explorers deemed civilization and those deemed wilderness. Iterations of these ideas about the environment and wilderness have since impacted choices and decisions throughout American history. Cronon also points out that, wilderness is quite profoundly a human creation, and the notion of designating a particular tract of land as a wilderness is the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires we suppose [it] can be the solution to our cultures problematic relationships with th e nonhuman world. This phenomenon is perhaps best reflected in the establishment of the United States national parks. While these areas often boasted beautiful and sometimes rare and endangered plant and animal specimens, their establishment by both weal thy benefactors and government officials proved problematic, as historian Karl Jacoby demonstrated in his 2001 book, Crimes Against Nature. Jacoby shows that during the establishment of Adirondack Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Caon Forest Reserve, and other national forests Native Americans and other individuals subsisting off the land were pushed out when officials decided on border s for each particular protected space, constructing these the Natives 3 Richard Hakluyt, Discourse Concerning Western Planting originally written in 1584, in E.G.R. Taylor, ed., Original Writings and Correspondences of the Two Richard Hakluyts (Hakluyt Society, 1935), II, 21137. 2

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and those living off the land as the titular squatters, poachers, and thieves intruding on arbitrarily drawn tracts of wilderness. 4 Thus, whether it is the well intentioned establishment of national parks, or other projects undertaken by Americans throughout history with the desire to improve th e land in some manner, the human creation, the social construction of wilderness often leads to unintended social and environmental consequences. This study explores some of the unintended consequences of the myth making of the environment as wilderness that is imbedded in many historical moments throughout American history. The story that I will weave is interdisciplinary, and ultimately focuses on how one of these unintended consequences is the hampering of the modern environmental movement. Chapter I examines the historiographical literature regarding how different lines of frontier have been constructed throughout American history, imposing improvement in many different forms over many different decades, and often dispossessing the groups living in a particular wilderness. Chapter II, building off of the notions of the constructing of frontiers, explores the frontier of postmodern colonialism as exemplified through the case study of the Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy began as a sciencebase d ecological preservation society and grew into one of the largest and wealthiest environmental nonprofit s in the world. Though its goal is to preserve the land it purchases, the Conservancy has become embroiled in for profit business model that often prioritizes profits, dispossesses the most vulnerable populations around the world, and ultimately undermines the organizations original go als. Chapter III then examines global climate change and the 4 Karl Jacoby, Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation (Berkeley: University of California Press,) 2001. 3

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environmental movement as a worldwide phenomenon, and analyzes the rhetorical differences between environmental policy in the United States and the European Union, the laggard and the leader of the developed world respectively. These differences make any progress towards cooperative and imminently needed global efforts to combat climate change highly unlikely, and show how the long term consequences of global climate change continue to dispossess the worlds most vulnerable populations, and potentially put all of the worlds people in danger as the planet continues to warm. This study ultimately holds that imagining various areas of wilderness has contributed a sort of commodification of the phys ical environment through narratives upholding improvement and preservation. This commodification of nature, as tracts of land or carbon offsets to be bought and sold in the capitalist, freemarket, hinders rather than helps the environmental movement. And while those dispossessed already deal with the effects of a warming planet, climate change, ultimately will not discriminate. 4

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CHAPTER II CONSTRUCTING GREEN: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AS A FRONTIER AND A TOOL OF DISPOSSESSION Above all, it seems to me wrongheaded and dangerous to invoke historical assumptions about environmental practices of native people in order to justify treating them fairly By invoking this assumption to justify fair treatment of native peoples, we i mply that it would be OK to mistreat them if that assumption could be refuted. Jared Diamond Collapse: How Societies Fail or Succeed The Oxford English Dictionary defines frontier as the extreme limit of settled land beyond which lies wilderness, and w ilderness is by definition an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region, or a neglected or abandoned area. These definitions are important to understand in that groups of people throughout American history have used these definitions to inform ideas about the physical landscape, and changed and manipulated these according to desires and circumstances. These definitions and the ideas often impacted history in distinct ways Diamonds quote demonstrates these definitions applied to ideas about Native Americans as stewards of t he land, though perceptions of these same environmental practices has also historically been used to categorize Native Americans, and later other minority groups, as savages incapable of improving the land, thus becoming a part of the frontier themselves to be conquered. Thus, definitions and the way they are applied matters, even if they do not necessarily make sense in some contemporary schools of thought. At the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner prese nted his own ideas regarding the definitions of frontier and wilderness when he lamented the 5

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frontier has gone.5 Now known colloquially amongst historians as the Frontier Thesis, modern academics have largely refuted the work of Turner. In her 1986 study of the American West, The Legacy of Conquest, historian Patricia Limerick characterized Turners ideas as ethnocentric and nationalistic, criticisms shared by many historians of the West and throughout the many subfields of the discipline.6 Nonetheless, hardly any historian of the American West has left Turners Frontier Thesis untouched. Because, ethnocentric and misguided as they are, Turners ideas exemplified contemporary feelings of declension and anxieties about the perceived closing of the fr ontier, a passing of the first period of American history, and of gifts of free land. For Turner and his likeminded colleagues, the crossing of this line of most rapid and effective Americanization and the subsequent conquering of the wilderness p roduced the ideal citizenry necessary for the Great American Experiment to succeed. However, Turner indicated, and Limerick critiques, Turners ideal Americans were European in dress.7 Thus, the exclusivity of Turners frontier is crucial in understanding the scholarship of not only the American West, but also particularly of the environment, as historians have demonstrated repeatedly that the enviro nment is a tool of oppression. Since Euro Americans set foot on the North American continent, they have incorporated this frontier ideology of the environment into varying and evolving conceptions of American identity, and have subsequently exploited and manipulated the environment in ways that have allowed them to marginalize minority 5 Fredrick Jackson Turner, The Significance of the Frontier in American History, originally wri tten in 1893, in Carolyn Merchant, ed., Major Problems in American Environmental History 2nd ed., (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2006), 281 3. 6 Patricia Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 198 6), 21. 7 Turner, Frontier Thesis, 281 3. 6

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groups on the basis of race, socioeconomic class, and gender.8 While Turners literal frontier may be closed, a claim he justified with pop ulation density statistics, a number of historians have demonstrated the various ways in which conceptions of the frontier as an idealized force of Americanization have served to dispossess a number of different groups by a number of different mechanisms at various points throughout American history. The social const ruction of American identity, and within it a preservation of a frontier mentality, necessitated both certain ideas about the environment as well as the oppression of various other races, classes, and genders of people to sustain those ideas. Environmental historians have studied Euro American belief s about the environment extensively, particularly the notion that land can be commodified and bought and sold in a market system. Fewer historians have focused exclusively on the environments role in producing and reinforcing inequality, but the former story cannot be told without some mention of the latter. The incorporation of conceptions about the environment into American identity and the manipulation of the environment to marginalize various groups of people are inextricably intertwined. To demonstrate how intimately these two historiographical stories go hand inhand, I will trace 8 For a discussion of nationstate identity formation, see Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London:Verso, 1983). Andersen asserts that nationbuilding identity myths, such as Turners frontier are imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or ever hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion. Rather, in T urners imagining of the frontier, the majority of the members that he would likely never meet were not Natives, but individuals who looked like him white men. Stemming from this imagining then, to quote Ernest Gellner, Thought and Change (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964), 169, as quoted in Andersen, Imagined Communities, 6, nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist.8 7

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environmental thought, identity formation, and the production of inequality through four eras that span American history temporally: 1) early identity formation, the roots of liberal capitalism, and Native dispossession; 2) the Western Frontier identity, early capitalism, and violenc e against Natives; 3) American techno e xceptionalism in the Progressive Era, the domination of industrial capitalism, and the people of the mar gins; and 4) postwar American idealism, modern capitalism, and the market production of inequality. The texts within each era essentially agree with one another, and each builds upon the last. Additionally, these eras are fluid, and I do not mean to s uggest that any one definitively ends while another begins. Rather, I mean to trace the various strands of conceptions of identity and the environment as historians have traced their emergence and influence. The texts I have chosen vary across one another widely. Some are very regional in focus; other span a few decades, and some hundreds of years; some deal with water, others with oil; and still others with suburbanization, disease, fisheries, or food shortage. Their only universal similarity is that they all address environmental histo ry, and they all demonstrate that the need to overcome various frontiers, the definition of which changes and evolves according to circumstance, has served to produce ideal Americans, and have simultaneously constructed a d ichotomy to that ideal. The creation of an ingroup in America has always also require d the creation of an outgroup, and the ingroup often achieved this by drawing arbitrary lines across the physical land. Early Identity Formation, the Roots of Liberal Capitalism, and Dispossession The construction of this outgroup began even before the advent of North American colonization, as did notions about the environment as a commodity. In Guns, 8

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Germs, and Steel, 1997, scientist Jared Diamond articulates p erhaps the earliest instance of the environment facilitating the dispossession of Native peoples. Beginning in prehistory, Diamonds study asserts that the less varied latitudinal, eastwest geographic orientation of Europe, in contrast to the north south orientations of the Americas and Europe allowed for the domestication of plants and animals, as well as the subsequent developments of technologies and the transplant of ideas. This facilitated the transition from a hunter gatherer society to an agrarian society. While I find Diamonds study environmentally deterministic, he asserts that the production of germs, technology, political organization, and other ingredients of power that allowed people, who by accident of their geographic location became ab le to engulf geographically less endowed people.9 In a more complete study, historian Carolyn Merchant, while largely in agreement with Diamonds ideas, asserts that the ability to engulf other people was not simply a product of geographical determining factors. Rather, she attributes this to human agency, particularly to the worldview produced by the emphasis on rationality and mechanization during the Scientific Revolution. Merchant further posits that this period not only produced technological proces s, but also a shift from a community based, agricultural economy to an early capitalist economy.10 Thus, when Europeans arrived on American soil, a cultural rationale that favored Native dispossession in favor of the exploitation and private ownership of land, as well as the technology necessary to 9 Jared Diamond, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies ( New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), 386. 10 Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1980) Merchant also explicitly addresses the effect that the ideas that became prevalent during the Scientific Revolution had on women. She posits that the shift to a capitalist economy facilitated the exploitation of nature and dispossession of women of their traditional production roles in the agrarian economy. 9

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facilitate this dispossession, namely Diamonds guns and steel, had already been practiced and used widely in Europe. While previous explorations and colonization in Afric a and Asia certainly contributed, Merchant further asserts that the modern scientific and economic world that took form in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries still pervades mainstream values and perceptions.11 When Europeans did indeed set foot in North America, they construed the bounding and commodification of land as a mark of civilization. Historian William Cronon asserts that New England colonists believed land ownership was predicated on improvement, a mark of said civility, and revealed the assumptions by which they misconstrued the supposed poverty of the Indians. Colonial conceptions of improvement included bounding the land into individual parcels, the private ownership of those parcels, permanent settlement, and the planting of crops and keeping of livestock.12 Historian V irginia Andersen reinforces Cronons point about livestock ownership arguing that improvement also meant domestication of animals.13 While Natives attempted to incorporate these perceptions of the environment on European terms, colonists continually reinforced differences rather than recognizing similarities between themselves and Natives. When Natives attempted to engage in the colonial marketplace, to buy and sell land and livestock, the colonists resisted, refused to acknowledge Native claims, and claimed their land in the name of civilization. 11 Merchant, The Death of Nature, xvi. 12 W illiam Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (New York: Hill & Wang, 1983), 34. 13 Virginia DeJohn Andersen, Creatures of Empire: How Domestic Animals Transformed Early America (New York: Oxford University Press, 20 04). 10

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While Christopher Morris studies a different geographical area of North America in his 2012 work The Big Muddy he too reinforces the arguments of Cronon and Andersen that improving the land in a manner expl icitly European denoted civilization. Morris argues that the Spanish explorers, and later French settlers, constructed their notions of the Mississippi River Delta by distinguishing between wet and dry land. These explorers dried the valley because they b elieved they had to if they were going to live there in a manner in which they lived elsewhere, in Europe. The effect was that the Natives, black slaves, and eventually African Americans in the modern era were relegated to live in closer proximity with wetland, as the Euro Americans of higher socioeconomic and civilized status pushed these people out of the artificially dried land.14 These marginalized groups were also most acutely affected by the drying of the land and its consequences, most often at the e xpansion of commerce and tradeearly capitalism. The early colonial motivation to manipulate and improve the land in order to denote civility translated into the commodification of land. This commodification fit nicely into the early iterations of capitalism that Merchant argues emerged during the Scientific Revolution in Europe. And as these early colonists continually justified their claiming of Native lands on the basis of superiority, they incorporated such ideas about the physical environment into their identities. Native dispossession also facilitated early liberal capitalism through land commodification, which also became a sign of civility, and thus a facet of early preAmerican identity. 14 Christopher Morris, The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and its Peoples From Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 1. 11

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Western Frontier Identity, Early Capitalism, and Violence A gainst Natives and Labor In the nineteenth century, following the American Revolution, the constitutional period, and the assertion that the United States was a Grand Experiment in republican government, Turners frontier, the American West, was very muc h open in that it was largely unsettled by Euro Americans When settlers decided to move west, motivated by Manifest Destiny and the desire to conquer and improve the land, they employed violence against those groups that had in the colonial period been construed as inferior. Historian Elliott West demonstrates this dynamic in Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado 1998, in which he asserts that both Euro American gold miners and Plains Indians were fighting for control of the same land, and that the two could not occupy the same physical space by virtue of the inability to reconcile each others contrasting worldviews. Euro American settlers eventually won the land due to economic, numerical, and power advantages. Violence also often facilitated Native dispossession. 15 Historian Andrew C. Isenberg makes similar claims about the irreconcilable nature of Native and Euro American worldviews, claiming the commodification of buffalo in order to sell their pelts for robes drew Native Americans into the Euro American market economy.16 When Euro Americans later attempted to save the buffalo, they did so on the basis that the animal was a remnant of a bygone era, of the frontier that Turner venerated as an Americanizing force. Thus, Eur o Americans attempted to preserve the buffalo via conservation efforts, like Yellowstone, 15 Elliott West, Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rus h to Colorado (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1998). 16 Andrew C. Isenberg, The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750 1920 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000). 12

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commercializing such areas as tourist attractions and forcing Natives off the land in the process. In Killing for Coal, 2008, Thomas Andrews also demonstrates that individuals of low socioeconomic status, in this case coal miners, faced violent repercussions for challenging the inequalities inherent in labor employer relations that allowed capitalist elites to reap massive profit margins. While I find Andrews reific ation of coal as a historical agent problematic and his discussion of the transition from an organic to a mineral economy lacking in context, his argument that a half century of tensions between laborers in the coalfields and the capitalists business owner s that employed them culminated in the violence at Ludlow, Colorado is sound. Additionally, Andrews s analysis supports the idea that capitalism and land ownership became not only inextricable, but were frequently utilized to oppress those who challenged this relationship. He asserts that Ludlow and the larger workers movement failed to reform either the mining workscapes or the company towns, which together bore the responsibility for fomenting decades of industrial struggle yet like John Osgood and Wi lliam Palmer before them, the Rockefellers held to a vision of Western industrialism that left workers no real place on the land.17 In this, Andrews, as well as West and Isenberg, exemplify the ways in which the colonial conceptions of land as a commodity evolved in parallel with the capitalist economy and the emergence of the frontier identity throughout the nineteenth century. The idea of land as a commodity was applied to justify the claiming of that land for the purposes of harvesting natural resources like coal that fueled the many technologies 17 Thomas Andrews, Killing For Coal: Americas Deadliest Labor War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 286. 13

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that made the capitalist economy tick. The idea could also be applied to the marketing of a particular tract of land, like Yellowstone, which appealed to consumers as a tourist destination, as it was constructed as an exemplification of the frontier ideal. Euro Americans claiming of land during the nineteenth century was perhaps about pursuing civility even more so than in the colonial era, as contemporaries, and Turner himself believed the land made Americans Those that were pushed off the land, Natives and laborers, thus struggled to present themselves as good Americans because the wilderness did not find them European in dress. American Exceptionalism in the Progressive Era, the Domination of Industrial C apitalism, and the People of the Margins After the turn of the twentieth century, following Turners proclamation that the frontier had closed, many Americans increasingly turned to technology and efficiency as the means by which they would improve the natural environment and facilitate the growth of industrial capitalism, and thus institute progress and civility. Out of this efficiency movement also grew a sort of techno exceptionalism, a by product of the belief in American exceptionalism, which held that technology would only ever produce upward progress, and that if it created problems, there was yet another technology available to remedy that problem. Historian Samuel P. Hays describes the emergence of this Progressive Era belief in technology and efficiency, asserting that many grassroots activists had concerns about the Gospel of Efficiency being utilized to marginalize people and facilitate the unequal distribution of wealth. Nonetheless, techno exceptionalists assumed that technology could s olve problems of inequality, and that efficiency, rather than democracy was best suited to improve the environment. 14

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A number of historians have since shown that these techno exceptionalists were wrong. Analyzing the consequences of this movement from the eco systemic level to the national, historians have shown that rather than producing solutions, technology and the unwavering belief in it often resulted in environmental degradation and the pushing of disadvantaged groups to the margins of society. The application of technology did however, almost always in this era, bolster industrial capitalism and the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few. Joseph E. Taylor III demonstrates how scientists and fishery experts attempted to breed salmon in the Northwestern United States in order to increase runs. Despite repeated failures and the destruction of the habitat of the Pacific salmon, a steadfast belief in technology motivated these experts to use opposing interests as scapegoats in political debates regarding fishing rights. At the benefit of industrial interests, and for economic and cultural reasons techno exceptionalists tried to save these runs almost regardless of cost, creating a fiscal and ecological disaster, and stripping away the fish ing rights of Native Americans, the poor, and those dependent on salmon for their subsistence.18 Making many of the same points as Taylor, historian Matthew Klingle, in his study of the development of Seattle, asserts that the filling in of waterways and wetlands in Seattle to support an industrializing economy was the result of linking social progress to the ability to improve nature. W hile industry, speculators, and railroad magnates benefitted, Native Americans and squatters suffered.19 Historian Norris Hundley Jr. corroborates Klingles main arguments in relation to the construction of Californias hydro society. As population 18 Joseph E. Taylor III, Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 236. 19 Matthew Klingle, Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 119. 15

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grew and water infrastructure became larger and larger it became increasingly centralized, benefitting largescale farmers, co rporations, and industries, and denying equal access to water to small scale farmers and those of lower socioeconomic classes.20 All three of these authors demonstrate that techno exceptionalism resulted in the destruction of the environment in order to fo ster industrial production. However, colonial conceptions of land as a commodity and the frontier identity that dominated the nineteenth century had already marginalized those that did not fit Turner esque conceptions of Americanism. Techno exceptionalis m further relegated these groups of people to the margins of society.21 Post War Idealism, Modern Capitalism, and the Market Production of Inequality With the advent of the Cold War following the conclusion of World War II, techno exceptionalism by no means fell out of vogue, nor has it today, but it was augmented by capitalist exceptionalism in the face o f the perceived Soviet threat. At the end of the Cold War, w hen Reagan took office, he along with Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain, heralded capitalism as the epitome of progress, and ushered in ideological support for free market capitalism With a sharp decline in oil prices in the mid 1980s 20 Norris Hundley Jr. The Great Thirst: Californians and Water, 1770s 1990s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992). 21 Historian Laura Ann Stoler Tense and Tender Ties: The Pol itics of Comparison in North American History and (Post) Colonial Studies, Journal of American History 88, no.3 (2001): 862, adds that adhering to these originary narratives designed to show the natural teleology of future nations, later republics, and future states, we neglect the people of the margins, their movements, and their interactions with Turners idealized national members. 16

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following the crises of the 1970s, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, m any policy makers hailed that a battle had been decidedly wo n for capitalism. Heralding capitalism as the best economic system, in the 1980s and early 1990s, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund withheld money from developing countries unless they agreed to privatize, liberalize, and democratize their economies. While the developed countries of the world appeared to flourish, those relegated to the margins of progress in the preceding decades and centuries did not. Rather, the free market produced and reproduced this inequality, f acilitated once again by the manipulation of the environment for the benefit of those at the top of the racial, socioeconomic, and gender hierarchy. Historian Andrew Hurley demonstrates this in his study of the industrial sector of post war Gary, Indiana. Hurley asserts that w h ile dirty air and water was the price one paid for industrial prosperity, this pollution disproportionately implicated individuals on the basis of race, class and gender lines. For example, black and Mexican workers were disproport ionately assigned to unskilled jobs in which they were exposed to the most pollutants. When minority and working class people eventually gained access to better housing, they found that the affluent had abandoned these areas due to the proximity of these l ocations to pollution.22 These wealthy individuals, as well as the magnates at U.S. Steel, had no desire to introduce environmental protection standards for fear of sacrificing profit margins. They did, however, have the means to abandon the polluted areas, taking their tax base with them, and leaving those of lower 22 Andrew Hurley, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 19451980 (Chap el Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 43. 17

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socioeconomic status to live intimately with the pollution that had contributed to the market production of affluence. Affluent populations financial ability and desire to abandon polluted cities motivated the construction of suburbs and the infrastructure that connected the two areas. In Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism, 2001, historian Adam Rome claims that home ownership became a cornersto ne of American identity thanks to mass production.23 This mass production, though, was facilitated by the exploitation of labor of the people at the margins. Rome demonstrates that this mass production enabled the suburban growth necessary to satisfy the fl ight of those of some level of means from the cities. Not only did this urban sprawl have severe environmental consequences, caused by, for example, faulty septic tanks, but as Hurley claims, those of lower socioeconomic classes and people of color that remained in the cities suffered.24 White flight made the cities poorer on the whole, creating a systemic cycle of inequality produced by the unequal distribution of wealth in the industrial capitalist model. Christopher Wells, in his study of the constructi on of the systems of roads that connected the cities and suburbs, essentially agrees with Rome. Wells makes the argument that consumer and economic interests, namely the commodification of the land that occurred in the process of suburbanization, produced man made landscapes that necessitated cars and complex road systems. Once again, this car culture further disadvantaged blighted populations that remained in cities, as many of them were not able to take advantage of the 23 Adam Rome, Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 24 Rome, Bulldozer in the Countryside. 18

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convenience provided by the car.25 While, as Wells asserts, the car shrunk the mental geography of the landscape for those able to reap the benefits of automobiles, it effectively expanded it for those marginalized. The people of the margins were pushed ever farther from inclusivity in the capitalist economy. Particular groups of individuals were not just marginalized for the benefit of industrial production, but also for the benefit of agricultural production in rural areas. In her study of conceptions of disease in California, historian Linda Nash traces how the introduction of DDT and other pesticides to facilitate mass production of fruit and other crops was accomp anied by new, unidentified outbreaks of diseases related to human contact with these chemicals. MexicanAmerican workers were amongst the groups that most often fell ill due to their intimate proximity to pesticideladen crops. However, their perceived inf eriority, constructed by decades of thought that relegated them to the position of unideal Americans, resulted in many scientists and public health officials attributing disease to character defects unique to Hispanic peoples.26 Via the exploitation of the environment to mass produce fruit, the labor of their agricultural workers and their bodies were exploited for the benefit of capital accumulation. Belief by American policy makers in various iterations of exceptionalism American, techno, and capitalist in conjunction with the manipulation of the physical environment, impacted disadvantaged populations abroad, as well as domestically. Historian Nick Cullather demonstrates how the United States government exploited the 25 Christopher Wells, Car Country: An Environmental History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013). 26 Linda Nash, Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge. (Berkley: University of California Press, 2006). 19

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land to combat communism during th e Cold War. He claims that the Green Revolution spearheaded by the United States was in fact driven by capitalistexceptionalism combined with the belief that working class struggle would fuel communist support in post colonial countries. Thus, with a belief in unequivocal progress and techno exceptionalism, the government engineered programs in Mexico and Asia that were, at times, exaggerated and often led to social turmoil in these countries.27 Nonetheless, the government promulg ated rhetoric of increased well being of these disadvantaged and needy people via the superior agricultural methods of the United States in order to promote the capitalist mode of economic thought. Culminating these f our eras of American identity early identity formation, the roots of liberal capitalism, and Native dispossession; the Western Frontier identity, early capitalism, and violenc e against Natives; American techno e xceptionalism in the Progressive Era, the domination of industrial capitalism, and the people of th e margins; and post war American idealism, modern capitalism, and the market production of inequality the evolution of capitalism, and the exploitation of disadvantaged people by the way of the environment, historian Timothy Mitchells Carbon Democracy: Po litical Power in the Age of Oil, 2011, analyzes U.S. dependence on the global oil market. Mitchell corroborates my argument by predicating his thesis on the assertion that U.S. corporations manipulations of Middle East oil was and continues to be dependent on the belief in the ex ceptionalism of techno progress and the promulgation of the mythical principle of limitless growth. Mitchell then argues that by forging relations with Middle Eastern countries and fostering dependence on oil, the industry effectively 27 Nick Culla ther, The Hungry World: Americas Cold War Battle Against Poverty in Asia. (Cambridge: Harvard University press, 2010). 20

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sets limits to the possibilities of democracy, in that the parties in power decide who has access to the benefits of the oil market, and thus economic growth. Growth is not limitless for those populations taken advantage of by the beneficiaries of th at growth. Thus, the environment has not just been used to relegate people to the margins domestically. In the face of an ever increasingly globalized world, business and industry elites in the United States have taken advantage of the decades of exploitation of individuals on the basis of race, class, and gender to effectively expand the borders of said exploitation to vulnerable populations across the globe. Conclusions: The Perpetuity of the Frontier Colonial European settlement brought with it ideas about land as a commodity. Whether such notions of the environment as a product that could be bought and sold in the early capitalist market place emerged from the Scientific Revolution, as Merchant claims or from Diamonds geographic determinism, bounding the land established a physical and mental boundary of civility and progress. As with Turners frontier, some individuals could cross these literal and figurative demarcation lines and become ideal Americans. Those constructed as outgroups could not. And early conceptions of the environment as individual, privately owned parcels of land evolved to allow for the reaping of the resources from the land, the facilitation of mass production by those r esources, the grafting of technology onto the land to solve problems often brought about by industrial degradation of the environment, and finally, the reproduction of inequality by the market itself. However, at each stage of development, in each era, t he oppression of groups on the basis of race, class, and gender via the environment facilitated such development. Whether by dispossessing Natives of their lands, 21

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exploiting labor to extract coal, pushing groups to the margins to facilitate industrial deve lopment, or expanding the mental geography of the environment, the exploitation of disadvantaged peoples has aided progress and the production of ideal Americans. Whether it is the unsettled American West or the line between cities and suburbs, the v arious ideas about definitions of frontier often exclude the most vulnerable populations As Mitchell demonstrates, the globalized world has allowed for the expansion of a modern version of the frontier mentality. In the face of global climate change, for example, the most vulnerable populations of the world are indeed most acutely affected by not just the direct consequences of climactic change, but the indirect consequences mass migration, civil war, and geopolitical conflict. 22

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CHAPTER II I BUYING GREEN: T HE ENTANGLEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTALISM WITH BIG BUSINESS & ITS IMPACT ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD Those of our worthy publicists to whom Wall Street is anathema have, in the debauchery of their muckraking, been silly enough to insinuate that the Department of St ate was run by Wall Street. Any student of modern diplomacy knows that in these days of competition, capital, trade, agriculture, labor and statecraft all go hand in hand if a country is to profit. Francis HuntingtonWilson ~191328 In the first half of the twentieth century, journalists and other critics questioned the State Departments tactics of colluding with wealthy, private companies, such as Pan American Airlines and United Fruit, in order to achieve foreign policy objectives and influence over the United States Latin American neighbors. Rather than denying such allegations, State Department official, Francis HuntingtonWilson confirmed them in 1913, asserting that such machinating between private and governmental spheres was self evident, necessary, and a positive partnership in terms of economic gain. Fastforward almost a century, replace Department of the State with environmentalism, and HuntingtonWilsons words are equally true. Wall Street, the embodiment of the free market, capitalist system, influenced certain aspects of foreign policy in Latin America in the first half of the twentieth century via financial, social and political capital, and many Wall Street investors continue to influence how some environmental no n profits operate today The July 2015 issue of National Geographic exemplified this trend is in their 3 Questions expos. The article features former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., who now co chairs the Risky Business Project, the goal 28 Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993), 62. 23

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o f which is to attach a dollar amount to the consequences of global climate change. In the piece, titled, Why Fixing the Climate Is Like Fixing the Economy, Paulson likens global climate change to the 2008 financial crisis during which he was treasury sec retary, affirming, excesses of debt created the financial crisis; excess of CO2 created the climate crisis.29 These indeed were the proximate causes of the financial crisis. What he does not consider are the distant causes that led to such excesses of deb t namely dishonest business practices, the bundling of debt into risky credit derivatives, and questionable Wall Street trading. Similarly, Wall Streets involvement with what Paulson calls the climate crisis goes beyond the proximate economic risk assessment into a long line of decision making that has produced equally questionable and uncharted territory. In the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis, predatory lenders employed a new iteration of a dishonest business practice pioneered after the establishment of the Federal Housing Administration with the passage of the National Housing A ct of 1934.S S ociologist Gregory D. Squires asserts that during this period redlining practices starved many urban communities for credit and denied loans to racial minorities in order to keep suburban neighborhoods racially homogenous, or to put it bluntly, to keep them white. In creating the housing bubble that would pop in 2008, some housing lenders engaged in predatory reverse redlining, targeting these previously d eprived groups, often low income minorities, via exploitative loan products that these individuals did not legitimately qualify for, did not have adequately explained to them, and ultimately could not pay back. While redlining deprived these people of th e equity 29 3 Questions, National Geographic, July 2015. 24

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provided by a home, reverse redlining seemingly provisioned it, though eventually the result would be the loss of this equity and the depletion of the wealth of those communities for the enrichment of distant financial service firms, according t o Squires.30 At the same time, middleand upper middleclass, often white individuals exploited these questionable loan qualification practices to buy second or third homes in vacation destinations that they, ultimately also could not afford. This then, cr eated a bubble in the housing market that brought down the global economy.31 Amongst some environmental nonprofit organizations an equally predatory practice also benefitting distant financial firms has emerged: postmodern colonialism Traditional settl er colonialism involves some form of deprivation of native populations, whether through slavery, marginalization, or genocide, that facilitates the extraction of resources, from the colonized country for the benefit of the colonizing country, be they natur al, monetary, or commercial. Conversely, what I call postmodern colonialism is a phenomenon that emerged in the last decades of the twentieth century, and that provides developing countries, many of them once colonized by the developed countries of today, with economic resources via loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank As with reverse redlining, the ultimate consequence for these developing countries is deprivation for the sake of financial institutions abroad, as low to no envir onmental, labor, and business regulations allow for exploitation of local people, resources, and land. 30 Gregory D. Squires, Predatory Lending: Redlining in Reverse, Shelterforce Online, 139 (January/February 2005), by the National Housing Institute. 31 Jeff Holt, A Summary of the Primary Causes of the Housing Bubble and the Resulting Credit Crisis: A NonTechnical Paper, Journal of Business Inquiry 8, no. 1 (2009): 120129. 25

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The Nature Conservancy, one of the wealthiest nonprofits in the world, epitomizes this relationship. Originally the Conservancy was a United States bas ed organization dedicated to preserv[ing] or aid[ing] in the preservation of all types of wild nature and of our primitive forests, prairies, marshes, deserts.32 Initially dependent on member donations or gifts in kind in order to purchase tracts of land for preservation, the Conservancy gradually became engaged in corporate real estate investing and development. Now an international body with a presence in all fifty states and over sixty nine countries, the Nature Conservancy partners with the United Na tions, the World Bank and IMF, and developed countries in order to funnel their budgeted development money to green infrastructure projects in developing countries, primarily in Africa and Latin America.33 The Nature Conservancy attempts to allow developing countries to leapfrog the fossil fuel stage of development by provisioning monetary, R&D, and labor resources in order to promote green infrastructure development and the transition to renewables. While the Conservancy does not necessarily maliciously or intentionally pursue exploitative ends, the dynamics of postmodern colonialism are a product of its entanglement within the capitalist, freemarket economic model. While this problem is indeed systemic, it resulted from a number of human decisions. 32 Members Booklet, October 1950, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF11, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; Walter S. Boardman Objectives of the Nature Conservancy for the Sixties, August 29, 1961, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF11, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 33 About Us, The Nature Conservancy, 2016, last accessed March 29, 2015, available from http://www.nature.org/aboutus/index.htm?intc=nature.tnav.about. 26

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Philos opher of technolog y Langdon Winner describes the process by which series of decisions produce systems through the example of technology, asserting that technology is neutral and tool like until a whole new order is built piecemeal, step by step, with th e parts and pieces linked together in novel ways without the slightest public awareness or opportunity to dispute the character of the changes underway. Thus eventually, technology legislates the conditions of human existence through an ever increasing array of rules, regulation, and administrative personnel needed to maximize benefits and minimize costs.34 The same can be said of the big business approaches to preserving the environment in that private donations were first a tool for non profits like the Conservancy until a number of decisions and processes slowly li n ked a number of pieces together more private money necessitated more business savvy CEOs who required larger paychecks and thus peddled the land they once sought to preserve. Big money legislated the conditions of the Conservancys existence. It is important to recognize, however, that the Nature Conservancy and its practices are not representative of all environmental nonprofits, but rather the Conservancy serves as a cautionary tale of ho w a series of decisions can lead to such big business approaches to preserving the environment. Nonetheless, while the Conservancy is arguably the most successful at operating within this particular business model, they are not the only environmental nonp rofit that operates in this way. 34 Langdon Winner, Autonomous Technology: Techniccs o utof control as a Theme in Political Thought (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978), 323324. 27

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In 2014, Nature Conservancy assets totaled $6.18 billion, a figure that exemplifies its intimate entanglement with private business.35 Thus many environmental nonprofits and some nonprofits from other sectors, as well as corporations around the world have attempted to emulate its business model. However, the historical roots of the Nature Conservancy, as well as its evolution from a largely scientific conservation organization to a prosperous and influential powerhouse in terms of environmental nonprofits remain somewhat unexplored. Perhaps because of the Conservancys massive success and contemporary nature, academics and writers have only just begun to scratch its topical surface. In Natures Keepers: The Remarkable Story of How the Nature Conservancy Became the Largest Environmental Group in the World Bill Birchard does discuss the formation of the organization in the second half of the twentieth century, though he does so by exploring nine of the organizations leaders. H is is less a narrative of economic dynamics and the development of a real estate capitalist business model, than a story of leadership, success, and management. While he does touch on some of the controversies in which Conservancy has found itself embroile d in recent years, this is secondary to his story. As his title indicates, he aims to construct a narrative of the Conservancy as remarkable, and how they, for better or for worse, became Natures Keepers. However, as a self described veteran journalist of not only business and management, but also the environment and social 35 Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As of June 30, 2014, The Nature Conservancy, October 10, 2014, last accessed March 29, 2015, available from http://www.nat ure.org/about us/our accountability/annual report/2014financial report with report of independentauditors.pdf 28

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responsibility, he misses the punch line and neglects to illuminate the implications of the business model that has come to guide the Conservancys functioning .36 Likewise, in Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Timothy Luke recognizes that like Birchard, many find it difficult to criticize the work of The Nature Conservancy, as it is doing something tangible, immediate, and significant to protect Nature by stick ing to the ground rules of the current capitalist economy. However, Luke is not one of those many, and rightly points out that even the Conservancy must accept the dictum that the marketplace will rule everywhere, even in Conservancy lands, because these plots are mostly marked out in marketmediated trades. He claims that this dependence on market transactions to preserve the environment has, to quote Carolyn Merchants 1980 work, resulted in the death of nature. Thus, Luke claims that rather than preserving nature, the Conservancy is actually undermining it through antiquated perceptions that cling to the illusion that Nature is alive, and somehow avoiding its subjection to capital in the commodity form by remaining wilderness, when in reality, the true totality of transnational capitals power easily commodifies wilderness.37 While I agree with Luke that the commodification of land is the bedrock of the failings and shortcomings of the Nature Conservancy, he, with a background as a political th eorist, constructs a large, rather abstract theory regarding the Conservancys operation within the global marketplace. His arguments certainly support and agree 36 Bill Birchard, Natures Keepers: The Remarkable Story of How the Nature Conservancy Became the Largest Environmental Group in the World, (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, A Wiley Imprint), 2005. 37 Timothy W. Luke, The Nature Conservancy or the Nature Cemetery: Buying and Selling Perpetual Care as Environmental Resistance, Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture (Minn eapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997): 5674. 29

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with my own conclusions but I think his study lacks tangible context and contingency, as well as on the ground examples of the implications of natures subjection to capital for the environmental movement as a whole. While Birchard and Luke present a number of points foundational to my arguments, in Buying Nature: The Limits of Land Acquisition as a Conservation Strategy Sally Fairfax et al. directly address arguments similar to mine, namely the shortcomings in the Nature Conservancys model. The authors point out that, while the Nature Conservancy is not the first organization to use land acquisition as a means of preservation, it is the first to rely so heavily on such methods. In regards to the Conservancys practices, the authors point out that these land transactions have become increasingly complex and expensive, and that such transactions increasingly blur the lines between private and public actors in terms of who owns land, how much each party owns, and who exerts control over that land. Fairfax et al. argue we neither can nor should buy out way out of all or even most of our conserva tion problems, as it allows for the avoidance of the messy and unpopular process of enforcing regulations.38 This study is robust and well researched regarding the details and process of land acquisition, and the authors are very critical of the Nature C onservancy throughout. However, they present only a few alternatives to the l and acquisition model, and do not thoroughly address some of the consequences of this model in developing countries. Thus, while my work will build on the foundational ideas of 38 Sally K. Fairfax, Lauren Gwin, Mary Ann King, Leigh Raymond, and Laura A. Watt, Buying Nature: The Limits of Land Acquisition as a Conservation Strategy, 1780 2004, (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2005), 2 57. 30

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Bi rchard and Luke, it will also largely be in agreement with many of the criticisms lodged by Fairfax et al. However, it will also expand on these studies and contribute to them via specific, grassroots examples, particularly regarding postmodern coloniali sm and the marginalization of the developing world. From Green Motivations to Green Motivations The Nature Conservancy was officially incorporated in 1951 in the District of Columbia for non profit educational and scientific purposes. Formerly known as the Ecologists Union, the organization had been operating unincorporated under the direction of the Ecological Society of America since 1916.39 Originally housed with the offices of the National Parks Association and the Wilderness Society, the Conservancy also held membership in the Natural Resources Council and the International Union for the Protection of Nature, and was an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 40 During its early years and on the eve of its incorporation, the Conservancy committed itself wholly to scientifically centered goals that emphatically stressed the importance of preserving primeval nature, and its members wholly believed that time was urgent before [samples] are forever lost by the continuing pressure of mens shortsi ghted interests on the land. The original by laws of the organization also stressed that the land not only be preserved, but be established as protected areas to be used for scientific, educational, and a esthetic purposes 39 The Nature Conservancy, early to mid 1950s, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 40 The Nature Conservancy, early to mid 19 50s, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 31

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through the establishment of what Executive Director George B. Fell termed living museums. 41 Though often idealistic, as exemplified in Fells fear of the nearing of the final conquest over the wilderness that he perceived as comparatively untouched by the activities of man, the Conversancy employed realistic means to preserve their romanticized version of nature.42 These means reflected the scientific goals of the organization, and advocated for the establishment of nature preserves to serves as lab oratories for future biological research, storehouses of scientific treasure, and standards by which the scientist engaged in land management research may measure the effect of farming, forestry, and grazing and which the ecologist must use for m easuring and development and change in natural communities.43 This rhetoric harkens back to that of Frederick Jackson Turners frontier an untouched, primitive wilderness in need of progress; in this case, progress required a certain amount of preserva tion. These perceptions of nature as a mythical wilderness motivated the Nature Conservancy to pursue scientific means to its conservation and preservation ends, and in its early years it remained true to the guiding principles under which it was incorpora ted. 41 Interpretation of Nature Conservancy Objectives: Why Nature Conservancy? Feburary 1958, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; George B. Fell, Letter to Friends, February 1955, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives 42 George B. Fell, Letter to Friends. 43 The Need for Natural Areas, early to mid 1950s, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Reco rds, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, FF1, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 32

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To pursue its aims, the organizations 600 members, primarily volunteers and predominantly sc ientists, initially depended almost solely on public fundraising via membership dues, donations, grants, loans, and gifts in kind for financial support. M embership dues ranged anywhere from two dollars to one hundred dollars depending on membership level. Donations, grants, and gifts were given in a number of amounts from varying donors, generally depending on the location of a particular project and whethe r or not it held any particular significance to a donor. For example, in 1958, in order to secure and preserve a 55 acre tract of land in Missouri, the Conservancy agreed to allow life tenancy to Mr. McCormick of St. Louis. In exchange for maintaining the property in its entirety and paying his $20,000 mortgage, the Conservancy received the tract valued at $113,000 and a $30,000 gift upon Mr. McCormicks death.44 Despite such gifts, in 1962 the Board of Governors cited serious problems facing the Cons ervancy including that of financing.45 For example, a report compiled in March of 1959 under considerable pressure assessed that the status of the national account was valued at $85, 371 and estimated that another $24,629 needed to be raised to fund the activities for the remainder of the year.46 On top of financial struggles, in 1957 the Board of Governors proposed that a staff be organized as the 44 Minutes of Board of Governors Meeting, August 28, 1958, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 1, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 45 Minutes of the Board of Governors Meeting, January 20, 1962, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, We stern History and Genealogy Archives. 46 Minutes of the Board of Governors Meeting, March 3, 1959, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 33

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Conservancy was still fundamentally a volunteer organization. While there was a realization that the de gree of development necessary to put such a setup completely into operation may be some years into the future, the Board recognized the inadequate nature of their volunteer based framework and sought out capital generating methods beyond their traditional fundraising and charitable donations In lieu of constraints, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Nature Conservancy took a decided turn towards the use of financial products to fund their organization. Such instruments included stocks, credit derivatives, and other marketable securities. This shift towards a focus on market instruments and away from its previous dependence on financial gifts appears to have gained speed in the last few years of the 1950s On March 25, 1957, Theodore M. Edison and hi s wife gifted 300 shares of McGraw Edison Company, an electrical equipment manufacturing company founded by Theodores father, Thomas Edison himself. The stock was valued at $11,325 dollars at the time of its donation this sum would have covered half of th e $24,000 that the Board of Governors lamented raising in 1959. The Edison gift appears to have been a significant event for the Conversancy as it is mentioned sever al times in the meeting minutes, most notably in March of 1957 at the time of the donation, again in April, and in June where the board resolved that official recognition be given to the donation. It is also mentioned many more times in passing in the minutes throughout 1957.47 By 1959, the desire to invest parts of current funds in stock was expressed by Messrs. 47 Agenda for the Board of Governors Meeting, June 18, 1957, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; Informal Report on Management and Financ e Committee Meeting, April 22, 1957, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 34

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Gravatt and Munns, in order to increase assets and to obtain greater protection against inflation.48 It is not clear whether this transition to investments was intentional or driven by Edisons gift, but it would become the organizations status quo. In a 1963 stock investment report, the market value of Nature Conservancy stock holdings was valued at $101,555.49 Investment in stocks was, quite literally, paying off. The Edison gift provided the Conservancy a taste of what big money co uld do and thus catalyzed a number of decisions that began to change the way the organization raised money and ran business. The Conservancy acknowledged the benefits of their foray into the investment world. At a conference at Purdue University in 1961, Director Walter S. Boardman highlighted the Conservancys objectives for the sixties, and posed to his audience the problem of public versus private agency, as well as the question of How far must private org anizations go and to what extent should we lo ok to units of government to accomplish desired results? In answering this question, Boardman first praised the English Nature Conservancy, an unaffiliated organization of the same name that succeeded in securing government funding and existing as a gover nmental entity due, in large part, to severe environmental degradation and a different attitude among the majority of the English people. Boardman affirmed that the Nature Conservancy faced a different set of circumstances and that financing and the m ajor responsibility will 48 Report of Meeting Held February 27, 1959, 1959, Richard H. P ough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 49 Report on Stock Investments, March 6, 1963, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Ra nge 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 35

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have to rest with private associations.50 Rather, due to differing conceptions of the environment, the Nature Conservancy could not adequately rely on public money and public oversight via government support as the English Nature C onservancy could. Instead, the organization required donations and management from private monetary sources, though in name and status it remained a nonprofit. His message did not fall on deaf ears, as the Conservancys total assets grew, albeit at a relatively steady rate, throughout the early years of the 1960s. The September 1963 financial statement showed that investment and other financial instruments had replaced gifts, bonds, and grants on the balance sheet, with these products making up nearly half of the total assets for that year. Additionally, conditions had improved enough that the Conservancy drafted job descriptions for a paid parttime staff, clerical staff, and president, affirming that the president especially had been doing the work of a paid staff member on a volunteer basis a situation that should undoubtedly be changed.51 While the Board did not formally adopt these suggestions immediately, 1965 would mark the year that the Conservancy elected its first paid president. In 1965, the Na ture Conservancy was awarded a Ford Seed Grant. Totaling $550,000 over four years, with a first year payment of $90,000, the Conservancy installed its first paid staff.52 This money appears to be reflected in the fluctuation of the Cash in Bank line item between the March and June 1965 financial statements, as it 50 Walter S. Boardman, Objectives of the Nature Conservancy for the Sixties, August 29, 1961, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 51 Alexander B. Adams, Administrative (Internal) Organization: The Nature Conservancy, January 17, 1964, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 52 Birchard, Natures Keepers 30. 36

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increased from $30, 614.37 to $203,155.74. Seed grants also permit the grantor an equity stake in the company, and in some cases, seats of the board of directors. While such grants are not inherently unfavorable, i n recent years Ford Seed Grants have been criticized. In 2004, John Perazzo of Front Page Magazine asserted that these grants establish independent entities that can thereaf ter commence their own fundraising operation under the pious banner of environmentalism. Private corporations with deep pockets, whose primary goal is often not environmentalism, sometimes also gain a degree of influence over organizations like the Cons ervancy via not just their monetary donations but also through seats on Boards of Directors granted in exchange or as a condition of their donations. The Conservancy has since received more than two million dollars in additional seed grant money.53 It shou ld also be noted that marketable securities totaled $501,804.41 in March prior to the Ford Grant, which amounted to 98.8 percent of current assets. Marketable securities in June of that year, after the grant, totaled $428,789.40, nearly five times greater than the Ford Grant, and still accounting for just under one third of current assets.54 Assets continued to increase rapidly after 1965, and in June of 1967 the Nature Conservancy was worth $8,232,061.14, compared to just $149,475.08 in June of 1957, and $693, 779.39 prior to the Ford Grant.55 While 53 John Perazzo, Ford: Sugar Daddy of the Greens, Front Page Magazine (Monday, January 19, 2004, last accessed March 31, 2016, available from http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=14531 54 Statement of Financial Condition, March 31, 1965, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and G enealogy Archives; Statement of Financial Condition, June 30, 1965, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. 55 Statement of Financial Condition, June 30, 1962, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; Statement of Financial Condition, 37

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0 2000000 4000000 6000000 8000000 10000000 Jun-57 Jan-58 Aug-58 Mar-59 Oct-59 May-60 Dec-60 Jul-61 Feb-62 Sep-62 Apr-63 Nov-63 Jun-64 Jan-65 Aug-65 Mar-66 Oct-66 May-67 Total Assets Amount in D ollars Total Annual Assets, of the Nature Conservancy, June 1957 to June 1967 John Perrazos words definitely carry a certain bias, The Ford Grant, as well as the dramatic increase in marketable securities holdings, affirmed the position of the Nature Conservancy as a private entity, a desire iterated by Director Walter S. Boardman in 1961. While the Conservancy is legally a nonprofit, by 1965, it began to look and operate very much like a for profit corporation. Big Business and the Bottom Line As the funding strategies of the Nature Conservancy evolved from grants and gifts to investment instruments and private money, so to o did the b ackgrounds of the presidents evolve from environmental biologists, ecologists, and other scientists of the September 30, 1963, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; Statement of Financial Condition, March 31, 1965;Statement of Financial Condition, June 30, 1965; Statement of Financial Co ndition, December 31, 1966, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; Statement of Financial Condition, May 31, 1967, Richard H. Pough s Natu re Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives; Statement of Financial Condition, June 30, 1967, Richard H. Pough s Nature Conservancy Records, CONS 107, Box 2, Range 5b, Sec. 2, Shelf 7, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Archives. Figure 1: Nature Conservancy assets, June 1957 June 1967 38

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like, to economists, MBAs, and former CEOs of capital rich private corporations. The Nature Conservancys first president, Richard H. Pough, was the son of a geologist and a conservationist with a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an avid observer of birds, and as such worked for the National Audubon Society, wrote a series of bird guidebooks, and became one of the first ind ividuals to raise awareness about the dangers of DDT. He also worked for a time at the American Museum of Natural History before he assumed the lead at the Conservancy.56 Succeeding presidents included an honorary curator of Carnegie Museum of Natural Histo ry in Pittsburgh, a Katherine Blunt emeritus professor of botany at Connecticut College, and a former dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.57 The careers of these men prior to their tenure as presidents of the Conservancy reflected environmentcentric goals and the original mission of the Conservancy. However, beginning in the early 1970s, the credentials and qualifications of the men who headed the Conservancy changed markedly, as the influx of greater amounts of capital, and thus responsibility, necessitated this. They were employees at IBM, local politicians, State Department officials, and entrepreneurs; they had MBAs and PhDs in 56 Stuart Lavietes, Richard Pough, 99, Founds of the Nature Conservancy, New York Times (June 27, 2003), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/27/us/richard pough99 founder of the natureconservancy.html 57 Alexander Adams, Alexander Adams; Writer Had Headed Nature Conservancy, New York Times (February 22, 1984), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/1984/02/22/obituaries/alexander adams writer had headed natureconservancy.html ; Dennis Hevesi, Richard H. Goodwin, Preserver of the Environment, Dies at 96, New York Times (July 14, 2007), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/14/nyregion/14goodwin.htm l?_r=0 ; In Memoriam: Charles H.W. Foster, Yale News (December 12, 2012), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://news.yale.edu/2012/12/07/memoriam charles hw foster. 39

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economics and international affairs.58 Everett M. Woodman, perhaps not coincidentally, worked for the Fo rd Foundation prior to his presidency from 1972 to 1973.59 Steven J. McCormick went on to become the CEO of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the largest private donor to environmental organizations in the United States.60 William D. Blair raised three hundred million dollars in private funds between 1980 and 1987, and both he and Frank D. Boren, his immediate successor, also received Chevron Awards.61 Formerly known as the Gulf Oil Conservation Award, Chevron Awards are g iven to individuals who have demonstrate[d] the value of partnership their ability to work effectively with diverse organizations to achieve consensus, and to find solutions that provide both economic and environmental benefits.62 Chevron is certainly a diverse partnership, as oil companies and environmental organizations generally have conflicting goals. Nonetheless, such a partnership exemplifies the consequences of the 58 Obituaries: Thomas W. Richards, The Washington Post, (December 7, 2011), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/2011/12/07/gIQA38INdO_story.h tml ; Patrick F. Noonan, American Ac ademy for Park and Recreation Administration (2005), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.aapra.org/pugsley bios/patrick f noonan. 59 Memorial for Former President Everett M. Woodman, Colby Sawyer College (2007), last accessed April 1, 2 016, avabilable from http://colby sawyer.edu/currents/woodmanmem.html 60 Steven J. McCormick, President/CEO, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Philanthropy News Digest (June 19, 2008), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://philanthropynewsd igest.org/newsmakers/stevenj. mccormick presidentceogordon and betty moore foundation. 61 William D. Blair Jr.; Reporter, Nature Conservancy President, The Washington Post (August 7, 2006), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp dyn/content/article/2006/08/06/AR2006080600828.html 62 Chevron Conservation Awards Heroes Wanted, Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire (May 9, 2006), last accessed April 1, 2016, available from http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/26251Chevron ConservationAwards Heroes Wanted ; People and Places, BioScience 37, no. 2 (Feb. 1987): 1626. 40

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intermingling of profit politics with environmental ones, as economic solutions that benefit oil companies can certainly not simultaneously benefit the environment. While the solutions that benefitted oil companies may not have advanced the environmental goals of the Conservancy, money did. In a March 25, 1988 address to the City Club of Portland, the events host rhetorically questioned, Big Business and environmental conservation go together about as well as Reagan and redwoods right? He answered his own question: Wrong maybe Companies themselves are altering this perception through gifts that include cash, company lands that contain habitat for rare or endangered plants and animals, and surplus property that the Conservancy can s ell to acquire other natural areas. Chevron Award winner and Nature Conservancy president, Frank Boren, then took the stage where he spent the next hour talking less about the topic of the event, environmental conservation, and more about the Conservanc ys partnership with big business. Boren emphasized the success of a relationship with Procter and Gamble, particularly on a preservation project in Florida that they had supported via donations of land and cash. Boren also emphasized that in 1987, with over 1000 corporations supporting us financially, in terms of cash, the financial support was $6.3 million. He also characterized the Conservancy as a private recycle business as it had received more than 100 million worth of property from corporations since getting into the trade land business to get more capital. While Boren seemed to have no problem fraternizing with big business, when the program was opened up for discussion, an audience member lamented whether or not big corporations were the ultimate villains in terms of environmental destruction. Boren responded, Well, there are no villains. That is the Conservancys 41

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straight line, and Im sure the villains you described are supporters of the Nature Conservancy directly or indirectly. We dont get into the moral character of our stockholders Its helped us get to where we are.63 Borens words embody the fundamental shift in the Conservancy and the undermining of the core tenets of environmentalism, as exemplified in the Global Greens Charter: ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, sustainability, and respect for diversity.64 While Poughs Conversancy focused on grassroots participation and emphasized scientific education to encourage environmentally friendly behavio r, Borens Conservancy desired money to achieve its narrowly focused projects, regardless of the environmental consequences wrought by the individuals writing the checks. Beginning in the 1970s, big business and bottom lines heavily influenced the actions of the Nature Conservancy The same is true, even more so, of the Nature Conservancy today. The current president and CEO, Mark Tercek, is a former managing director of Goldman Sachs, and a personal friend of former treasury secretary Paulson. Tercek too k over at the Nature Conservancy in July of 2008 after 24 years at Goldman Sachs. It is important to note here, that in the last months of 2008 Goldman Sachs received a $13 billion dollar payout from AIG via government bailout money. A 2009 Economist expos reve aled that in 2005, Goldman Sach s had purchased $20 billion from AIG in credit default swaps, the instruments that would bring the American economy to 63 City Club of Portland, City Club Weekly: Environmental Conservation, March 25, 1988, featuring guest Frank Boren, YouTube video, 53:57 [published May 12, 2015], last accessed April 1, 2016, available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aenwkGEAwKY 64 G lobal Greens Global Greens Charter, Global Green Conference, Canberra, Australia, 2001. 42

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its knees after being repeatedly bought and sold on Wall Street. When the financial crisis hit, AIG still owed $13 billion of this to Goldman Sachs, its most prominent client and the only one of its counterparties that would be paid in full. Banks like Merrill Lynch from other failed insurers were paid 13 cents on the dollar.65 In April of 2009, Goldm an Sachs reported a $1.8 billion quarterly profit, while other banks and insurance agencies still floundered to keep their heads above water. The company, which suffered massive losses in December, and would have shown a loss in that December to February q uarter, simply changed its fiscal year, and waited for their AIG money to hit the books. The firm also received a $10 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) investment from the federal government, a recovery program advised in part by another former Goldman Sachs executive, Henry Paulson, Jr. Goldman Sachs reported a gain in April, and chief financial officer David A. Viniar credited it to their compliance and following rules.66 By then, of course, Tercek had been gone nearly a year, avoiding the crisis altogether. The implications of this matter, as both Paulson and Tercek, and perhaps other upper echelon bank and insurance executives, left big business at the height of the financial crisis to make their foray into environmental non profits. In this particular case, it seems that b usiness investment in nature, however, is not for purely for natures benefit, also for profit This is evinced in the title of Terceks 2015 book, Natures 65 Like Everyone Else, Goldman was in Trouble, Economist (July 28, 2009), last accessed April 2, 2016, available from http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/200 9/07/like_everyone_else_goldma n_was 66 Floyd Norris, Dimming the Aura of Goldman Sachs, New York Times (April 16, 2009), last accessed April 2, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/business/economy/17norris.html?_r=0. 43

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Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. In an interview with Harvard Business Review writer Sarah Green, he called nature a capital asset.67 This notion of the natural environment as separate from the human condition, as a financial instrument for profit, opens up the possibility that environmentalism will be manipulated for quarterly gains. Furthermore, New Yorker columnist, D.T. Max, commented that in his own interview with Tercek, when he asked whether the train or plane was the better way to travel between Nature Conservancy headquarters in Washington, D.C. and fundraising events in New York, Tercek said that he was something of an expert on the commute, and brought up speed and weather considerations, but not carbon emissions.68 With the chief executive of one the worlds wealthiest and influential environmental nonprofits seemingly unconcerned with his personal carbon emissions, it begs the question: is the environment, specifically the tracts of land and carbon emissions bought and sold by the Nature Conservancy, another profit machine for the business world and a way to manipulate financial instruments or mortgage markets ? Does Tercek have well meaning and environmentally friendly goals in mind as well? I cannot reasonably say. Prioritizing Wealth & Privatizing the Environment This wid es pread shift in leadership within the environmental community towards the Terceks and Paulsons of the financial world occurred at roughly the same time as the rise of freemarket economic theory as an ideology In the United States, the 67 Mark Tercek, Nat ures Fortune: How Business an Society Thrive by Investing in Nature (New York: Basic Books, 2013); Sarah Green, Yes, Business Relies on Nature, interview with Mark Tercek, Harvard Business Review (April 25, 2013). 68 D.T. Max, Green is Good: The Nature Conservancy Wants to Persuade Big Business to Save the Environment, New Yorker (May 12, 2014). 44

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Chicago school of economics shifted from monetarism to laissez faire neoliberalism in the mid 1970s as a macroeconomic alternative to Keynesian economics.69 Keynesianism fell out of favor with the onset of global stagflation brought on by the oil crisis in 1973. With a global shift towards neoliberalism, as exemplified by the elections of Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States, the World Bank and IMF began requiring that developing countries implement Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPS) as preconditions to the provision of development loans. SAPs require privatization by removing excess government controls and promoting market competition as part of the neo liberal agenda followed by the Bank, while also forcing the privatization of all stateowned industries, including the health sector, and opening up their economies to foreign competition.70 On their face, SAPs are intended to assist developing countries by drawing them into the global market and providing them with democratic, freemarket infrastructures. This type of globalization has instead resulted in the race to the bottom phenomenon, in which developed countries exploit the reduction in labor, social, and environmental conditions that results directly from global competition for jobs and investment.71 While the World Bank and IMF do indeed provision money and resources to these developing countries, the conditions that must be met allow the wealthy, developed world to exploit nascent markets, outsource production to cheap lab or, and exert influence over low income 69 Ross B. Emmett, editor, The Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2010), 133. 70 Structural Adjustm ent Programs (SAPs), World Health Organization (2016), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/story084/en/ 71 Jeremy Breecher and Tim Costello, Global Village or Global Pillage: Economic Reconstruction from the Botto m Up (New York: South End Press, 1994), 130. 45

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countries through capital investment. In this way, developed countries, through the entities established by the Bretton Woods System, namely the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have engaged in postmodern colonialism. As nations became intertwined in an increasingly globalized economic system, so too did the Nature Conservancy, now heavily influenced by the same sources of private, corporate money reaping the benefits of SAPs. By 1980, the Natu re Conservancy launched its International Conservation Program to expand its work to Latin America, and later to the Caribbean in 1989. The first official South American headquarters opened in Brasilia, Brazil in 1994.72 In his 1988 speech to the Portland C ity Club, Frank Boren spoke at length about this expansion to the south, particularly as it related to raising funds to support a now multinational Conservancy. He asserted that in terms of fundraising for Latin America, We no longer raise money for our s upporters and take it down and hand them the money, we will expose them to U.S. donors and were also trying to teach them to raise money in their own countries. Additionally, Boren mentioned a budding partnership with the World Bank, articulating his belief that the Bank is gonna come around, which if the bank comes around, that will be very significant if they develop a sensitivity. Barber Conable, the new head of the bank, gave a speech in July he happens to be a member of the Nature Conservancy he comes out of the New York chapter.73 Money from the World Bank for Nature Conservancy worked much the same way as SAPs market conditions had to be met before the Bank would turn over any money to any particular Latin American country, and then it could 72 Our History: History and Milestones of the Nature Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, 2016, last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.nature.org/aboutus/vision mission/history/ 73 City Club of Portland, Environmental Conservation. 46

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only be spent on Bank and IMF approved projects for which it was earmarked.74 Thus, the Conservancy became embroiled in the dynamics of postmodern colonialism indirectly through the caveats attached to World Bank money. With great success and growing wealth in the 1980s, the Nature Conservancy continued to expand its global presence. The Conservancy made its first expansion outside the western hemisphere with its establishment of an office in the Republic of Palau in 1990. The Africa program was launched in 2 006, and in October of 2007 the first European office was established in Berlin, Germany.75 With such international reach and influence, the Conservancy also began funneling green development money from individual donor countries to projects in developing c ountries through their Development by Design program.76 This money is often paired with appropriate projects through partnerships, including the United Nations, particularly the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+). By directing money towards developing countries, particularly those in Afric a and Latin America, the hope amongst a large sector of the environmental policy world is that these countries can leapfrog the fossil fuel stage of development. However, since the 2000s, the Nature Conservancy has been embroiled in a number of controversies 74 Some Key REDD+ Players, Carbon Trade Watch (June 2011), last accessed April 2, 1016, available from http://www.carbontradewatch.org/downloads/publications/REDD_key_players.pdf 75 Our History, The Nature Conservancy; Rebecca Patton and Miranda Mchreurs Transatlantic Perspectives on Biodiversity and Climate Change, Ecologic Institute (October 11, 2007), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://ecologic.eu/2197 76 Development by Design, The Nature Conservancy, 2016, last accessed April 3, 2 016, available from http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/land conservation/smartdevelopment/index.htm 47

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that exemplify the implications of the influence of big b usines s. Carbon Trade Watch asserts that corporate sponsorships are allo wing these industries to greenwash their destructive activities, as they stand to potentially profit immensely from programs like REDD+. For example in 2009, the Nature Conservancy, along with Conservation International (CI), began a REDD+ program in the Lancondon Rainforest in Chiapas, Mexico. They lobbied for the circumventing of national targets when it came to the implementation and funding of specific projects. The Conservancy and CI instead pushed for sub national targets so that money could flow dir ectly to the individuals and groups controlling the project themselves. An anonymous source from inside one of the organizations told journalist Johann Hari that these forests are worth billions in a carbon market as offsets even though the implications of subnational targeting and carbon offsets are much more environmentally damaging than the alternatives. The source added that They [The Nature Conservancy] know it. Its shocking.77 The Nature Conservancys exploitation of REDD+ projects across the g lobe also has implications for local people. In the case of Chiapas, the Lancondon Rainforest supports not only billions of dollars in carbon assets, but also the indigenous Tzeltal Maya. This community, among others in the area, is slated for governmentsponsored removal. Amador Hernndez, a member of the Tzeltal community, has condemned the project as a scheme to cover up the dispossession of the biodiversity of peoples under the guise of an environmental protection project. Other residents in the Lanco ndon area 77 Some Key REDD+ Players; The Commodification of Earths Forests: The Key Players Behind REDD, Canadians for Emergency Action on Climat e Change (December 2011), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from http://climatesoscanada.org/blog/2011/12/01/thecommodificationof earths forests the keyplayers behind redd/ 48

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have similarly charged that the Mexican governments real reasons for relocation is to undercut the support base of the Zapatista rebels, who control much of the zone.78 It can be reasonably assumed that this mutual beneficence for the Mexican g overnment justifies its lack of protest against subnational targets for UN money. Thus, while the ancestral lands of the Tzeltal and indigenous group may indeed be preserved, it will not be for their benefit, but rather for the monetary gains of Conservanc y and other nonprofit investors. These monetary gains subsequently satisfy political motivations of national governments. This native dispossession is an increasingly common hallmark of the REDD+ projects of the Nature Conservancy and some other environm ental nonprofits. The indigenous of the world are taking notice. The Ogiek people in Kenya were removed from the Mau Forest Complex, despite local protest; the Jambi were evicted from the island of Sumatra; villagers in Papua New Guinea were coerced into forfeiting their lands; the Clinton Foundation supported a project that removed Natives in Indonesian Borneo, as it stood to profit immensely from carbon credits; the Warufiji people in the Rufiji Delta in Tanzania report that they have been banned from cu ltivating their native lands; the Matss in the Peruvian Amazon have taken legal action to preserve their right to native lands, and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) continue to protest government support of REDD+ programs in their country. The examples do not end there. Indigenous leaders gathered at the 2011 United Nations 78 Bill Weinberg, Newest Scam on Fringe of Climate Change Involves Land Grab s in Peruvian Rainforest, Indian Country Today Media Network (March 2012), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/03/08/newestscam fringe climatechangeinvolves land grabs peruvianrainforest101867. 49

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Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, South Africa to protest this erosion of Native control of forest territories.79 They have done so at every year at ever COP since then. Most recently, at Paris in 2015 (COP21), Nnimmo Basey, co coordinator of the No REDD in Africa Network stated that REDD may result in the largest land grab in history. It steals your future, lets polluters off the hook and is new form of colonialism. We demand that states and corporations stop privatizing nature! The Indigenous Environmental Network released a press release headlined: UN Paris Accord could end up being a Crime against H umanity and Mother Earth.80 Thus, at least some of the indigenous people of the world recognize that postmodern colonial dynamics are operating in their countries under the guise of environmental protection. But, REDD+ generates some serious greenfor inve stors, and generally not the environment. Thus, the Conservancy and other money fueled non profits are turning a blind eye. These same nonprofits have also been accused of utilizing eco tourism to dispossess indigenous people. For example, in June of 20 11, a Kenyan documentary revealed that the African Wildlife Foundation forcibly removed the Samburu people from their land in order to conserve lands via the establishment of Laikipia National Park. The Samburu reported that local police forcibly removed them, burning their homes, raping women and children, and murdering anyone who protested or refused. Survival International reported that more than three thousand people are now displaced, living in makeshift squats and despite heavy rains and flooding in the area 79 B ill Weinberg, Newest Scam on Fringe of Climate Change. 80 Chris Land, COP21 Paris Snapshot #2: No REDD! REDD Monitor (December 2015), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from http://www.redd monitor.org/2015/12/11/cop21 paris snapshot 2 no redd/ 50

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women and children are sleeping in the bush in th e face of continuing brutality. Oliver Steeds, the lead journalist in the documentary points out that, despite these reports, AWF president, Helen Ginoche, denied any responsibility, and gave a s peech at COP17 promoting REDD, asserting that For REDD to work we need to bring down transaction costs of getting carbon to market. We need to design way of sharing carbon incomes fairly and equitably, particularly those who bear the opportunity costs of foregone forest uses.81 It is safe to assume carbon incomes will not be equitably distributed to the Samburu displaced from what is now Laikipia National Park. The price tag for the park was four million dollars, of which AWF paid half. The Nature Conservancy paid for the other half. Additionally, many of the Conservancys real estate practices have come into question. Historically, it has utilized land easements as one of its primary methods of acquiring land designated for preservation. In an easement, l and on which future development is restricted is purchased from or donated by landowners to the Conservancy in exchange for tax reductions. In recent years, limits in the amount of tax credits a donor can use in one fiscal year have led land rich donors to sell tax credits for cash.82 The Conservancy and its corporate partners have engaged extensively in this practice. In 2003, after an expos series by the Washington Post the Conservancy 81 Chr is Land, A Question for African Wildlife Foundation: Is This What Conservation is Really About? REDD Monitor (December 2011), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from http://www.redd monitor.org/2011/12/14/a questionfor africanwildlife foundationis this what conservationis really about/ ; Oliver Steeds, Conservations Dirty Secrets documentary, directed by Rich ard Sanders (London: Blakeway, 2011), video. 82 John Andrulis with reporting by Amanda Hawn, Conservation Easements and Tax Reform, Ecosystem Marketplace (August 31, 2005), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/articles/conservationeasements and tax reform 19691231/ 51

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was forced to terminate practices including the buying or selling of land in transactions involving board members, state trustees, and employees in their families, among others.83 Author Naomi Klein also revealed that the Nature Conservancy allowed preventable oil drilling on a refuge for the endangered prairie chicken in Atwater, Texas. Though the Conservancy had pledged not to allow drilling more than a decade ago, they earned millions from the deal.84 The Conservancy has also allowed drilling on other conservation land around the world. By allowing for the exploitation of these designated lands, particularly those in developing countries, the Nature Conservancy undermines not only its underlying goals, but abandons the development of green infrastructure that could promote leapfrogging. Instead, via the influence of m oney from corporate partners, the Conservancy has prioritized profit margins for their investors. Under the guise of providing green development in energy poor countries, the Nature Conservancy has instead exploited the resources and markets of these countries. The financial world sees the benefit of the environmental sector; Henry Paulson encouraged the use of the environment as a financial instrument, encouraging businesses to factor the threats 83 Its Integrity Questioned, Nature Conservancy Drops Controversial Policies, Philanthropy News Digest (June 17, 2003), last access April 3, 2016, available from http://philanthropynewsdigest.org /news/its integrity questioned natureconservancy drops controversial policies 84 Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, (New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2014); Justin Gillis, Group Earns Oil Income Despite Pledge on Drilling, New York Times (August 3, 2014), last accessed April 3, 2016, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/science/group earns oilincome despitepledge on drilling.html .n n 52

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from climate change into their investment decisions.85 They are doing just that trading capital assets for carbon assets. Conclusions: Imminent Consequences In 1854, Chief Seattle allegedly gave a speech in which he lamented the dispossession of his people by Euro Americans. As the city that now bears his name was established, industrialized, and grew, his Duwamish people were progressively pushed off of their ancestral lands in the face of environmental degradation. In his speech, though perhaps apocryphal, he advocated environmental responsibility and mourned, My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm swept plain. There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind ruffled sea cover its shell paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory.86 Whether these words are truly that of Seattle or a fiction created by the journalist who published them matters little. Rather, they exemplify the plight of indigenous peoples, of those dispossessed by both the colonial excursions of Europeans during the Age of Exploration and Americans via Manifest Destiny, and by the greenwashed, postmodern colonial schemes of the developed world. Postmodern colonialism differs from earlier iterations of exploitation only in that resources are provided via the free marketgoverned international financial system. But when the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, many conservativeleaning policy makers proclaimed that collapse as evidence of the superiority of free -85 3 Questions, National Geographic. 86 Henry A. Smith, Authentic Text of Chief Seattles Treaty Oration 1854, Seattle Sunday Star (October 29, 1887). 53

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market capitalism though this was and still is only one of many explanations In this narrative, p rivatization and minimal government control prevailed in the ideological battle against communism. Thus, in the face of financial struggles in an era of privatization and through a number of decision sthe receiving of large grants, the transition to business minded presidents, the desire to turn a profitthe Nature Conservancy and other nonprofits with similar business models too morphed into what resembled private, nongovernmental entities. And the bottom linethey needed money, and it came in the largest, most reliable sums from private businesses and for profit corporations. These groups cannot be inherently faulted for seeking out larger bottom lines to pu rsue their environmental goals. Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that the individuals working on the ground around the world are not complicit in this, but rather generally believe that they are doing meaningful work, which oftentimes they are. But the upper mana gement arms should be faulted for allowing their investors to sway their intentions away from encouraging environmentally friendly behavior towards preserving profits margins for their investors and themselves. Furthermore, there must be some recognitio n in the environmental sector that by virtue of operating within the capitalist economic model, unintended consequences result. The natural world has been conceptualized as separate from the human condition, and this separation has facilitated the morphing of the natural world into a commodified market asset, rather than as our means of physical survival. Additionally, because there is a rich land asset market in the developing world, the most vulnerable population s in those countries those who most often are dependent on the land for 54

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survival, have fallen victim to exploitation of their land under the guise of the provision of green infrastructure. At this point, a path dependency encourages environmental non profits like the Nature Conservancy to maintain this status quo and reinforce unregulated, freemarket economics. While in its early years the Nature Conservancy initially operated with grassroots based goals that sought to preserve small tracts of land for aesthetic and educational purposes, its membe rs and leaders also believed in the notion of a separate nature to be acquired through real estate transactions. Thus the Conservancys projects have evolved from on the ground attempts to improve conditions for local people to macrolevel schemes disguise d as development projects that reap the benefits of the global market for the organization and its executives. For example, Mark Tercek, though his salary and bonus amounts to just over $600 thousand dollars annually, his stock options total nearly $4 mill ion.87 We are quite literally running out of time to change these practices and combat climate change. Research shows that 2016 was the hottest year on record, with fourteen of the hottest fifteen years ever recorded occurring since 2000. President Barack Obama affirmed, no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.88 Projections indicate that unless we begin implementing the most aggressive mitigation measures of greenhouse gas emissions immediately, the chances of containing the global average temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius 87 The Nature Conservancy: CEO and Executives, Bloomberg Business April 18, 2017, available from http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=654990 last accessed April 18, 2017. 88 Terence P. Jeffrey, Obama: Climate C hange is the Greatest Threat, CNS News (January 2015), last accessed May 1, 2016, available from http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/terencep jeffrey/obamaclimatechangegreatestthreat. 55

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are almost zero.89 The consequences of this are numerous. Perhaps most obviously, the sea level will rise as ice continues to melt. More than seventy percent of the worlds gross d omestic product is localized in port cities, many of which would be in imminent danger if the sea level rose just two meters.90 Money will not change this. The solution rather, is a shift towards environmentally friendly behavior and an understanding that nature is our means of survival, not the financial instrument that Paulson and Tercek want to exploit for profit. Money bailed out Goldman Sachs in 2008, but it will not bail us out in the face of environmental disaster. This is a truth that is already all tooreal for the indigenous of the developing world. Their displacement should scare us because it could realistically, in the not toodistant future, be us. The difference is, we can control the current dispossession of indigenous around the world from becoming, in the words of Seattle, a mournful memory, but only if we prioritize people over profit. Prioritizing money will ensure that the rainforests of the world protected in REDD+ projects resemble the scattering trees of a storm swept plain. Prioritizing money will ensure that we as a human race will be able to lament, like Seattle, My people are few. Money can buy billions in carbon assets, but green cannot buy green. 89 Future Climate Change, Environmental Protection Agency (2016), availab le from epa.gov; The 2013 2015 Review, United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2015), available from unfccc.int. 90 Ralph Bodle, International Climate Negotiations, lecture, Ecologic Institute, Berlin Germany (October 2014). 56

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CHAPTER I V DECONSTRUCTING GREEN: A RHETORI CAL ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE A bad condition does not become a problem until people see it as amenable to human control. Deborah A. Stone, 1989 In the fall of 2015, the disturbing photograph of threeyear old Aylan Kurdis washed up, lifeless body lying on the shores of Turkey brought the brutal realities of the Syrian Civil Wars refugee crisis to the fore front of American news media and politics. Media reports were bleak and bluntthe Washington Post described the scene as thus : He is wearing a red T shirt and long shorts that stop below the knee. His shirt is hiked above the waist, exposing his midriff. He is wearing black sneakers with no socks. And he is dead, face down in the rocky surf. In captioning a second photo depicting a law enforcement official carrying boys body away, the Washington Post continued, And though we cant know what the policeman is thinking as he carries a dead child from the ocean, one thing is clear: He is looking away.91 Kurdi is only one of millions of Syrian civilians, most of them women and children, who sought refuge from the barrage of bombings by Russia, ISIS, and the A ssad Regime. A however, made no mention of research conducted in part by NASA that suggested that the drought that precipitated the Syrian Civil War was likely the worst in 900 years, causing 75% of farms to fail, 85% of livestock to die, and forcing mor e than 91 J ustin William Moyer, Aylans Story: How Desperation Let a 3 year old Boy Washed Up On a Turkish Beach, Washington Post, September 3, 2015. 57

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1.5 million Syrians to move to urban centers.92 Coupled with refugees pouring into Syria from surrounding countries plagued by conflict, this drought caused severe overcrowding in urban centers, massive food and water shortages, and ultimately spurre d the ongoing unrest and violence. Meanwhile, the United States, who has emitted 33% of the worlds carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution 129,408 million metric tons compared to 22.5% emitted by most of the rest of the world is governed by a d eeply partisan government that refuses to participate in international climate agreements and a large percentage of its citizens and policy makers deny its role in manmade climate change.93 Furthermore, while the United States bears at least some of the r esponsibility for climaterelated consequences like the Syrian Refugee Crisis in terms of carbon emissions, it pledged to take in only 100,000 refugees in 2016, a figure that potentially stands to decrease substantially during the Trump presidency Comparatively, Germany took in over one million in 2016, a figure that, in just twelve months, exceeded the total taken in by the United States in the previous ten years combined.94 Now, the Syrian Civil War is still raging after nearly six years, with no end in sight. Despite the fact that the United States led the world in producing this carbon in terms of emissions per capita, until China took over the first place spot just a few years ago, and that 99% of scientists agree on the anthropomorphic roots of gl obal climate change and Americas leading role in that change, some media outlets and a large 92 Elaisha Stokes, The Drought that Preceded Syrias Civil War was Likely the Worst in 900 Years, Vice News Marc h 3, 2016; Henry Fountain, Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change, New York Times March 2, 2015. 93 Cumalitve Carbon Emissions, figure, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2010. 94 Garza, Frida. Germany is Taking in More Refugees in 2015 Than the US Has in the Past 10 Years, Quartz December 7, 2015; Maizire, Thomas de, 965.000 Flchtlinge bis Ende November in Deutschland, Die Welt December 7, 2015. 58

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portion of the American people and politicians do not.95 This is a humanitarian d isaster that is only one of many to come, and such disasters stand to increase in severity as the planet continues to warm While the Europe an Union is on the forefront at combatting and mitigating the climate change that contributed to this event, the United States at least in terms of cooperative international agreements and goal o riented domestic renewable energy targets, has largely taken a position of inaction in the face of popular denial of objective science. How did we get here? There is a disconnect amongst many citizens and policy makers in the United States in regards to th e rhetoric and staging of global climate change, a disconnect not just in terms of who should take responsibility for it and its consequences including the Syrian refugee crisis but in terms of its reality at all. This disconnect stems from a historical tendency of frontier building, as demonstrated in Chapter I, in which physical land can be bought and sold T his view contrasts sharply with that of the European Union, which has legally enshrined the status of the environment as a public good via the mand ating of the precautionary principle that, in its simplest form, holds that scientists and scientific testing must prove a technology is not harmful prior to its implementation, rather than implementing a particular technology and demonstrating its dangers before ceasing to use it. This difference is evinced in the environmental policies of the United States and the European Union respectively. The fundamental differences between the policies of these regions are severely hampering international 95 Naomi Oreskes, Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus of Climate Change, Science 306, no. 5702 (2004):1686.; Art Swift, Americans Again Pick Environment Over Economic Growth, Gallup March 20, 2014. 59

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efforts to deal with global climate changeleaving crises with human costs in their wake. The Rhetoric of Globalized Risk and Shortcoming in Climate Communication To understand the implications and the historical roots of this disconnect regarding American and European conceptions of the environment and the deliberative or policy rhetoric that reflects them, it is important to acknowledge the theories of rhetorical scholars Rhetoric, the language we use to discuss amongst one another, often reflects deeply held cultu ral beliefs, historical legacies, and current anxieties and establishes the staging by which we understand a particular issue, such as global climate change. Whether or not global climate change is perceived as a risk appears to be influenced by culture, or rather the extent to which certain individuals in a given culture pe rceive climate change as a risk. Thus it may be possible to illuminate where understandings of both risk and global climate change overlap and differ, and potentially begin to use this information to bridge across these culturally dependent perspectives. It is first important to acknowledge that in regards to global climate change, many Americans cultural perception of risk fails to incorporate the globalized nature of carbon emissions, as well as both the invisible and latent side effects of living in what sociologist Ulrich Beck calls a world risk society.96 Beck defines a risk society as one that wrestles with the side effects of successf ul modernization domestically while a world risk society incorporates the dynamics of globalization.97 While risk society 96 Beck, World at Risk. 97 Beck, World at Risk, p. 7 8 60

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and the world risk society could be perceived as binary in any given culture, they are also intimately intertwined Beck states that the cultural perception of risk varies across national borders and can only be overcome via a cosmopolitan moment, in which human beings must lend meaning to their lives through exchanges with others and no longer with people like themselves.98 In terms of global climate change, the problem is that the staging of the anthropomorphic causes of climate change as fictitious by rightist factions in politics, media, and the public of America prevents such a cosmopolitan moment, and therefore also prev ents the passage of meaningful and goal oriented environmental policy consistent with that being implemented in the European Union and elsewhere around th e world. While the United States refusal to mediate cultural perceptions of risk seemingly removes gl obal climate change as a legitimate risk at all, invisible side effects are impacting individuals around the globe because of the globalized nature of climate change. Beck describes invisible side effects as a phenomenon in which the more people who are p oisoned, the less poisoning takes place, or rather the greater the number of smoke stacks, sewage pipes, etc., through which pollutants and poisons are emitted, the smaller the residual probability of calling a perpetrator to account. Furthermore, Beck posits that the latent side effects of climate change, those that are exported outside national borders from risk donor countries like the United States to risk recipient countries like Syria, make denial of both responsibility and reality easier, as perpetrators are not directly confronted with the consequences of their actions.99 Beck argues that this allows for relations of definition, a concept based on Marxs relations of production, in which relations of 98 Beck, World at Risk, p. 15. 99 Beck, World at Risk, p. 3031. 61

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domination are created and reinforced through staging of risk.100 The dynamics of the staging of global climate change thus theoretically allow for the disconnect that absolves the worlds most virulent carbon polluters of direct responsibility for humanitarian disasters like the Syrian Civil War namely in America where the politicization of the issue prevents consensus that might lead to action on the international stage. Beck, would point out, however, that boomerang effects will eventually bring these consequences to bear in the United States as well, despite the countrys overall denial of responsibility as represented by its unwillingness to sign onto and ratify internal climate agreements .101 Building on the work of Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, a sociologist, economist, and political sc ientist, characterizes as a world where life is no longer lived as fate, a phenomenon that emerged out of a process that Ulrich Beck calls individualisation.102 Beck defines individualisation as the unexpected renaissance of an enormous subjectivity wit hin and outside of institutions.103 This resurgence of subjectivity, this individualiz ation, may very well be at the core of climate change denial. This has further transformed risk from external risk, which Giddens defines as events that may strike indiv iduals unexpectedly but that happen regularly enough and often enough in a whole population of people to be broadly predictable, to manufactured risk that is created by the very progression of human development, especially by the progression of science a nd technology we often dont really know what the risks are, let alone how to 100 Beck, World at Risk, 24. 101 Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (New Delhi: Sage, 1992). 102 Giddens, Risk and Responsibility, 3. 103 Beck, World at Risk, p. 44. 62

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calculate them accurately in terms of probability tables.104 Or in the case of climate change, it is impossible to accurately calculate and deal with risk in the face of subjectivity about that risk. Consistent with Becks definition of organized irresponsibility, Giddens further demonstrates that given the inherently ambiguous nature of most situations of manufactured risk responsibility can neither be attributed nor assumed. Thus, in the case of global climate change, even with near universal scientific consensus and highly correlated relationships that point to the United States as a country as bearing the most responsibility for our warming planet, manufactured risk allows for doubt because there is no historical context to reflect on and guide decision makers, as was the case with external risk. Giddens posits, risks only exist when there are decisions to be taken The idea of responsibility also presumes decisions. What brings into play the notion of responsibility is that someone takes a decision having discernable consequences.105 Deborah Stone, in her work on the formation of policy agendas, affirms Giddens point, as she demonstrates that the creation and politicization of a problem is a process of image making, where the images have to do fundamentally with attributing cause, blame, and responsibility. a bad condition does not become a problem until people see it as amenable to human control.106 No individual or group or nation anticipated climate change as a result of industrialization, and in the absence of any decision of the like, it is conceivable that both climate change as a risk and the consequences of it can reasonably be denied or ignored. 104 Giddens, Risk and Responsibility, p. 4. 105 Giddens, Risk and Responsibility, p. 8. 106 Deborah A. Stone, Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas, Political Science Quarterly 104, no. 2 (1989): 281 300. 63

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While the theories of both Beck and Giddens point to the culturally dependent nature of risk, particularly in regards to global climate change, rhetoric scholars Jeffrey Grabill and Michelle Simmons point out that predominantly linear models of communication undermine public communication about risk. Grabill and Simmons demonstrate that technocratic approaches, or the oneway flow of technical information from the experts to the public, a nd negotiated approaches, in which public perceptions are gauged only in order to discern how far they deviate from scientific truth, are both inadequate in promoting informed understanding about risks.107 Particularly in the case of global climate change, these approaches to risk communication have been arhetorical typically decontextualizing risk and failing to consider social factors that influence public perception of risk. These models also explain why communication problems arise either audiences f ail to understand risk and/or they reject what they are hearing.108 Linear communication models often assume that the basic facts and scientific roots of issues like climate change are universally understood, and thus are not explained making it easier for some individuals faced with this information to castoff more complex, difficult to understand details as partisan or agendaladen rhetoric. Grabill and Simmons also point out however that, consistent with Becks concept of risk donor countries and risk recipient countries, power is unequally distributed. Lack of access to community acceptance, education, and resources is compounded in linear models of risk communication, making it extremely difficult for those with minimal access to influence 107 Grabill and Simmons, Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, 421 422. 108 Grabill and Simmons, Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, p. 416. 64

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the risk decision making process.109 These individuals without access, however, are often also the most acutely affected by risk Analyzing Divergence: The Environment in the U.S. and Europe Post 1970s The disconnect between American and European conceptions of the e nvironment, as evidenced in their respective policies, and the differences in which the issue is staged must also be understood by analyzing the divergence between the two regions in terms of energy policy following the critical juncture that was the 1970s energy crisis. Political scientists Christoph Stefes and Frank Laird have demonstrated that while the United States was on pace to lead the world in renewable energy following the stagflation of the 70s, institutional and social barriers coupled with path dependency and a decline in oil prices derailed its efforts. Germany, and eventually the larger European Union, instead fostered a social and political climate conducive to change, which coupled with environmental disasters like Chernobyl and innovative m easures like the feed intariff, helped to institutionalize the renewable transition over the next decade and a half.110 These diverging paths led to the legal enshrinement of the precautionary principle into EU environmental law, and promoted the perception of the environment as a public good. Conversely in the U.S., policy rhetoric, such as that in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, emphasizes business opportunities and corporate social responsibility in terms of energy and the environment, effectively providin g incentives 109 Grabill and Simmons, Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, p. 427. 110 Frank N. Laird and Christoph Stefes, The Diverging Paths of German and United States Policies for Renewable Energy: Sources of Difference, Energy Policy 38, no. 8 (2010): 47414742. 65

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to buy and sell land and the resources within it, thus complicating the conception of land as a public good. The precautionary principle, or the Vorsorgeprinzip, is derived from the German word vorzorge, or foresight, and was first incorporated into German environmental law in the 1970s. While the term lacks a clear definition, it essentially embraces Hippocrates tenet to do no harm, and holds that a policy, technology, or practice must be shown to be safe prior to its implementation or practice.111 Following the successful beginning of Germanys green transition, policy makers enshrined the precautionary principle in a number of international laws and agreements as the guiding principle of environmental politics and development. In 1987, the preamble to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the most widely ratified treaty in history, affirmed that Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer have the responsibility to be Mindful of the ir obligation to take appropriate measures to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting or likely to result from human activities which modify or are likely to modify the ozone layer, and to note the precautionary measur es for controlling emissions of certain chlorofluorocarbons.112 In 1991, policymakers included the principle in the Maastricht Treaty, the document that created the European Union and formally bed rocked the precautionary principle into European environmental law. In June of 1992, 111 C.J. Pereira Di Salvo and Leigh Raymond, Defining the Precautionary Principle: An Empirical Analysis of Elite Discourse, Environmental Politics 19, no. 1 ( 2010): 86106. 112 Joel Tickner, Lower Myers, and Nancy Myers, Precautionary Principle: Current Status and Implementation, Synthesis/Regeneration 23 (2000): 33; United Nations, Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, August 26, 1987, Vienna, Austria. 66

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the principle gained wider inter national recognition at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, where it was declared in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration that in order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific understanding certainly shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.113 While the precautionary principle is widely hailed as the cornerstone of European environmental law, there is much debate as to its ef ficacy, as well as to whether the benefits outweigh the costs. John H. Jacob points out a common criticism of the precautionary principle in that it is difficult to establish risk with certainty. The variability and lack of complete field data, and the reliance on increasingly complex computer models has made it difficult to produce accurate estimates with high confidence of the extent of health and environmental risks.114 Additionally, many critics, particularly those in the United States, contend that the implementation of the precautionary principle hinders innovation and business. President George W. Bush affirmed this disbelief in the precautionary principle, rolling back the Clinton administrations tough standards on arsenic levels in water, declaring the science isnt in yet.115 He also refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement based on 113 European Union, Treaty of Maastricht on European Union, Maastricht Summit, December 9 10, 1991, Maastricht, Netherlands; United Nations Environment Program, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, June 3 14, 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Bra zil. 114 J. Roger Jacobs, The Precautionary Principle as a Provisional Instrument in Environmental Policy: The Montreal Protocol Case Study, Environmental Science & Policy 37 (2014): 161 171. 115 Michael Pollan, The Year in Ideas: A to Z; Precautionary Principle, New York Times Magazine December 9, 2001. 67

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emissions reductions goals that are guided by precautionary standards, calling it fatally flawed, and a measure that would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy, due to its mandate of sharp reductions on fossil fuels in favor of renewables.116 In regards to these criticisms, many scientists and researchers have pointed out that w hile it is true that climate change and other atmospheric environmental concerns rely primarily on computer models, it is also true that there is near unanimous scientific consensus regarding the realities and dangers of climate change, as well as of its contributing anthropomorphic factors.117 Furthermore, the very point of the precau tionary principle is that it is difficult to establish risk with certainty, but that the potential worstcase scenario in terms of the consequences of global climate change could very well be catastrophic, and thus better safe than sorry. Jacobs also points out that fields of research that are propelled by a policy concern will assure the longevity of the precautionary principle, in both sciencefor policy research, and a place on the political agenda. 118 The principle has already been applied to other fields outside climate policy. Frida Kahlau et al. suggest that the precautionary principle can be used within the life sciences if it is applied as a contextdependent moral principle and allowed flexibility in its practical use.119 Robert H. Richmond ha s also demonstrated the strengths of the principle in regulating biotechnology in order to insure the 116 Cass R. Sunstein, Montreal Versus Kyoto: A Tale of Two Protocols, Chicago Working Paper Series, University of Chicago Law School, August 2006. 117 Naomi Oreskes, Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change, Science 306, no. 5702 (2004): 1686. 118 Roger Jacobs, The Precautionary Principle as a Provisional Instrument. 119 Frida Kuhlau, Anna T. Hglund, Kathinka Evers, and Stefan Eriksson, A Precautionary Principle for Dual Use Resear ch in the Life Sciences, Bioethics 25, no. 1 (2011): 18. 68

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benefits of biotechnology are enjoyed without unacceptable and irreversible environmental costs.120 However, the central tenets of the precautionary princ iple, that in regards to environmental protection, we are better safe than sorry assume that the physical environment is a public good, or rather a commons that belongs to no one but is available for the use of everyone. In his now canonical essay, Gar rett Hardin coined the concept the tragedy of the commons to describe the overuse and degradation of this public good. He explains the tragedy thus: Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Though this arrangement can function for quite some time, according to Hardin, each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limitin a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination.121 In the context of global climate change the stakes of ruin are much 120 Robert H. Richmond, Environmental Protection: Applying the Precautionary Principles and Proactive Regulation to Biotechnology, Trends in Biotechnology 26, no. 8 (2008): 460 467. 121 Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons, Science (1968). Hardins theory has also been widely criticized on a number of points: Among them, Julian L. Simon, Resources, Populations, Environemnt: An Oversupply of False Bad News, Science 208, no. 4451 (1980): 14311437 critiques Hardins assertions that overpopulation is the cause of degredation, as overpopulation is often associated with poverty that accumulations; Tim ORiordan, Environmentalism (London: Pion, 1976) criticizes Hardins solutions to environmental p roblems as regressive; J.B. Wadley and J.C. Jurgensmeyer, The common Lands Concept: A Commons Solution to a Common Environmental Problem, Natural Resources Journal no. 14 ( 1974): 368381 lodged similar criticisms against Hardins Darwinist belief in natural selection as elitist, as well as his definitions of commons. While I acknowledge these criticisms, it is necessary to point out that my argument applies Hardins theory to perceptions of the environment as a public good, not as a specific public good with definable boundaries. For a summary 69

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higher. The pasture is the world and the herdsmen are all of us. Gulam Mujaddid agrees that this first tragedy of the commons, the original scenario envisioned by Hardin, in which carbon emissions are pumped into the atmosphere and natural resources are reaped to depletion, ultimately suggests that ruin is the fate of everyone involved He posits, however, that an interim second tragedy of the commons lies in that there is competition and conflict over available pastures even as they move towards exhaustion. The borders of these pastures, however, these commons, increasingly extend outward in a globalized world.122 Thus, Becks risk recipient countries often have the least claim to these pastures, while the risk donor countries control them. The consequences are events like the Syrian Refugee Crisis. The policy makers utilization of t he precautionary principle, then, attempts to prevent, or at least mitigate, this tragedy, not by quantifying risk or establishing costbenefit analysis before we stop utilizing fossil fuels or cease cutting down trees, but rather assumes that for the benefit of all, it is best first to do no harm rather than to either stop when harm first rears its head or collectively forge ahead despite warnings. However, the lack of belief and adherence to the precautionary principle amongst policy makers in the United States has produced this very tragedy. Anwar Hussain and David N. Laband have demonstrated that because environmental regulations are structured to impose differential costs on certain parts of the United States, in order to address environmental issues according to severity, votemaximizing politicians rationally attempt to export the costs of providing public goods on these criticisms, see Subhash Sharma, Managing Environment: A Critique of Tragedy of Commons, Journal of Human Ecology 12, no. 1 (2001): 19. 122 Ghulam Mujaddid, Second Tragedy of Global Commons: Strategic C ompetition and Conflict Over Humanitys Common Assets, Strategic Studies 32, no. 41 (2013): 85. 70

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to their constituents by instituting taxes and regulations whose burden is borne by individuals living outside of their political jurisdic tion. Hussain and Luband have termed this phenomenon, the tragedy of the political commons, and have demonstrated via federal Congressional voting records spanning 1992 2002 that politicians generally only vote in favor of environmental regulations when the benefits are internalized and the costs are externalized.123 Thus, in a body of individuals who vote according to shortterm payoff, environmental regulation never happens. Rather than controlling and regulating access, many economists and policymakers hail privatization as the surest path to sustainability. Ellerbrock, Bayer, and Bradshaw assert that adherents to the tenets of free market economics assume rational actors in a deregulated economy have self interest in preserving and preventing the enviro nmental devastation of their privately held land.124 The free market, of course, will provide the best sustainable alternatives, as it is assumed that competition always produces the bes t solution. That is not true, in regards to sustainable development and environmental protection any more than in financial markets Actors are no t rational, free markets often breed self interest and profits, and the Invisible Hand can fail to achieve sustainability.125 Furthermore, privatization also requires ownership of land and the bounding of it into individuals tracts via accumulation. Ashley Dawson has pointed out that in a globalized world, this results in 123 Anwar Hussain and David N. Laband, The Tragedy of the Political Commons: Evidence from U.S. Senate Roll Call Voted on Environmental Legislation, Public Cho ice 124, no. 3 (2005): 353364. 124 Mike Ellerbock, Jessica Bayer, and Rose Bradshaw, Sustaining the Commons: The Tragedy Works Both Ways, Bulletin Of Science, Technology & Society 28, no. 3 (2008): 256259. 125 Ellerbock et al., Sustaining the Commons, 256. 71

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accumulation by dispossession, leaving some to profit at the hands of others. Accumulation in a globalized world often does not ultimately produce environmentally friendly behaviors either, as according to Edward J. Garrity, free trade between nations with different and varying environmental and labor s tandard s will result in a standards lowering competition, or the race to the bottom, the net result of which is that more and more of global production will move to countries that do less and less environmental and labor protection.126 So, in an economic system that prioritizes profit over protecting the environment, how is privatization the answer to attaining sustainability? Corporate social responsibility is the proposed answer. This involves businesses implementing individualized environmental action and community involvement in conjunction with economic growth. The problem is, in the United States, that very little uniform, formal regulations mandate corporate social responsibility, let alone the programs and standards that individual companies and corporations put in place. Additionally, businesses will sometimes only behave altruistically if it also preserves profit margins and fulfills fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders.127 This conflict between environmental corporate responsibility and maximizing profit has been demonstrated in the case of CocaColas plant in the Kaladera region of India. As their business is water intensive, CocaCola established a plant in this rural area primarily due to the fact that there are no regulations regarding who, or how much groundwater 126 Edward J. Garrity, Tragedy of the Commons, Business Growth and the Fundamental Sustainability Problem, Sustainability 4, no. 10 (2012): 24432471. 127 Aneel Karnani, Corporate Social Responsibility Does Not Avert the Tragedy of the Commons Case Study: Coca Cola India, University of Michigan Ross School of Business Working Paper Series Working Paper No. 1210 (2013): 135. 72

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can be pumped. However, the Kaladera region is now facing groundwater shortages and potential deple tion in the near future. CocaCola, has decreased its water use in recent years due largely in part to its shift from glass to plastic bottles, and not for environmental reasons. Even so, it is one of, if not the largest, extractor of groundwater in the region. The reduction in water use has come at the expense of increasing the problem of non degradable plastic bottles.128 Profits are high as ever, while environmental problems are increasing, despite CocaColas policy that they are committed to conductin g all its business activities responsibly, with due regard to environmental impact and sustainable performance.129 The Coca Cola case study is also a prime example of the race to the bottom phenomenon. While the company asserts that it conducts operations in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and applies its high internal environmental standards, India has no federally mandated standards and CocaColas high standards assumedly prioritize profits.130 The Coca Cola case study demonstrates that corporate social responsibility is generally only upheld when it can be maintained while also maximizing profits. Timothy Luke, using the theories of Michel Foucault, suggests that through tools like corporate social responsibility, many dynamics of environmentality under todays neoliberal economic policies have allowed sustainability to be mobilized to give the 128 Karnani, Corporate Social Responsibility, 1 35. 129 Coca Cola HBC, Environmental Policy, P olicies 2016. 130 Coca Cola HBC, Environmental Policy, Policies 2016. 73

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mechanisms of competition freer play as regulatory principles.131 This has led Marc T. Jones to conclude that if environmentalism is being exploited to be bought and sold on the free market, then the concept and discourse of social responsibility are viable only in the absence of a historically grounded understanding of capitalist political economy.132 This brings us to the paradox of Hardins tragedy of the commons, for the principles of a capitalist political economy then suggest that profits to be made from the physical environment will be maximized at all costs and environmentally friendly means will only be implemented if they fulfill that end. It can then be deduced that corporate social responsibility often does not characterize the environment as a public good, but as a commodity in the sense that it can be bought and sold If there are no public goods, then, there is no tragedy of th e commons, and thus no need for the precautionary principle. Legalized Difference: Climate Policy in the U.S. and Europe These different conceptions of the environmentas a public good or as a commodity are reflected and legalized in the energy policy legislation of the United States and the European Union respectively, namely the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Policy of the European Union, which was also approved in 2005. The United States Energy Policy Act, does not incorpor ate the precautionary principle, but rather emphasizes business opportunities via the provision of incentives for implementing clean energy and decreasing pollution and carbon emissions. While the 131 Timothy W. Luke, Climate Change and Environmentality, The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society, edited by John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, and David Scholsberg, pp. 96112, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011): 99. 132 Marc T. Jones, Missing the Forest for the Trees: A Critique of the Social Responsibility Concept and Discourse, Business Society 35, no. 1 (1996): 741. 74

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Act does instruct the Department of Energy to conduct assessments and implement renewable domestic energy resources, including solar, wind, biomass, ocean (tidal and thermal), geothermal, and hydroelectric energy, it stipulates that this should be done taking into account changes in market conditions, available technologies, and other relevant factors. Tax credits and incentives are also provided for the implementation of the aforementioned renewables, but the policy also adds Indian coal as a qualifying energy source. Furthermore, in accordance with the accompanying Set Amer ica Free Act of 2005, the desire to achieve energy self sufficiency by 2025 in outlined, though renewable means are not the preferred method for achieving this. Rather, the Act continues and even promotes a path dependency on fossil fuels, instructing th e Secretary of Energy to establish a task force to develop a program to coordinate and accelerate the commercial development of strategic unconventional fuels, including oil shale and tar sands resources, These unconventional fuels, which also include fo ssil fuels extracted by hydraulic fracturing and deep sea oil, are difficult and expensive to harvest, and increase emissions not only as a byproduct of their use, but as a byproduct of their extraction. They are, however, profitable. Thus, the Act also e xtends the tax credit for producing fuel from a nonconventional source to include facilities for producing coke or coke gas, and reduces the motor fuel tax for certain water based mixtures of diesel fuel. R&D funds are provided for renewables, but this also includes provisions for the coal gasification technologies. While increasing energy efficiency is outlined as a goal of the Act, no quantitative or means for achievement are identified. Goals for renewable energy are similarly vague, requiring federal purchases of 75

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renewable energy to escalate in accordance with certain percentages.133 While the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was amended by the Obama Administrations Clean Energy and Recovery Act, a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act o f 2009, the subsidies for fossil fuels remain. The amendment did increase subsidies and R&D for renewables substantially, but only marginally compared to traditional fossil fuels. These revisions still prioritize business centered incentives for implementing renewables and fail to articulate meaningful long term goals in regards to clean energy systems.134 To put the results of this legislation into perspective, only 9.5% of U.S. energy was generated by renewables in 2014, and the fossil fuel industry annuall y receives subsidies thirteen times greater than those provided to renewables, accounting for $446.96 billion in subsidies since 1918.135 In contrast, the Energy Policy Act of the European Union and its subsequent amendments, emphasize numerical goals for c lean energy implementation with dea dlines for achievement, provide massive subsidies for renewables, and penalize fossil fuel use. In its introduction, the Act asserts, above all, European environment policy rests on the principles of precaution, prevention, and rectifying pollution at the source, and on the polluter pays principle. Furthermore, the strategic goals of the Act mandate a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, a 40% reduction by 2030, and an 80 95% reduc tion by 2050. These larger goals also include sub goals that include a reduction in emissions in the transport sector by 133 Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law No. 109 58, 109th Congress, 20052006, August 8. 134 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law No. 111 5, 111th Congress, 20092010, February 17; Face Checks, ACORE, 2014, available from energyfactcheck.org. 135 Institute for Energy Research, Wor ld Energy Outlook 2014 OECD/IEA, (2014). 76

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60% in 2050 and by around 20% by 2030, and the greening the agriculture sector. The Act details an action plan to meet these goals, s tipulating that the European Commission must provide detailed guidance. Preparation of Member States through an iterative process, and assessment of the Member States plans and commitments. The Act also proposes specific action steps to ensure progress including monitoring energy price differentials between the EU and major trading partners. deployment of smart grids and interconnection between Member States., technological innovation, and in increase in R&D from 3.2 to 5.4 billion per year, and interaction between centralized and decentralized systems.136 The EU is on track to meet and potentially exceed these goals. Iceland and Switzerland are carbon neutral in regards to electricity production, with Norway and Sweden close behind, and nine other countries producing at least 50% of their electricity from renewables.137 Copenhagen, Denmark is carbon neutral across all sectors. The Act proclaims that decarbonisation is possible, yet recognizes that the EU cannot achieve its energy and climate objectives on its own, as it will consume less than 10% of the worlds energy by 2030. Conclusions: Where Do We Go From Here? The year 2017 gave rise to the terms posttruth and alternative facts in a divided, politicized America. Just as linear models of communications have failed to adequately inform and scaffold discussions regarding global climate change from the most basic to the more complex, so too have they failed in the same way regarding a number of other issues. Communication across cultures, socioeconomic classes races, 136 European Commission, Energy Strategy, European Union, 2016. 137 U.S. Energy Information Agency, No carbon Electricity Generation Share in Europe and the United States, chart, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2012. 77

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ethnic groups, and geographic location is less than adequate and elitist in tone as information largely flows in one direction from experts at the top to the public at the bottom. As these failures in communication complicate a number of other issues, they simultaneously compound the already fraught conversations about climate change. Improvements in communication may help to improve these unproductive conversations and rejections of objective and well supported facts. Grabill and Simmons acknowledge this, asserting that linear models are ones where perceived responses to risk are important only in understanding the extent to which ordinary peoples ideas deviate from the truth We have seen then, that ordinary peoples ideas do indeed, deviate from the truth in many instances, and linear models of communication are exacerbating this, not remedying it, and certainly not doing anything to approach global climate change and our perceptions and staging of it in any meaningful way. Thus, Grab ill and Simmons instead suggest negotiated approaches to communication that prioritize community collaboration and participatory democracy in which anyone affected by a given risk is considered a stakeholder, and community collaboration only works when a degree of participation is included in public decision making in order to link power (and powerlessness) to the exercises of power involved in knowledge production.138 These negotiated approaches encourage grassroots mobilization, a move many climate policy experts have also advocated for in the absence of meaningful and widespread success from top down, international measures.139 138 Grab ill and Simmons, Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication, 422 424. 139 Bodle, International Climate Negotiations. 78

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Furthermore, such a rhetorical exchange could begin to illuminate the facts that are most often unknown, misund erstood, misinterpreted, or dismissed. Bridging such a knowledge gap would not only allow for rhetorical exchange amongst those typically left out of such discourse but could also begin to reveal a chain of linked events that begins with industrialization and ends with consequences like the Syrian refugee crisis effectively resulting in a restaging of our understanding about climate change and its long term consequences For as Deborah Stone argues, problem definition and causal theories have a stron g normative component that links suffering with an identifiable agent, and so they can be critical of existing social conditions and relationships. They implicitly call for a redistribution of power by demanding the causal agents cease producing harm and b y suggesting the types of people who should be entrusted with reform. Many individuals perceive the Syrian refugee crisis as directly impacting them, as suggested by fears over radical terrorists infiltrating America as members of the refugee population. This fear has been adequately exploited by some politicians and pundits to, in the words of Stone, restructure political alliances by creating common categories of victims. In the scenario of terrorism, Americans are victims and the identifiable agent of that suffering Syrian refugees must be dealt with in whatever means necessary. In the scenario of global climate change, Americans and Syrians are a common category of victims and the identifiable agent of suffering global climate changemust be dealt wit h in whatever means necessary. But, a bad condition is not a problem until people 79

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see it as amenable to human control, 140 and that will require understanding in people and places w h ere understanding has been neglected. 140 Stone, Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas, Political Science Quarterly 281300. 80

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CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION : THE SCIENCE ISNT IN YET In Miami, Florida, local government officials are preparing to build a wall. This barrier is much like the mental one that has for so long allowed people to perceive the environment as separate from the human condition, but it is also ominous in that it might soon be the only physical protection between the citizens of Miami and the water surrounding the city. S unny day flooding is becoming a reality of day to day life, as severa l inches of water come and go with the tides and i nundate the streets of the city. Welcome to rising sea levels is the response of Hal Wanless, the chairman of the University of Miamis geological sciences department. But, this is just the beginning. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that sea level will rise by three feet by the end of the century, other estimates range from five to six and a half, and Wanless and many of his fellow geologists see the possibility of a tento thirty foot rise.141 For him, the science is in. The scienc e, however, has been in since the late 1950 s and 1960s. Yet Miami, not to mention the Netherlands and other low elevation and coastal and island regions around the world, are preparing to ward of f their demise at the hands of sealevel rise due to global t emperature change. According to climate change deniers, this is of course, normal atmospheric change, not the result of intense human i ndustrial activity These deniers refute science by casting doubt upon near consensus through politicization of the issue, much like Big Tobacco did to deny that smoking cigarettes 141 Justin Gillis, Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun, New York Times, September 3, 2016; Elizabeth Kolbert, The Siege of Miami, The New Yorker December 21 & 28, 2015. 81

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caused cancer. We now know that smoking cigarettes almost certainly does cause cancer. Whats only recently been uncovered, however, is that Big Tobacco learned how to bend science from Big Oil itself. According to an expos by VICE News not only did Big Tobacco take a page from the Big Oil playbook, but they arguably were less good at it than oil. Prosecutors in at least 17 states are investigating these connections, and if a successful l awsu it were to come to fruition against Big Oil, it would dwarf the multi billion dollar court settlement Big Tobacco was forced to pay in the 1990s.142 But Miami is already flooding. Somalia is in the midst of a famine, and the Syrian Ci vil War and refugee crisis rage on.143 Arctic ice melt threatens to trigger uncontrollable consequences, and scientists describe the Arctic temperatures at 20 degrees Celsius above average as off the charts.144 2017 is on track to beat out 2016 a s the hottest year ever.145 Only the most drastic and immediate measures could potentially mitigate these and more severe future consequences, but that seems highly unlikely as the United States has set forth proposals to drastically cut the EPA and withdraw from the Paris Climate A greement in the Trump era.146Whether or not either of these proposals become reality remains to be seen, but they are certainly not moving the world any closer to dramatic and immediate action against anthropomorphic climate change. For now, Miami will have to build walls, but eventually that will not be 142 Matt Smith, How Big Oil Taught Big Tobacco to Bend Scienc e, VICE News July 24, 2016. 143 Fahmida Miller, Famine Stalks Somalia Again, Aljazeera March 6, 2017. 144 Fiona Harvey, Arctic Ice Melt Could Trigger Uncontrollable Climate Change at Global Level, The Guardian November 25, 2016. 145 Justin Gillis, Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year, New York Times January 18, 2017. 146 Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin, Trumps Budget Takes a Sledgehammer to the EPA, Washington Post March 16, 2017; Jean Chemnick, Could Trump Simply Withdraw U.S from Paris Climate Agreement? Scientific American November 10, 2016. 82

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enough. Just as adherents to Turners frontier thesis dispossessed Natives, the Nature Conservancys practices have dispossessed indigenous around the world, and the long term consequences of climate change h ave dispossessed millions of Syrians, clim ate change will displace humankind, and we will be our own undoing. 83

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