Environmentalists Against Gore Speak Out

by Paul H. Rosenberg Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 1:57 AM

After eight years of environmental betrayals, largely buried in the corporate press, grassroots environmetal leaders cry, "Enough!"

EnEnvironmentalists Against Gore, a new group of grassroots environmental leaders from 27 states formed last month, is out to educate the American people about the reality of Al Gore’s environmental record, as opposed to his rhetoric, urging them to “Vote our hopes, not our fears.”

According to David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute and also a founder of Environmentalists Against Gore, "Al Gore talks tough about protecting the environment, but whenever money and political dealers ask him to, Gore uses his power to hurt the Earth -- from encouraging coal companies to strip away mountains and the timber companies to ruin our national forests, to helping the sugar industry steal water from the Everglades and the major oil companies damage our coasts and beaches.”

Tim Hermach, an Oregon-based national activist and co-founder of Environmentalists Against Gore acknowledged a common knee-jerk response, “Some people say we can’t vote for Ralph Nader because that would help put a Republican in the White House,” but only to offer a counter-argument widely shared by frustrated outside-the-Beltway environmentalist that “nature and public health will be better protected even if George Bush wins the election, because the national environmental groups that ignore or excuse Al Gore’s double talk may stand up and fight if a Republican makes those same bad decisions.”

Brower drove the point home even more emphatically, arguing that “the country is better off with an honest and open debate about environmental issues than we would be with a leader like Gore who makes grand speeches, announces great policies, and then surrenders whenever his political friends want to do something damaging to the Earth.” Ironically, Brower observed, “Gore seems to think that because he wrote about how to save the planet in Earth In The Balance, he can get away with the same cheap and short-sighted political behavior he criticizes in his book."

Over the weekend the group issued the following statement: "If a candidate wins the Presidency by pretending to care deeply about anissue, when he and the whole world know that he doesn't really care, then that issue stops being important in American politics. For Americans who care about the quality of our environment, the one thing we can not afford to do in this election is give our votes to Al Gore, a man who has betrayed his own vision and our only Earth."

Summing up its position, the group offered 5 points that seamless combined pragmatism and principle:

1) We can’t get good & honest people to run if we repeatedly fail to support the good and honest ones that do.

2) We can’t get what we want by voting for what we don’t want.

3) We can’t continue to condone or reward the long and established record of smoke & mirrors and betrayal.

4) We can’t win by submitting to fear of imagined Republican actions.

5) We realize that false friends can often do more harm than known adversaries

Original: Environmentalists Against Gore Speak Out