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ABSTRACT. “The Death of Environmentalism”, originally self-published by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus in 2004, argues that environmentalism is unable to deal with climate change and should “die” so that a new paradigm can emerge that can. The essay draws on history, political philosophy, and interviews with over two dozen leaders of large and small environmental organizations and foundations, including the Sierra Club, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Shellenberger and Nordhaus suggest that the 20 year failure to reduce emissions is due in part to the unwillingness of environmental leaders to expand their conception of ‘the environment’ to include humans and economic development. Since this essay was published Shellenberger and Nordhaus authored Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), and a series of articles arguing for large scale public investment in technology innovation to make clean energy cheap, and a new green cultural pragmatism. (pp. 121–163)

MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER
Executive Director, Breakthrough Institute
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TED NORDHAUS
Vice President of Evans/McDonough
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