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How to Save the World
Unformatted Document Text:  19 • An umbrella group in Boston does not engage in government lobbying for the simple reason that it is tough to take one stance on an issue. Basically, its alliance with over 70 organizations makes it extremely difficult to take a strong position on an issue and not offend at least one participating organization. “It’s easier for us not to even touch it [lobbying] and concentrate on keeping the levels of communication between our agencies open and flowing,” said its director. “For our purposes, it is better for us to simply pass it on.” Tell me where you think the future of Boston’s/London’s environmental movement is heading. All the organizations’ views, as they look to the future, can be categorized as “guarded optimism.” A few representatives had flares of cynicism at times, but everyone had visions of a positive future. As one interviewee said, “You have to be an optimist in this business. If your not, you can get overwhelmed in a matter of minutes.” The most positive aspect in the current state of affairs and the near future is, according to those interviewed, that the public is quite well informed on the issues. They are able to access websites, read media reports, and follow environmental issues in the political arena quite closely as the debate over the treatment of our planet continues. But, while awareness is an essential step toward a healthy environment, it is not the end goal. “Awareness is not the issue anymore,” said the director of one group. “Now the hard part is to encourage people to continue talking, while starting to spend their money as well.” Indeed, the economy plays a large role in whether the public is willing to donate money to the causes with which they are concerned. “When the economy is in good shape, we are in good shape,” said one respondent. “As it is starting to drop, we are noticing a drop in the number of pledges. The charities are always the first to get cut out of the family budget.” Interestingly, PR officers from a group in London and another based in Boston pointed out what they saw a bright spot in the public’s economically depressed, stressful lives. They believe that as things get more difficult for the average family and their budgets continue to stretch as they attempt to afford movies, dining out, and long vacations to distant destinations, they will turn to their local environment for stability. They will seek woodlands and parks and make a more

Authors: Nordhoff, Andrew. and Downes, Edward.
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19
An umbrella group in Boston does not engage in government lobbying for the simple
reason that it is tough to take one stance on an issue. Basically, its alliance with over
70 organizations makes it extremely difficult to take a strong position on an issue and
not offend at least one participating organization. “It’s easier for us not to even touch
it [lobbying] and concentrate on keeping the levels of communication between our
agencies open and flowing,” said its director. “For our purposes, it is better for us to
simply pass it on.”
Tell me where you think the future of Boston’s/London’s environmental
movement is heading.
All the organizations’ views, as they look to the future, can be categorized as “guarded
optimism.” A few representatives had flares of cynicism at times, but everyone had visions of a
positive future. As one interviewee said, “You have to be an optimist in this business. If your
not, you can get overwhelmed in a matter of minutes.”
The most positive aspect in the current state of affairs and the near future is, according to those
interviewed, that the public is quite well informed on the issues. They are able to access
websites, read media reports, and follow environmental issues in the political arena quite closely
as the debate over the treatment of our planet continues. But, while awareness is an essential step
toward a healthy environment, it is not the end goal. “Awareness is not the issue anymore,” said
the director of one group. “Now the hard part is to encourage people to continue talking, while
starting to spend their money as well.”
Indeed, the economy plays a large role in whether the public is willing to donate money to the
causes with which they are concerned. “When the economy is in good shape, we are in good
shape,” said one respondent. “As it is starting to drop, we are noticing a drop in the number of
pledges. The charities are always the first to get cut out of the family budget.”
Interestingly, PR officers from a group in London and another based in Boston pointed out what
they saw a bright spot in the public’s economically depressed, stressful lives. They believe that
as things get more difficult for the average family and their budgets continue to stretch as they
attempt to afford movies, dining out, and long vacations to distant destinations, they will turn to
their local environment for stability. They will seek woodlands and parks and make a more


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