It has been a cliché since the 1970s that the typical environmentalist is an upper-class white suburbanite that drives a Volvo (make that a Prius now). Hence the need to come up with “environmental justice,” where the Civil Rights movement meets the Cuyahoga River fire, and gives us worthies such as Van Jones.
But behold, from The Guardian:
Survey of 300 US environmental groups show lower percentage of jobs held by ethnic minorities than in science and engineering.
Environmental groups do a worse job than the business and sports sectors in welcoming and promoting minorities and women, a new report has found.
The report by University of Michigan professor, Dorceta Taylor, was the most exhaustive survey to date on the state of diversity among the nearly 300 independent groups and government agencies making up America’s environmental movement.
The report found:
• More than 70% of the presidents and board chairs of environmental groups were male. At the richest organisations – those with annual budgets over $1m – 90% were male.
• None of the $1m and over environmental groups had a minority president. Overall, ethnic minorities occupy fewer than 12% of leadership positions.
• Outside government, few of the organisations have diversity managers.
• Few of the organisations actively collaborate with minority groups or low-income groups.
• Just 12% of of jobs at non-governmental environmental groups were held by ethnic minorities – a recruiting rate below that for minorities in science and engineering jobs.
• White women were far more likely to be promoted than minority men and women, and just 4% of board members of environmental groups were ethnic minorities, Taylor found. Membership of mass organisations also skews white and male, with very few minorities members or volunteer at environmental groups.
Turns out this is not a new complaint from the diversity mongers. Also from The Guardian, back in May:
Just the other day, the National Wildlife Federation announced its new president – a white male “whiz kid”. Last month, the Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore, replaced its female chief executive with a white man. Last November, the National Parks and Conservation Association replaced its veteran leader with another white male. The Union of Concerned Scientists is due to announce its new leader as early as next week. Spoiler alert: it’s not going to be a woman. . .
Now take a look at the top executives at eight of the top 10 groups devoted to fighting that fight:
Sierra Club? White male.
Nature Conservancy? White male.
League of Conservation Voters? White male.
World Wildlife Fund? White male.
Environmental Defense Fund? White male.
Friends of the Earth? White male.
National Audubon Society? White male.
Nature Conservancy? White male.
The very top of “Big Green” is as white and male as a Tea Party meet-up. It doesn’t look like change. It doesn’t even look like America. So is it any wonder environmental groups are having trouble connecting with the public on climate change?
As usual, it’s white males all the way down. So when is Jesse Jackson going to set up pickets outside Sierra Club headquarters? Pass the popcorn.