The Seattle Times: Snohomish County News: County’s environmental forces losing strength

A rather depressing article from the Seattle Times about the state of the environmental movement in Snohomish County, where sprawl is the leading environmental issue.

This article hits on a huge number of important themes that are repeated elsewhere in our movement:

* How quickly things go bad when closed-minded Republicans take over a County Council. (Conversely: the importance of a movement that can mobilize resources for local elections.)

* The increasingly partisan nature of environmental issues — and the growing incivility of elected leaders towards folks who disagree with them. (Methinks this is a trend flowing from the top down.)

* The cyclical nature of public engagement in environmental issues

* The aging of the environmental movement, particularly the folks who are engaged in growth and development issues.

* The environmental movement’s lack of a clear, unified, proactive agenda.

* Our over-reliance on “expert” persuasion of decision-makers and our under-investment in grassroots mobilization.

Paul Brainerd’s [recent article in ONEList](http://blogs.onenw.org/onelist/001651.html) offers some ideas along these lines, focused more at the state level. But there’s still a lot of work to be done, particularly around the challenging of mobilizng people on local issues when against a hostile elected leadership.