MotherJones ND93: Bill’s Green Card

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We polled “green” groups and leaders on how they grade President Clinton on his work thus far. A few groups declined to participate, reluctant perhaps to judge or be judged.

Rainforest Action Network’s Randy Hayes: “Reagan and Bush were ecological idiots. If they were an F, Clinton and Gore are a solid B. But the earth needs an A+, so we’re still in trouble.” On NAFTA: “A smokescreen for real change.”

Greenpeace: “A for rhetoric; D for performance.”

Earth First! founder Mike Roselle, on the failing grade: “Why? The silence of Al Gore. [Clinton] should have come out swinging. We’re as disappointed as the gays.” On wetlands: “He’s protecting industry over wildlife. Talk is cheap. Where’s the action?” On nuclear power: “It’s more dangerous now than it was at the time of Three Mile Island.”

David Brower, formerly of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth; head of Earth Island Institute: “Grading does not encompass potential. It’s hard to evaluate what the president can do, especially with a hostile press. I’d like to see ‘Free Al Gore’ bumper stickers.'” [See “Where are you, Al?” this issue.]

Earth Island Institute’s Gar Smith: “How do you measure an administration? Anyone looks like a hero compared to that last crowd.” On NAFTA: “An unmitigated disaster.”

Environmental Defense Fund: “Incomplete–but we’d like to offer him extra credit. He held to his guns as best he could in working his budget through.”

Wilderness Society: “Bruce Babbitt is a superlative choice, but we don’t know if we’ve got the Beatles or Freddie and the Dreamers until they’ve been out there.”

National Resource Defense Council on forests: “A commendable effort to resolve the issue, but a disappointing product.” On wildlife: “An unexcused absence” for “failing to take real initiative.”

Note: The Sierra Club set conditions that space would not allow us to accommodate.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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