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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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