111 Most Likely St.
Washington, DC 200XX
Dear NGO President:
Thank you for your efforts toward environmental protection. Your mission is of utmost importance in the 21st Century. We wish you the best in accomplishing it.
You can’t, however, when the overriding domestic policy goal is economic growth.
At CASSE, we’ve closely observed the major environmental organizations with regard to their stance on this issue. Some of the leaders of these NGOs have loudly proclaimed there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment. (The National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Audubon Society come to mind.) Most of the others say little or nothing on the topic, failing to connect the major environmental challenges with economic growth. The collective effect is to propagate the notion that we can have our environmental cake and eat it too for the sake of GDP growth.
One of our priorities at CASSE is phasing out the win-win rhetoric. To that end, I would like to challenge you, as the head of your organization, to a civil debate on the question, “Is there a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection?” (I will take the position that there is an inevitable, fundamental conflict, and that a steady state economy is needed for environmental protection.) If you are up to the challenge, we’ll have the debate moderated by a neutral host and held at the National Press Club, a major college or university, a conference, or some other venue conducive to a public hearing with press coverage.
The debate will be structured with timed opening statements, rebuttals, moderator questions, and open questions from the floor. The proceedings may be recorded for broadcasting. Additional terms may be ironed out between us.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your response, and a healthy debate in the near future.
Brian Czech, CASSE President