2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

The Broken Politics of Environment: A Tech Fix?

#sxsw #enviro


Environmental politics are broken. The root cause, I believe, is that "the environment" is now viewed as an abstraction, a set of circumstances remote from many people's everyday lives and experiences. We used to count on crises--environmental threats and incidents out of the ordinary---to motivate people to understand and fight for environmental protection. But now we need to make the environment a matter of intimate, personal concern. And pained as I am to say it as a lifelong creature of the public policy world, the key to that new, intense engagement is helping people form habits of environmental health, through information technology, social media, and the marketplace.



Ken Cook


Environmental Working Group

Ken Cook is president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public interest research and advocacy organization that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

Cook is the author of dozens of articles, opinion pieces and reports on environmental, public health and agricultural topics and is a frequent source of perspective and commentary in national print and broadcast media. He is regularly listed as one of Washington's Top Lobbyists by The Hill newspaper and in 2011, journalist and healthy food movement icon Michael Pollan named Cook as one of the "Seven Most Powerful Foodies In the World.”

Under Cook, EWG’s break-through innovation has been the creation of easy-to-use, online databases to on toxic pollution in people, federal farm subsidies, nuclear waste transportation routes, uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, tap water quality and to give consumers ingredient safety information on personal care products and cleaners.

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