Sunday, July 4, 2010

Greenpeace Noise

The folks at Greenpeace are certainly not listening to my predictions that CFATS legislation is going to die this year. In fact they are doing everything they can do to disprove my assertion. The latest campaign can be found on a FaceBook page; they call it “Bring on the Noise”. This campaign calls on the Greenpeace supporters from Pennsylvania to call Sen. Specter’s (D, PA) Philadelphia office on July 6th to ask him to support the “Secure Chemical and Water Facilities Act”. The web site doesn’t have a specific script beyond giving ones name, city (in PA of course) and “your urge for him to support strong chemical security”. The lack of a script to read leads to some variation in the message. This actually makes it more effective since the staffers actually have to listen to what is being said. This looks like a locally produced program, but it could easily show up in other areas the way the Greenpeace organizers communicate. I am surprised that this isn’t more effectively tied into the earlier nationwide Greenpeace information programs. Depending on the knowledge level of the people making the calls, this can again make the campaign more effective. It can also lead to a complete flop if most of the callers demonstrate a lack of knowledge about the issue. It is almost impossible to get enough phone calls to change the mind of an elected figure that is firmly against something, but those who are sitting on the fence can be swayed with enough calls. In a close election like Sen. Specter is facing this year these programs can be slightly more successful and may be very helpful in changing grudging support to vocal support. I still think that Greenpeace is beating their collective heads against a procedural wall. The time is just too short for effective legislative action on a controversial program like this. I don’t see this bill, or its counter S 2996, getting to the Senate floor before the summer recess. When Congress returns in the fall, electioneering will stall all but the least controversial measures, especially in the Senate.

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