Phil Clapp, R.I.P.


We are saddened by the untimely death of Philip Clapp, 54, deputy managing director of the Pew Environmental Group in Washington, DC.  Phil Clapp was a force for good in the battle to get US policymakers to come to grips with global climate disruption.  This is a loss to American politics.  The environmental community will miss a leader who was a true original.

From obituary in the Washington Post, September 17, 2008:

Philip E. Clapp, 54, who created an environmental policy and advocacy group that is now part of the Pew Environment Group and who successfully agitated for environmental causes through jet-setting diplomacy and grass-roots mobilizing, died of pneumonia Sept. 17 at Spaarne Hospital while on vacation in Hoofddorp, Amsterdam. He was a District resident.

Mr. Clapp devoted his 32-year career in Washington to fighting global warming, preserving the world’s oceans and reducing air and water pollution. A practicing Buddhist who was also a workaholic and a chain smoker, he focused much of his work on trying to fashion a international pact that would make significant cuts in greenhouse gases.

In 1994, he founded the National Environmental Trust, an environmental policy and advocacy group based in Washington and with operations in 20 states….

The National Environmental Trust and Pew Charitable Trusts merged in January to form the Pew Environment Group. Mr. Clapp, as deputy managing director, continued to focus primarily on energy and climate issues….

Pew Charitable Trusts
Dave Roberts, Gristmill (with some good reader comments)
Joe Romm, Climate Progress
World Wildlife Fund

He was interviewed on PBS FRONTLINE’s “Hot Politics”—the best program on the global warming disinformation campaign that has aired on US television (April 2007) (transcript)

Interviewed by Bill Moyers

Testimony before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (Dec. 19, 2007), “Decisions of the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bali, Indonesia, December 3-15, 2007”

He was quoted in Andy Revkin’s article in the New York Times on Phil Cooney’s resignation from the White House (June 10, 2005).  (For more on that episode see also here and here.)

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