Most of us don't have the emotional constitution to be activists. We don't want to be assaulted with blame and recrimination, aimed at shaming us into behaving differently. The reaction to shame is variable. At best, it is reluctant accommodation; at worst, deliberate opposition.
Even those who are sympathetic with the environmental movement are relentlessly bombarded with bad news, and then even worse news. We're exhausted. We need a break! Don't these guys realize that 99% of the time they're preaching to the choir?
The Green movement has just started to go mainstream. Many more of us desire to learn ways to make a lesser impact on the earth. So can't it be easier?
I'm not sticking my head in the sand. I consider myself a Non-confrontational Environmentalist, and I don't think the way to get more people to change their ways is to continuously attempt to shame them. The old saying of "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" I think applies here. If people enjoy being in nature, if they can relate to trees (for instance) as they would another person; maybe as a friend, then maybe they'll be more likely to see the need to make some changes.
The wise have long understood that in order to gain sympathy you must first engender empathy. So, why not personalize Nature? I don't mean that we should picture plants and animals with human features and abilities, or imagine that they have the same attitudes and problems as we; rather, that we might consider them as something entirely other, with totally different methods of perceiving and relating to existence.
I'm not trying to say we shouldn't eat, or build our houses out of wood, or power our cities and our lives. Joseph Campbell talked about the dilemma that faced primitive cultures: they had to kill in order to stay alive. In order to cope with their uncomfortable feelings, a family provider would thank the animal or the plant for assisting him in feeding his family. The animal or plant itself was a representative of The Divine; regarded as a God incarnate, blessing the tribe with the gift of Life.
Civilization may be a bit far along to go back to that approach; but the fact that many people talk to their plants to make them grow, and treat their pets better than they do their children, points to the possibility that it's really quite a short step to think of trees as sentient.