Lucy Barrett, 47, has a reputation as one of the more passionate climate change activists in the world. She has been helping to lead demonstrations against climate deniers and polluters for years, the publication Ecopolitik notes.
But what Barrett is not known for is keeping quiet.
Last week, the Climate Alliance Network announced it would be nominating Barrett to the platform of its umbrella political coalition for promoting the cause of the global movement to save the planet.
The coalition, which is aligned with every major mainstream political party, has often veered into debating whether climate change is real, or at best, what is the carbon footprint of a bread and butter issue — like how many fewer votes Vice President Mike Pence will get in 2020.
Barrett’s nomination made international headlines.
The flurry of attention was placed there because for Barrett, it was a moment she had been dreading, environmental organizer Christopher Zerbo told the Guardian.
“She wants to use it,” Zerbo told the Guardian of the nomination. “She thinks it will allow her more access and visibility.”
But perhaps Barrett wanted the fuss, too. It was, she wanted to illustrate just how polarizing the issues of climate change and love for President Donald Trump have become.
More than two months after her nomination was announced, Barrett’s nomination has sparked more controversy online.
At one point, the Climate Alliance Network took heat for editing Barrett’s description of herself and using a different picture.
Do not trust anything that comes out of The Climate Alliance Network Facebook page. What in the world is going on with this campaign? Fk them all. @yourecourtwitch— Lucy Barrett (@LucyBarrett) October 13, 2018
Lizzi Tescher, an associate professor of politics at Villanova University and an expert on Trump, called Barrett’s nomination “very opportunistic” and wrote on Twitter, “horrific.”
Chick Buckner, who was the Climate Alliance Network’s director of global engagement at the time of Barrett’s nomination, posted an apology on Friday, saying in part, “I apologize. I recognize the inherent criticism and confusion around my nomination, which is understandable as it is unconventional, however, Lucy is a powerful person who knows this work best and has deep credentials to move this agenda forward. She deserves the opportunity to speak and she deserves respect.”
In a statement sent to The Daily Beast, Barrett said, “I need to register my anger with the way I am being treated, even by people within my own coalition. … I hope that there will be a good discussion of this sorry state of affairs and ways that we can move forward.”
Barrett attended Rockville High School and earned a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Baltimore and a law degree from Yale, which she then passed along to her children, Hunter and Lucy Barrett.
But Barrett has shown over and over again that her tenacity has more to do with her attitude than her political background, which according to colleagues is a quiet one, with her being more of a planner and problem solver.
“The issue of what people think has everything to do with what they think about climate change and taking action,” Lauren Secor, director of messaging at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, told The Daily Beast. “Lucy Barrett is one of the most principled people I know, and she is passionate about change. This causes her to take risks. She does things in a non-formal, inclusive and inclusive way.”
In the aftermath of the organization’s nomination announcement, Barrett tweeted the threat of never receiving a fair chance to present the issue before the electorate if her opponents took the nomination, saying that they were in favor of “leaving choices to the Dark Side instead of standing up to the problem.”