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Re: [greenyes] More on religion and environment

Wenz said it is important for evangelicals to be clear that they have no allegiance to the Republican Party and that the GOP owes them nothing. In an interview, he said evangelicals, for example, are increasingly concerned about environmental issues, not an issue traditionally associated with the Republican Party.

''Global warming is a reality and is not a bunch of liberal hype," Wenz said in an interview.

John Jefferson Davis, a professor of systematic theology and Christian ethics at Gordon-Conwell, said, ''The Democratic Party is now saying, 'We've got to recover moral language,' but I would also like to see a Republican Party whose Christian component has a more holistic understanding of moral values. . . .

''Evangelicals are diverse in their concerns for moral values, abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research, but also an important part of tradition says matters of race, poverty, and the environment are, or should be, part of our ethic."   

* I think both parties have lost any grip on moral values. And try saying Zero Waste to a Democratic politician, and they'll laugh in your face. I don't even know how close to zero waste we could get or if zero waste is possible. But it won't happen from either of the two major parties I'm sorry to say. Yeah, a national movement from locally active people is great, but it can only go so far.

Waste Management:
Top 20 Recipients- 2004 Election Cycle

Rank

Candidate

Office

Amount

1

Bush, George W (R)

Pres

$259,044

2

Kerry, John (D)

Pres

$31,700

3

Lieberman, Joe (D-CT)

Senate

$21,000

4

Specter, Arlen (R-PA)

Senate

$17,750

5

Thune, John (R-SD)

Senate

$10,600

6

Davis, Geoff (R-KY)

House

$10,196

7

Penelas, Alex (D-FL)

Senate

$10,000

7

Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R-TX)

Senate

$10,000

9

Menendez, Robert (D-NJ)

House

$9,000

10

Bono, Mary (R-CA)

House

$8,850

11

Bradley, Jeb (R-NH)

House

$8,500

12

Crapo, Mike (R-ID)

Senate

$8,250

13

Bass, Charles (R-NH)

House

$7,500

14

Toomey, Pat (R-PA)

Senate

$6,500

14

Gephardt, Richard A (D)

Pres

$6,500

16

Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA)

Senate

$6,000

16

McCrery, Jim (R-LA)

House

$6,000

16

Boxer, Barbara (D-CA)

Senate

$6,000

16

Barton, Joe (R-TX)

House

$6,000

16

Ashburn, Roy (R-CA)

House

$6,000

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/recips.asp?Ind=E10

I didn't even think I'd find anything. I on't even know if that is bad or not. Waste Management does recycling, right? It's probably less profitable. It probably is. Plus there's all the other donations from all the other things that profit from excessive waste like oil-->weapons companies.

 Zero Waste

At its 2004 Green Congress in Chicago, the Green Party USA joined the Call for a Zero Waste society, but with its own radical perspective

No one knows how much waste modern society produces.  According to reports from Biocycle magazine, the United States generated 409 million tons of municipal waste in 2001; this was an increase of 140 million tons since 1990.  On the other hand, recycling is reported to have increased from only 8% in 1990 to 32% in 2001.  This indicates that the increase in actual disposed municipal waste for the same period was only 32 million tons; but the statistics may be deceptive.  For one thing, reporting on the modern waste stream is notoriously unreliable ( the EPA does not enforce careful reporting ).  For another, recycling is not always as green-friendly a process as many Greens assume: recycle glass may simply be crushed as a gravel substitute or paper shredded as feedlot bedding.  In both cases, virgin materials-new sand and old growth trees-may still be used in undiminished amounts and 'recycling' will actually expand the production process, and thus create even more waste.  Nor is reporting on recycling much better than for waste.  Finally, collected municipal waste is estimated to be no more than 20% of actual waste, and by at least one report only 2%.  Just consider all the trash heaps in vacant lots and 'junkers' in backyards in any city.

However, despite the valuable space taken by landfills and the leaching of toxic contaminants into groundwater, municipal waste is only a small part of the modern waste crisis.  Since the first mass burning of coal in the 19th century, waste carbon dioxide from fossil fuels has been accumulating in the atmosphere in an ever growing amount.  By trapping heat from the sun, this gaseous industrial waste is modifying the planet's climate, raising sea levels and threatening the melting of the polar icecaps.  Recently it has been discovered that, over decades, a significant percent of fossil fuel gases have been absorbed by the world's oceans.  This has delayed some of the worst effects of global warming, but at the same time has caused the oceans to become increasingly acidic, destroying coral reefs and killing off marine life.  Now, as Asia industrializes, the production of waste greenhouse gases is set to increase dramatically.  All ready, industrial pollutant clouds are being tracked through the atmosphere from China to New England.

A short article such as this does not even allow space for the many problem caused by toxic pesticide wastes.

It should be obvious, given the magnitude and international scope of the waste problem, that partial measures, such as effective recycling programs and taxes on fossil fuels (as important as these may be in themselves) are no real answer.  Like profit margins and advertising programs, waste and pollution are inherent aspects of the modern corporate industrial system.  This means that, in our real world, zero waste can only be reached by radically changing the system itself.

Can such a thing really be done?  In one sense, we know that it can because just such a change has happened at least once before.

In 1603, the leaders of Japan, fearing eventual Western domination, decided to close the country to ( what had been a busy ) outside commerce and create an isolated, self-sufficient economy based on near total recycling.  Forest conservation programs were instituted and labor intensive rice farming based on composting was developed.  Paper, wood and textile products were used, reused, and reused again.  Waste, essentially, ceased to exist.  Nor did economic isolation lead to poverty.  During the Tokugawa period ( 1603-1868), Japan's internal commerce flourished and its capital, Edo, at 1 million, grew to be the largest city in the world.  Furthermore-and unlike the case with contemporary Europe-epidemic diseases did not exist because human wastes were collected on a daily basis and carefully recycled into compost.

Of course, today is not the 17th century, nor are today's world leaders those of Tokugawa Japan.  Never the less, the example set by the Tokugawa period does demonstrate that, given sufficient motivation, human beings can make conscious, radical changes in their system of production; and on a mass scale ( the Tokugawa leaders also stopped firearms production ).  The question today is: who will lead in such change; will it be done democratically; and will it benefit the majority of the people or a favored elite?

These are questions of political will and organizing.

Reprinted from Green Politics, Fall 2004

Ecological Conversion

http://www.greenparty.org

3. We support making manufacturers responsible for the full life cycle of their products by taking back used packaging and products for remanufacturing, reuse, or recycling. The electronics industry in particular must redesign its products to eliminate toxic components and enable clean recycling. We support the Principles of Extended Producer Responsibility (www.grrn.org/epr/epr_principles.html), as outlined by the EPR Working Group of the Grassroots Recycling Network. Policies to assist this transition include bans, recycled content standards, and economic incentives such as taxation, special fees, and deposits.
 
11. Nature uses and reuses everything through continual recycling. We should pattern our use of resources after nature in sustainable cycles. The Green Party would:

Create a market for recycled goods through legal and tax incentives.

Institute convenient curbside recycling (including yard clippings) in all urban areas.

Manufacture recycled paper, labeled as such, out of a specific percentage of post-consumer waste paper.

Rapidly phase out composites and other materials that cannot be recycled.

Educate our children on the benefits of recycling.

Simplify procedures that let people choose not to receive junk mail.

Legislate deposits on glass, metal, and plastic beverage containers.

Legislate limitations in packaging and impose penalties for wasteful packaging.

Legislate in favor of recycling used tires, and against burning of tires (tire-derived fuels) in manufacturing.

Remove obstacles to the sale of items in bulk, and standardize containers to make their reuse easier.

Restructure garbage rates to encourage reduction in the volume of waste.

Design and produce high quality goods that are durable, repairable and, then, recyclable at the end of their useful life; this concept is the opposite of the current planned obsolescence.

http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/ecology.html#759291


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