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[GreenYes] Re: Green Emperor and Global Community Development

Professor Scherer-

The basis of my argument for a new social movement centered on Global
Community Development is the need to appeal to a new value system that will
make it possible to shift our focus from protecting a massive, centralized,
fossil fuel based world economy to one emphasizing renewable energy,
sustainable business, and community-oriented economies. We have the tools
and we have the knowledge (just 10 years ago I don¹t think that was true),
we just don¹t have the will. This shift requires informed, sustained
commitment by those who see the future?both in and out of the political
system. Whether it¹s true or not, the environmental movement has been
painted as oriented towards ³command and control² solutions that don¹t sit
right with a lot of folks. Dichotomies like ³Nature vs. Man² and
³Environment vs. Economy² make it very difficult for common citizens to feel
wholly comfortable with the environmental mission.

Indeed, I would say that within the environmental community there is?and has
been?confliction about what it wants to accomplish, and this conflictedness
is a serious problem if what you want is to change the values of a nation
and a world. I¹ve always felt that the human side of the environmental
equation has not gotten much play at all. This is why the environmental
justice movement is so disappointed in the mainstream leadership. And from
the layman¹s perspective, every time the media hypes a battle to protect a
species of bird or a lizard or panther at the perceived expense of hundreds
or thousands of jobs, the environmental movement becomes less effective
overall. A movement centered on community, economy, and society is a wholly
different ball game. This doesn¹t mean you stop thinking about pollution and
stop valuing nature, it just means that you move toward solving human
problems in a more Humanistic manner... It also means that the
environmental community can focus on what it does best: protection,
conservation, and controlling effluents.

What I¹m arguing for is re-defining several pieces of the puzzle; pulling
them out of the box and fitting them together in a new way that will both
appeal to the public and will actually set us on a new path. Imagine a
federal government committed to investing in sustainable development and
community enterprise rather than protecting a fossil fuel economy and
centralized power systems (read that any way you want). Imagine taking out
loans from Saudi Arabia and China to invest in mass transportation, new
energy, organic farming, and a zero waste infrastructure (all open-ended
business solutions that create sustainable jobs and positive,
growth-oriented commerce) instead of taking out loans to fight a ³War on
Terrorism² that is only making the defense industry and oil companies rich.
This isn¹t going to happen using puzzle pieces fit together in the old
manner. We are not gaining political capital, we are losing it. I may be
wrong in my proposal for a new movement that goes beyond the environmental
ethic, but I¹m not wrong about the fact that things aren¹t working. The
question is what we are going to do about it?particularly in the face of
something so massive, ambiguous and overwhelming as global climate change.
To me, the keyword for the 21st century is NEW. We need a new story, a new
politics, new values, new understanding, new technology, new social
structures, new goals, new voices, and new convictions.

So much great work has been done around the world with sustainable
development and environmental justice. It seems like those of us who have
been in the fight now for the past thirty to forty years need to look to
this next generation and the one coming up after them and figure out how to
support and guide them and remind them that the tools are there, they just
need to figure out how to use them.


on 2/8/06 4:18 PM, Donald Scherer at dschere@no.address wrote:

> These days I spend most of my time working on renewable energy and
> sustainability issues,
> but I have to agree with Scott: The entire rationale of Environmental Studies
> is the importance
> of systemic interconnection.
> And I know Kerry opposed wind turbine development off the coast of Martha's
> Vineyard, as
> well as supporting more drilling than I'd favor, but I'd much rather take
> constructive steps
> towards environmental improvement than wave a banner for a noble cause.
> Scott makes an important point about the availability of money. The nation's
> political
> choices have minimized the funding for constructive causes. All the more
> reason, then, to be
> finding and using clean energy money wisely and taking advantage of how
> fashionable the
> high prices of energy are making sustainability, including a focus on buying
> green products,
> avoiding toxins and promoting public health.
> Donald Scherer
> Environmental Ethicist
> Professor Emeritus of Applied Philosophy
> 419 308 7312 CELL
> 419 372 7142 OFFICE
> 419 372 8191 FAX

David Biddle, Executive Director

P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118
215-432-8225 (mobile)


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