Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is Green Political?

This quaintly humorous map of the USA in 1998 was rather a harbinger of things to come. It showed quite accurately where the political battlefields were to be with respect to the "Green" movement, which became crucial factors in the elections which led to an administration that undermined environmental regulations for the sake of the "old oil" business bottom line. It also points out that California is a Republican state despite its liberal-progressive bent.

Remember the election of 2000 that the Florida Supreme Court's order for a recount of the disputed Florida vote was overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in a politicized 5-4 decision, of which dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens remarked: "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

Remember the election of 2004 in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency.

So Al Gore never had a chance to save the polar ice cap, or the bears. Unfortunately, this also allowed the entrenched power structure to craft structures that kept old, polluting industries and development in place and force the expansion of more pollution and carbon into the environment. Under the guise of "green". So, of course, the politics of Green are even more powerful than its so-called socialist or revolutionary components. This "manifest destiny" continues as the driver for the consumption of more and more resources, having transmutated from a vision of freedom and liberty to the ethos of marketing and consumption.

This is surprising, given that the true vibrancy and creativity in new enterprises is at the forefront of science and innovation, which is what built this country into a global power during World War II. That character of "yankee ingenuity" and "can-do" has been smothered by the old power base in order to protect its earning power and enhance its assets. These early signs of decrepitude don't bode well for green industries here in the USA, so be on the lookout for new initiatives elsewhere on the globe. The next power structure will be...?