Monday, May 14, 2007

Deep Green Thinking

Since I started this blog, I have been concerned that the Green Party had abandoned its ecological roots. I know that some, like Lorna Salzman, have been saying this for years. Now, I am not as outspoken as Lorna, but it was apparent to me that there was a lack of attention, especially on issues of water, the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta, levee repair and what are we going to drink when the next disaster hits.

Now, I find that the LA Greens are focusing their next meeting (Wed. May 16) on a presentation by Irma Muñoz of Mujeres De La Tierra. Muñoz will address a very important question, Why traditional environmental leaders need to learn the language of community and hopefully provide the right answers.

Additional comment. Mujeres De La Tierra came out of the Hispanic Community. This should be expected. The Public Policy Institute of California reported that Latino's were more likely than other ethnic groups to be concerned about environmental issues. Maybe, they realize that the environment is where they live while, for far too many, the environment is a place you visit. So, I am not surprised that this effort arose as it did.

2 comments:

Mato Ska said...

Part of our programme and strategies as they relate to issues impacting on ecological restoration, also should motivate us towards working to redefine stakeholders in a model of ecological democracy that empowers them rather then marginalizing them as current governmental entities do. This means beginning to re-define our constituencies as they relate to our programme. Small farmers have an interest in preventing sprawl and encouraging localized economies that integrate urban and rural economic activity. Urban dwellers have a stake in reconstruction of brownfields and minimization of greenfield development, as well as needed improvements to urban planning, resource management and investment in public infrastructure. Thinking Strategically and Acting Deliberately means that we move forward to gain new support and not merely to make statements. It means allying with small businesses developing alternative energy sources. It means supporting the engagement of youth in new CCCs that facilitate improvements and foster a positive relation with their ecological systems. It means developing local sources for alternative fuels and providing evidence that working to reduce global warming is in peoples' interest. Developing adaptive governance where stakeholders are elected to regional water authorities or forest management bodies, or long-term resource planning entities will empower and decisively demonstrate the real alternatives to the status quo parties.

Wes said...

I agree with this "...towards working to redefine stakeholders in a model of ecological democracy that empowers them rather then marginalizing them as current governmental entities do. This means beginning to re-define our constituencies as they relate to our programme."

The real question is one of how best to do that and who is the "our" you are referring to. The Green Party is not as homogeneous as we portray it to be.

One of my real concerns is the fact that there are not many who care enough to think about these issues and, when they do, they look to the easy answers of the past. Want more water? Build more dams. And all the water districts support this type of thinking.

Some Water Districts have elected directors (Santa Clara Valley Water District and East Bay Municipal Water District in my area). We need to focus on getting Greens elected to the Boards. Others, like the Metropolitan Water District in SoCal have Director appointed by the jurisdictions (Cities) that they serve. You have to watch these very, very carefully.