Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What to do after 10-10-10

There was a lot of feel good about participating in events on 10-10-10, especially those identified by and Bill McKibben. So, now that this has passed, what should we be doing? And why were we not doing that before?

One of the blogs that I follow the Climate Progress site led by Joe Romm. In response to one of Romm's posts today, Jeff Huggins provided a disheartening assessment of the current situation comment #7).

Finally — and maybe this is just the mood I’m in presently, or maybe it’s an early sign — I am starting to deeply wonder whether my comments are doing any good whatsoever. Indeed, or also, I spent Sunday at three 10/10/10 events, and enjoyed them all, but I’m also starting to wonder whether my activities in those sorts of things are doing any good whatsoever. I do not get the feeling that the movement(s) are thinking creatively, nor do I feel that any of the movements are reaching out to me for ideas in any sincere and interested way. The only things I hear from the movements are requests to stick with it, requests for donations, requests to participate in national listen-in conference calls (after which I have no idea whether anyone even considered the ideas I submitted afterwards), and encouragement to attend events that occur once every year.

In short, I am beginning to “run on empty”, both with respect to the activities and (sometimes) with respect to my involvement here. And I think that’s a sign, potentially. People are motivated by actual progress, by belonging, by feeling that they are being listened to, and by feeling that their efforts are making a difference. And as I said, I’m feeling like I’m running on empty, which isn’t sustainable of course

As Greens we should have a well thought out legislative agenda, a clear policy statement as to exactly what we should be doing... but we don't. That various efforts that arose since the 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention have not provided any more than a discussion platform, read by few and with only a minority of those contributing.

In California, we have a major policy issue right now. That is the defeat of Prop 23. Nothing on any current agenda has more long reaching impact, such a potential to lead us down a path from which it might not be possible to recover. It is an obvious issue for Greens. The vote against Prop 23 at the last plenary was essentially unanimous. We just have to stop being afraid of the environmental label. We have allowed our opponents to define who we are and we have not stood up to say that "I am proud to be responsible for the environment."

Just ask yourself which "regulations" would Meg Whitman remove first should she become Governor.


Tian said...

At the Santa Clara County Green Party meeting Jim Stauffer was saying that the Statewide Greens are looking into having a strategy retreat to nail down plans.

I'm less than enthused about this. I told him about the recent moment at a Bike Party Bird Ride where this guy said "In five years we want to have regular rides where everybody respects red lights." People heard it, got it, and are moving forward with the idea as part of "who we are."

I think real long term planning works like that. You absorb it as part of the culture, and pass it on because it just makes sense. I question the value of creating documents that aren't widely read as a planning tool.

Wes said...

I tend to agree with your distrust of documents, Tian. However, my experience with the EcoAction Committee has shown me that there a many who grab at solutions without considering what the implications might be or whether, in fact, they will work. It is like the nuclear hawks who repeat ad nauseum how cheap nuclear is when that so called truth no longer holds. It leads to Greens advocating dumb solutions, just as nuclear is a dumb solution.

We need some with real subject expertise to help define those solutions that make sense and then for the rest of us to promote them.