Thursday, December 02, 2010

A climate of Green Change

One year ago almost all of mainstream media was focused on the Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen. Even Obama attended. The primary action was to kick the can down the road, promising solutions to be developed later.

This week, we have caught up to the can and climate change negotiators are meeting again in Cancun. The choice of location is much better in the winter than was Copenhagen. But there was a special irony in that an unusual number of tropical storms and hurricanes have just about washed away the beaches in Cancun and the loss of land mass threatens the existence of some of the hotels that are housing the conference's guests.

Much has happened in the mean time. Little of it was reported in the mainstream media and almost none of it has to do with the Green Party. Have we gotten so tired of this story that the have collectively decided that the world is not worth saving? Is it a only a ploy to allow for creative destruction of the existing culture? I hope that neither of these is truly what is happening.

The facts of climate change are becoming more certain with every new report that comes out, no matter that we are having a La NiƱa year cooling CA for 2010. Mother Nature bats last.

I would argue that climate change and its associated economic effects will create opportunities for the GPCA if we organize to take advantage of them. The economic effects of climate change will first be noticed in the agricultural sector and California has the largest economy in the USA.

Such changes have already been noted by agriculture in other states. The best example is from this NY Times OpEd by a farmer from Minnesota.
THE news from this Midwestern farm is not good. The past four years of heavy rains and flash flooding here in southern Minnesota have left me worried about the future of agriculture in America’s grain belt. For some time computer models of climate change have been predicting just these kinds of weather patterns, but seeing them unfold on our farm has been harrowing nonetheless.
Callifornia will see the flip side of what is happening in the upper Midwest, drought rather than heavy, flooding rains. It may be that the major basis of the current water war is that everyone wants to grab all of the water they can now because they know in their gut that that the current largess can not last.

If there was ever an issue for which the Green Party truly has the natural answer, it is climate change as it forces us to re-think, agriculture, plowing new political ground as it were. We have had relatively good success with voter registration drives in the Central Valley. We need to put more organizational focus on building the party there while the duopoly panders to the money from Big Ag donors.



Martin Zehr said...

Climate change is about changing resources in the context of increasing demand. Greens would do well to start speaking for people in the real world. Meteorological trends impact the supply side of resource management, population increases impact demand. So far we have missed the substantive politics of water and resource management and left it to the administrators. These are political decisions and if we fail to advocate for substantive structural reforms, we will have NO say in the decisions that affect us the most.

Wes said...

I could not agree more. But, let me list the issues which rank higher on the progressive agenda: Gaza, 911 Truth, Iraq, Citizen's United giving corporations more political power and punishing Dick Cheney.

Unfortunately, that is more like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic compared to solving the resource problems of modern society.