Green capitalism on a roll - Pure Advantage campaign and Green Growth paper launched last week - Green Party right in on the action, and making hay while the sun shines

Green capitalism is on a roll at the moment.

Last Friday a group of business leaders launched their Pure Advantage campaign with full page ads in the daily papers headed, "Even if you don’t believe in climate change, there’s money to be made doing something about it."

This was followed by the classic "There’s money in being green and we need to start turning Green Growth into wealth."

That says it all, really.

One of the founders of Pure Advantage, 42 Below’s Geoff Ross, quotes a 2011 UN report which finds that looking ahead the global economy will need $1.9 trillion a year for investment in green technologies, and as Ross says, "If that’s not a market opportunity, I don’t know what is".

The launch of Pure Advantage follows the release last Wednesday of a discussion paper from the Government’s Green Growth Advisory Group, and I’m sure the timing was by no means means coincidental.

I had no idea the GGAG (what an acronym) existed until now, but chaired by Phil O’Reilly, CEO of Business New Zealand, and with members including Guy Salmon, long known as a champion of the environmental right, it is no wonder these people are all singing from the same song sheet.

In fact, as Brian Fallow reported on Friday, the GGAG was itself created as a result of lobbying by some of the same businessmen involved in Pure Advantage.

I don’t think there’s any deep conspiracy going on here, just very effective planning and implementation by business people savvy enough to know that to maximise business growth and profit taking in the age of climate change and resource depletion, green growth is their best chance for survival and success.

They’ve got plenty of political friends to back them up too, not only in Government, but also in Greenpeace, ACT, Labour and the Green Parties, who all showered praise on Pure Advantage last week.

As Green Co-leader Russel Norman said on Thursday, he looks forward to the Pure Advantage group "being an important ally for the Green Party’s vision of smart green prosperity".

Greenpeace climate campaigner Nathan Argent says, "We will all do well if we act on what Pure Advantage is telling us."

I realise that by now some readers of Pundit will be cheering them all on, and wondering why on earth a former Green Party type such as myself is sounding even slightly dubious about this course of events.

My fundamental issue with economic and business growth as the answer to the planet’s problems is that this growth is itself the source of the ecological crisis.

Big business is driven by the imperative to maximise profits for its shareholders, which means continually pushing for more – more resource extraction, higher margins from those whose labour it uses, and more pollution, all often just shifted from one part of the world to another.

No amount of ‘greening’ of the nature of this growth takes away from the fundamental fact that this planet cannot sustain infinite growth.

For a detailed summary of why market solutions won’t solve the problems of climate change and resource depletion, and on why there are natural limits to the greening of any economy, this 2011 paper Green capitalism: the god that failed by Richard Smith is one of the best I have ever read.

Smith is lucidly clear-eyed in rejecting the notion that the earth can be saved "for fun and profit", making it very clear that "we can’t shop our way to sustainability" and that the solution lies in working towards "collective democratic control over the economy to prioritise the needs of society and the environment", alongside effective national and international economic planning.

I can understand why Smith’s unabashedly ecosocialist approach is not a popular one, even among most environmentalists and Green Party members.

It is not easy challenging the very fundamentals of the economic system in which we live, working for a society in which everyone gets a fair deal, and in which we will all work together to nurture rather than destroy the natural world on which we depend for survival.

Yet someone has to do that work, and it is now quite clear that it won’t be our local Green Party leading the way.

Yesterday, Phil Goff became the first Labour Party leader since the Green Party entered Parliament in its own right in 1999 to openly offer the Green Co-leaders seats around a Labour Government Cabinet table.

A few weeks ago, the Green Party shifted its political positioning to make it clear that in the right circumstances they would consider entering a confidence and supply agreement with National.

And last week we saw its leadership lauding Pure Advantage.

The Greens are doing well out of all this, riding high in the polls, and as Dr Bryce Edwards said on Radio New Zealand this morning, they are increasingly being seen as "responsible, more moderate, and centrist".

I predict a Green election campaign focused on the concept of "prosperity for all", aimed at winning over even more of the blue green voters they happily share with both major parties.

Those of us who want a different kind of future - and who aren’t afraid of challenging the root causes of climate change and poverty – will be looking elsewhere come polling day.


Comments (26)

by on July 12, 2011

Hi Sue,

Great article, cheers. It’s nice to read a counterpoint to the prevailing ‘new green’ vision currently being promulgated by the Green Party and other groups such as Pure Advantage.

However, is your view, perhaps best summed up at the end of Richard Smith’s abstract realistic? He concludes that “if humanity is to save itself, we have no choice but to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a democratically-planned socialist economy.”

While a huge part of me would love for the whole world to turn away from avaricious greed and become some sort of zero-consumption nirvana, my inner cynic simply responds, “Yeah, good luck with that”.

Because after raping and pillaging the planet for hundreds of years for our own material gain, are we now to turn to the ‘new capitalists’ in China, India and other countries, and tell them, “Oops, we made a mistake, you can’t have cars, computers and refrigerators”?

I abhor the ghastly damage we continue to inflict upon our beautiful mother planet. And I salute all those who continue to give so much of themselves to fight for all of her children, on land and especially in the sea. But if real, durable change is to take place, to ameliorate and perhaps one day even stop this carnage, it must surely emanate from within the a political/economic framework that everyday citizens can understand and support, rather than fear and shun.

Kia kaha,

Jake Morrison

by Tim Watkin on July 12, 2011
Tim Watkin

Sue, if the worst predictions turn to be true, we may all be asked to make a much, much bigger sacrifice than we already are. But getting people into a sacrificial headspace en masse tends to take either a major event (earthquake, war etc) or s series of steps. Perhaps the Greens are choosing to get people moving in the right direction, rather than asking too much of them too soon?

Also, you say not a market solution. But it seems to me that one way we may avoid sacrifice en masse is if technology saves us, say in the way seed technology has done so much for third world agriculture or, I don't know, electricity helped save the whales etc, or the new light bulbs are cutting power costs. Point being, such technology is usually market driven, and so the market could yet have a hand in helping save the planet.

by Andin on July 12, 2011

"It is not easy challenging the very fundamentals of the economic system in which we live,"

This economic system has only really been around since-oh-mid last century. And the last few years have laid its shortcomings bare. Changes are going to have to go waaay deeper that changing our purchasing habits. Dont you think?

"Perhaps the Greens are choosing to get people moving in the right direction, rather than asking too much of them too soon?"

Sorry, but it sounds even worse when you say it like that.



by nommopilot on July 12, 2011

I agree, Tim, that the kind of shift in thinking will need to be gradual and for that reason I think that the greens are taking the right direction for now.

But Sue is right that growth of any type (green, pink or whatever) is not sustainable on a finite planet and I guess the question is whether these steps lead to a change of gear, a change of direction or just a different flavour of business as usual and I think it's up to those trying to sell it to us to show us what kind of a change is possible.

Usually with technological advances the extra capacity gained in efficiency increases is sopped up by growth rather than allowing any reduction in resource extraction or consumption.

by Sue Bradford on July 12, 2011
Sue Bradford

Thanks Jake, TIm, Andia & Mic for your thoughtful feedback on my post - really appreciated.  A few  points  in response, & further to my original blog:

* Making big changes does not necessarily equate with making big sacrifices.  Doing things differently may lead to a rise in real living standards for many people.  Doing without the excess of consumer goods which anaesthetise us against the fundamental alientation which is the defining characteristic of modern capitalism would not have to be a sacrifice.

*  Rejecting modern capitalism does not mean that I (or other ecosocialists of whom I'm aware) want a monolithic socialist state.  Far from it.  There are many options to build for a more democratic, participatory future than our current economic & political system allows.  The point re planning is that to save people & planet in the face of what's happening, we need a high level of planning and cooperation  - and  genuine community involvement - which isn't possible when corporate capitalism is in charge.

* Nor does moving away from modern capitalism mean a stagnant society without innovation.  I reckon some forms of market will always remain, but contrary to ruling mythology, innovation doesn't usually or necessarily come from the market - eg internet from military, much R & D from the universities.  High and low tech innovation can also burgeon from people themselves, & their own institutions - if they live in a what I call an 'enabling' society.

* Technological fixes will continue to provide answers into the future, but we need to be careful that the cost is not more than the cure.  We can't count of them, and there have been many myths and dreams in this area that have not materialised. (hydrogen cars anyone?)

* Small steps may well be required to bring people on board with the kind of changes needed - but these steps should be in a useful direction.  It's hard to see how a step backward helps.  One thing that is more disheartening than frightening people is selling solutions that only make the problem worse.

* Jake is absolutely right when he says change must come from a 'political/economic framework that everyday citizens can understand and support, rather than fear and shun.'

* This is why I am so disappointed in the direction our Green Party has taken.  Rather than show  leadership and commitment, inspiring people to develop new economic, social and political models that could help us transition out of the capitalism which is destroying the planet and many ordinary peoples' lives, the Greens have given up and become just another competing brand on the supermarket shelf of political parties, who pretty much all stand for the same thing.

The pity of it is, they've chosen to take this direction just as the ecological and economic crises are becoming more acute internationally, and just as many  people (including many in the younger generations) here and elsewhere are realising we need to work together to make a genuinely brave new future, not just put up with making  the best of the old planet-destroying system.



by Tim Watkin on July 12, 2011
Tim Watkin

Doing things differently may lead to a rise in real living standards for many people.

Yes, but... probably sacrifice for many of us in rich countries who are doing most of the consuming and most of the eco damage. And that's a hard sell.

Accept that innovation doesn't always come from the market - and it'd be hard to quantify how much does. But the move towards more solar panels, electric cars, algae power etc is largely market driven... and the line between universities and markets is increasingly blurred, for good or ill, depending on your view.

And am I really reading Sue Bradford praising the military for its innovation!? Is this a moment in history? (Just winding you up).

by Philip Grimmett on July 12, 2011
Philip Grimmett

A great post Sue. Straight up no messing about.  Looks like you have to find a new political vehicle to drive!  Your analysis of the big picture is the most realistic I have heard from a public figure in New Zealand.  Trouble is, it is unpalatable,  and seen as toxic,  to the general public.  But your analysis, and statement of the dire global predicament  needs public exposure and discussion.  This should be the starting point for all  party policy development in NZ.  To Tim. Don't get to bogged down in details at this point.  We will never agree on them. Apparently we need five planet earths to keep consumming the earths resources at our present rate.  Sue, I fear is right.  Radical action is what is required although I can't see that happening in time.  Tim.  You use the word sacrifice.  People will have to sacrifice .. no question. Particularly the wealthy West. This will be less if we do it now or massive if we procrastinate. This is Lord Stern's position on this matter. Global warming and population growth is interlinked with global poverty and justice.  How exciting.

by Andin on July 12, 2011

* Jake is absolutely right when he says change must come from a 'political/economic framework that everyday citizens can understand and support, rather than fear and shun.'

Well thats a big ask where to start with that. As Tim says- and I'll just pull it back to NZ now if I may- its a hard sell. Most NZers don't think of themselves as really wealthy, and there's always Australia to make us feel small.

Maybe an apathy takes over.......sorry no answers. And well, if anyone's looking to the USA political system for answers. Dream on.

by on July 12, 2011

Sue, 'Green growth' is not a form of material growth; it means transitioning a larger slice of the world economy to a form that uses fewer material resources. This means that 'Green growth' is actually synonymous with material contraction.

How can you possibly, in good conscience, oppose structural changes to the economy that mean humanity can produce the same thing with fewer mines, less oil pumped out of the ground, and less fossil carbon released into the atmosphere?

Sure, a Green economy is not the only thing society needs - we need to reduce inequality and material resource wastage, we need a lot more government investment in research and innovation, and we need to work hard to ensure and improve on human rights and fair decision making. All of these are things that Green Party policy addresses.

The Green Party does one good thing, and you write a post pretending that the Green Party isn't also doing all the other things it is doing - a post that would only make sense if the Green Party's *only* policy was market-based Green growth.  You I know that you know this is not true, and so your post strikes me as incredibly disingenous. So my question to you is, why are you trying to malign the Green Party in such an intellectually dishonest way? Do you still hold a grudge against the Green Party for not electing you as co-leader? Or is politics nothing more than a rugby game to you - are you just trash-talking the Greens because you are now wearing the Mana jersey?

by on July 13, 2011

The Green direction is not a new one, & i think that the gist of what Sue Bradford is pointing out  - through her own filter - is that it is not a new paradigm emerging but rather the last efforts of the current paradigm in trying to save itself.

The increased politicalzation of society at all levels that this represents, would be catastrophic in meeting, among other things, the ability of wealth creation to restore it's natural place of enhancing the connection between the natural world in which it takes places to the diminishing returns of the current situation. In this regard it would only increase this serious dis-connection, as many preliminary signs indicate at this point in time.

The paradigm that will embody what the Green clothing of the old one is suppose to, is not one of proclamation in a political sense, & as such, understanding of such applications is not something that can be grasped in the leverages sought of political solidarities in underlying motivations. This paradimg being really one of the infinite in play, to our seperation from same, is a bridge that is simply unable to be expressed properly in political polarities as those are the awarenesses generally to be expanded in the creation of co-opeartive bonds that are the source of the phase change.


by Andin on July 13, 2011

Or is politics nothing more than a rugby game to you - are you just trash-talking the Greens because you are now wearing the Mana jersey?

Haha........Well I guess some one had to say it.

Still partisanship dies hard eh!

by Jeanette Fitzsimons on July 13, 2011
Jeanette Fitzsimons

Well, Sue is absolutely right of course that green growth is an oxymoron - you can't keep growing anything physical in a finite world. But there are good things that need to grow as well as bad things that need to shrink. If business can make money shifting their efforts from bad things (coal?) into good things (wood waste and purpose grown wood to substitute for coal so we can still have some steel?) is that necessarily a bad thing?

If you were designing a system to live within the limits of the planet and care for all its people you certainly wouldn't start with capitalism. But given that's what we have, and the only thing most people know, and change is desperately urgent, like in the next 5 years - what do you do with it? What happens to the corporates which currently deliver the goods and services we buy and in which many small people have invested their life savings? They aren't going to just go away and there's no appetite publicly for recolution and confiscation and nationalisation. I'm afraid that if we have to wait to change the whole economic system and grow a form of democratic eco-socialism that has never been tried anywhere let alone succeeded in leaving us a blueprint, we will still be designing it when the oceans close over our heads and food wars break out all over.

Of course it would be better to run society as a participatory, democratically controlled egalitarian economy that plans to meet human needs sustainably, but the big problem remains. What seem like the obvious priorities to us - quality food and shelter for everyone, products that last for ages and can be repaired, renewable energy, local production - just aren't the priorities most people would choose. We assume a democratically controlled socialism would give us the answer we support - where is the evidence for that? And if the people, given all the facts, choose more shopping malls and one trip packaging and junk food and waste, because they have endured generations of advertising and corporate culture that inculcates those values - what then? and how likely are they to choose to limit their own consumption even more severely so that people in developing countries can get enough food and fresh water?

I must admit the advertisement ""Even if you don’t believe in climate change, there’s money to be made doing something about it."  made me puke too. But if that is how, holding our noses, we can get business to move in a more sustainable direction, that is actually a step forward, not backward.

There are people in Pure Advantage who understand the ecological crisis and share our urgency for change. Philip Mills, who initiated the whole project, personally bought 121 copies of Lester Brown's Plan B and sent it to all MPs. But he knows what makes business listen.  The future is made up of tiny steps.

by Richard James McIntosh on July 13, 2011
Richard James McIntosh

"...the last efforts of the current paradigm to try and save itself"

That's a stunning point, Nic. I will think about that one for a while.

On the subject of trading a way out of considerable difficulty, consider that Karl Polanyi showed - in The Great Transformation - that life as we know it, and this is especially relevant in NZ, is essentially a society embedded in a market.

Life (labour) and earth (land) are commodified in this way of living. Consider the amazing things which have resulted, space exploration for example.

God has also 'died' along the way, but faith has somehow to find a way through. We all have to do what we have to do, and so I congratulate the Greens for attempting to find the levers they need, in order to gain a measure of power.

It isn't the only way to power and influence, however.

No reira e hari ana te ngakau ki te whakarongo ou korero, e Sue.


by Richard James McIntosh on July 13, 2011
Richard James McIntosh

Hi Jeanette!

Could be time to review the status of your Pundit Profile.

I hope life outside the house is treating you well.


by Tim Watkin on July 13, 2011
Tim Watkin

Welcome Jeanette, good to have your thoughts.

by Sue Bradford on July 13, 2011
Sue Bradford

Kia ora ano people, and can I add my welcome and  thanks to Jeanette for taking the time to contribute to this debate.

A few more points in response to some of what several of you have said, further to my blog and comments yesterday:

* One of the key points in all this is that the driving legal and economic imperative and obligation of big business is to make profits for their shareholders; anything else is subidiary to that.  Richard Smith's paper provides lengthy and detailed analysis of this and related matters, and if you doubt my word, and you haven't read 'Green capitalism: the god that failed' I gently urge you to invest the time and effort, it's worth it.

* In connection to this, Andrew is trying to make out that companies like The Warehouse are seriously going to change the nature of growth and actually undertake 'growth' that is really a material contraction.  This is pure fantasy - there is no way The Warehouse, for example,  is going to stop selling as much as it can, for as big a profit as it can.

* I am also accused of taking the approach I have because of 'sour grapes' with the Green Party.  This ain't so.  In fact, I spent some years inside the Green Party trying to do everything I could to persuade my friends and colleagues that moving to the right was a big mistake, and a big shift away from the party's founding principles. (Shift to right = the party's decision to be open to a supply and confidence agreement with National, Green support for Emissions Trading Schemes, and  moves now to focus on winning the business/blue green vote).

The coleadership election was in part  a reflection of where  party members were at in this debate, and I totally accept the outcome of the GP's democratic decision making processes, both in relation to the leadership race, and in its new political positioning.

However, I don't think this means that respectful debate shouldn't continue, even though I'm now outside the party.

* In addition, I now spend quite a lot of time as a political commentator, paid and unpaid, and in that role it would be quite odd if I didn't  comment on matters about which I care, and about which I have some knowledge.

* Nic's comment about the Green Party  not being about a new paradigm emerging but rather as being about the last effort of the old paradigm to save itself is, I think,  quite an astute insight.

* I'm glad Jeanette had a similar reaction to mine in terms of your initial response to the Pure Advantage ads  - thought you might!

with best wishes to all of you, sue




by Claire Browning on July 13, 2011
Claire Browning

Richard Smith's paper provides lengthy and detailed analysis of this and related matters, and if you doubt my word, and you haven't read 'Green capitalism: the god that failed' I gently urge you to invest the time and effort, it's worth it.

I've read it. Jeanette is responding to it. It doesn't answer her points, Sue; and neither do you.

by Flat Eric on July 13, 2011
Flat Eric

Big business is driven by the imperative to maximise profits for its shareholders, which means continually pushing for more – more resource extraction, higher margins from those whose labour it uses, and more pollution, all often just shifted from one part of the world to another.

I disagree with this: airlines and aircraft manufacturers, for example, are pushing for less resource use through technological improvements. As Tim said, this push for technological improvement is market-driven.  Airlines will still make money if they can operate fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft.

by John Monro on July 13, 2011
John Monro

Hello Sue, Jeanette and other contributors.

Thanks for your thoughts here, everyone. It's hard being a Green party member. There's this constant tension between what one knows one really needs to do, and what one thinks might be "acceptable" by the population at large if one is to get worthwhile number of votes. But underneath this dilemma is a more fundamental one: are Greens a  member of a political party, or a member of a radical movement?  I am quite certain that the Green Party under Russel and Metiria have become noticeably more centrist, less radical: the "acceptable" vote on the Christchurch earthquake bill was a prime example, others are the provisional agreement on the ETS (every Green should know this is a complete con), or the inability to propose a permanent ban on deep-sea oil exploration and extraction.

But things are changing, and very quickly. I think give it another year or two, and the world and local political and economic landscape may have altered beyond recognition, and this is why I so agree with Sue; the Greens need to be absolutely secure in their fundamental tenets, and many of them are pretty "left-wing" (in its outmoded conventional political analysis)  and they will be vital in the years ahead. It won't be just a matter of earning new riches, it will be a matter of clinging to a functioning society, and our very survival. . Here are some "things": the collapse of the Euro, the USA defaulting on its debt, a collapse of Arctic Sea ice, an implosion of the Chinese bubble, increasing food shortages and oil depletion; these are real and immediate "things" and not one is the least implausible.

In which case the public's wish to continue shopping-to-dropping at the local mall, winging their way to exotic destinations and commuting 50 kms per day in their two-ton tin box might well not constrained by any Green political action, however severe,  but by something rather more powerful, otherwise called reality.

To paraphrase Richard, above, if you abandon your "levers of power" now for expediency's sake, they will no longer be available when you really need them.

History is replete with examples of societies who come to grief when the widely "acceptable" political and economic principles become redundant, after what might be generations of ascendancy. That is what is happening now, and change can happen with frightening rapidity. The Green party, by remaining true to its principles, including its radical ones, might then in a position to guide and help society when it would otherwise be completely floundering. It is absolutely typical that the NZ Herald, understanding nothing of all this, should pontificate "Radicalism at both ends of the spectrum has had its day" when radicalism has never been more vital. "Responsibility and goodwill are ruling now" the Herald continues, by which it means, of course, a continuation of the neo-liberal monetarist "consensus", with which we can all "responsibly" agree, noting what an excellent job it's been doing over the last thirty years or so.

Even so, I won't, like Sue, be looking for a different party to represent my interests come polling day; whilst the Green party is possibly embarking  on a descent down a slippery slope of political expediency - I am hoping that that enough of the membership recognise this and can get their parliamentary representatives to understand these anxieties and stand rather firmer for these deeper principles. Why, even Labour is beginning to change, they're positively marching leftward, well, perhaps that's an exaggeration, inching at any rate.

by on July 13, 2011

I'm a novice at this , but I'm struck by this part of Sue's article:

" market solutions won’t solve the problems of climate change and resource depletion, and on (why) there are natural limits to the greening of any economy"

I've always thought that "green" means, in a word, sustainable. Am I wrong about that?

If I am right about that, then any problem with any climate change, however it is caused, will be solved by adaptation. I cannot see how the market will not be a major force in bringing about that adaptation, whether it is the market for food/fuel, space, housing, etc. It seems to me that those who do not adapt will be those who are not market participants, i.e. those living a subsistence existence . Those in the market will have an economic imperative to ensure their own sustainability.

Similarly, I think, scarce resources will be priced higher in the market, and usage will decline, while at the same time alternatives will be sought and used.

I cannot see that there are limits to improving sustainability; it is what the human race has always done. If it is considered that, in the final analysis, only population reduction will improve sustainability, there is an obvious limit as to how far that can go, before it is counter productive. That would be the point at which human genetic diversity has been lost to such an extent that changing environments might place the race at risk.

Of course I acknowledge that the market rarely produces overnight change, but it is not clear that this is necessary, or a good thing, anyway. It seems to me that behaviours will change in response to emerging market conditions, except , as I suggested, where individuals do not participate in a market.

I would welcome correction, especially where it is clear that I have misunderstood.

by alexb on July 15, 2011

Respect to Jeanette, she makes an excellent point. I don't think Sue's being quite fair though. After all, what is more important, a Green Party with 10+ seats who support capatalism provided it becomes more environmentally responsible, or a Green Party with 6 seats who refuse to be part of any internal change in capatalism? We have very limited time. The Greens really need to make a move now, or it might be too late to fix anything.

by Richard Aston on July 18, 2011
Richard Aston

As Jeannette says capitalism is all we have and the need is pressing.  By the way nice to hear your reasoned voice again Jeannette, I have missed it.
Changing the whole world order to a "collective democratic" system, whatever that really means, to get to the roots of the eco crisis is a tall order. All political systems are flawed, regardless of the idealism that starts them, because people are flawed. Any new political system will get filled with many of the same people from the old system. New systems won’t solve the human problem.
I think the challenge is how do we work with what is spoiled, how do we influence, infiltrate policy making in flawed government and flawed business to bring about lasting and positive change for the earth and in the process change government and business thinking.   How do we keep this anchored to the real purpose, us humans? Lets face it the simplest way to save the earth is to remove all human beings from it.  Cleary that is not going to happen, so the challenge is how do we humans live in a proper relationship to the mothership.  To my mind this includes getting business on board with the process. If green policies can become good business what on earth is wrong with that?
Sue you are right in saying business ( and its need for growth) has been much of the cause of the eco crisis but so has government policy and in a deeper sense so has the Judeo-Christian world view that has dominated thinking for so long, the old  Man has dominion over nature argument has done much damage.  The world is changing and with it, our world view is changing. As I see it this process of change is a creative one, it’s no longer good enough to look back on what worked and build on it. It’s no longer good enough to keep fighting the left/right us/them battles trusting the dialectic dynamic to get us through.  For me the big revelation from deep ecology ( and the news physics) is everything is connected , us and the earth, us and them, green liberals and business. 
We need creative and inclusive approaches to our current eco crisis and this will require creative thinking.

Sue, I applaud your idealism, I applaud your passion and I especially applaud your questioning of everything.

by on July 26, 2011

When this vehicle crashes I don't think the fact we just bought a new Prius is going to prevent our skull from emptying its contents on to the ashphalt.

by on September 26, 2011
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by John Stroup on November 21, 2011
John Stroup

Collectivism does not work, and not from lack of attempts or trying. Attempts so far have proved that the less a government is held accountable, the more corrupt it becomes. Stalin, Pol Pot... These attempts  have hopefully inoculated  against further outbreaks. I'm not surprised that collectivism creeps into the "Green" conversation.

The “Green” agenda presupposes that there is a need for doing something. This is an assumption that is problematic.

Collectivist, social justice is doing a little unravelling as it is being found out that it is unsustainable. Ironic, that.

Canada, the US’ liberal neighbour to the north, has made a conservative move in selecting their government. Canada has  rejected any carbon tax/ETS/cap and tax policy and the US seems not able to pass anything similar, even with a Democrat Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) and  Executive (President), and they wanted to. It seems as though the only ones to bite on that hook have been down here in the southern hemisphere, barring Europe.

The “Green” agenda is a means to an end. It is leverage to shift center-right people groups to the left. There is resistance as can be evidenced by public opinion polls that show that both New Zealand’s and Australia’s adoption of a “climate change policy” is going to be toxic as well over 50% of people (in some cases, depending on the poll up to 70%) do not substantively  or ideologically support it. The "Green" agenda is less about eco-issues, and more about social issues. The UN backs this up with their policy statements about "carbon taxes" being about shifting wealth, and getting people to go along with this, and they're not.

Collectivism does not work, never has and never will.


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