It's time for a Deep Green vision for the United States--and the world.

Author:Scipes, Kim
Position:Surviving Climate Change - Viewpoint essay

The Green movement around the world has presented a myriad of ideas and projects, each suggesting the way forward to a Green society. However, because there is no overarching vision, we have moved in this direction and that, stumbling from one good idea to another, but never in a coordinated, determined fashion toward an overarching goal that could unity people around the world in a common project.

In the meantime, however, those opposed to Green solutions have been able to dismiss many if not most of our ideas because of their inconsistency. It's not like they would accept our positions if they were consistent--it's not that simple--but because our vision is a direct threat to their perceived interests they do not want to have to deal with the environmental movement. And as long as we do not force them to deal with our ideas, they won't.

Thus, we in some ways have become our own worst enemies, having our opponents on the run intellectually, but unable to "close the deal." It's time to project a vision that is realistic, but is bold in its reach.

How can we do this? Are there any standards that we must advance that are bottom-line requirements? And even after we offer some standards, how can we move forward?

Three interrelated criteria

I think there are three interrelated requirements that any Deep Green vision must put forth. First, it must have a global focus: we are part of a globalizing world, this globalization is intensifying, and thus any solution advanced must have a global perspective; thus we must be pro-globalization, not anti-globalization.

At the same time, however, we must recognize that "globalization" has two aspects, not just one as the media present. One aspect is top-down, corporate globalization, whose purpose is only to ensure that multinational corporations have unimpeded access to the entire planet, regardless of the consequences to and effects upon people and the environment. It is this limited and detrimental approach that is presented as "globalization" in the corporate media:

Yet, there is another aspect: it is the bottom-up, grassroots globalization of women and men around the world, who are seeking another world, a better world, that is based on ecological and economic sustainability. It is this grassroots globalization, the global social and economic justice movement, that is fighting the values and the future of corporate globalization. Thus, the very values of the two different aspects of globalization are opposed to each other--and it is the values and the efforts of the global social and economic justice movement that I want to advance. (See Amory Starr's 2005 Global Revolt.)

Yet the demand for a global approach is more than just based on values; it is practical: pollution, for example, does not stop at national borders. Pollution from Mexico will affect the United States, and vice-versa.

Second, I think any proposed vision must be based on solidarity, the principle of people looking out for the best interests of each other, and doing that collectively. Thus, any solution cannot be based on individualism, which pits individual interest against other individuals' interests, but must be based on collectivism. This takes us back to an old slogan in the labor movement: an injury to one is an injury to all!

And third, any vision must be based on emancipation, not domination. We must consider what will work for all the people in the world, and which will enhance their lives overall, even if some are inconvenienced. The idea is to improve the well-being of people...

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