"The history of environmentalism is largely the story of ordinary people pushing for change while governments, corporations and other established interests reluctantly follow behind." — Mark Hertsgaard
It's about freakin' time. Finally the field of democratic presidential candidates has offered up a contender with an environmental platform worthy of serious consideration. Up to this point clear ecological consideration has been lost to nebulous sound bites and the self-serving finger pointing of status quo politics. With all the talk of war and taxes, only one candidate seems willing to connect the dots between mankind's war on the environment with humanity's inability to maintain a lasting peace.
While listening to KPFK online I heard mention of a Global Green Deal (GGD). Making the reference was democratic presidential contender Dennis Kucinich. To be honest this was my first introduction the GGD, having believed the Green Party was a global attempt to bring about environmentally responsible governance in the international marketplace of ideas. So you can imagine my curiosity when the congressman stated his support for Green Party ideals.
Going online, I decided to search out the any and all references to the GGD. Sure enough, near the top of the list, was a link to the Dennis Kucinich campaign website. On this site, as in his speaking engagements, Kucinich says he will " initiate a "Global Green Deal" for renewable energy, to provide jobs at home, increase our independence from foreign oil, and aid developing nations with cheap, dependable, renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power."
My Kucinich also states, as president, he would reverse the course on most Bush Administration policies as well as supporting the Kyoto Protocol.
This is all well and good. And need I say, severely needed. What strikes me as odd however is the complete vacuum Mr. Kucinich seems to be living in. Has he never heard of the Green Party? Environmental policy based in ecological wisdom is one of the four pillars on which the Green Party foundation has developed an international political movement. For decades the Green Party has been calling for global environmental cooperation and restraint. And for decades the Republican/Democrat duopoly has done its best to undermine any legitimate attempts by those not beholding to corporate profiteers, to advance sound and sustainable environmental policy.
In no way should my commentary regarding the greening of the Democratic Party be seen as a criticism, it's not, far from it. Who knows, when the Democrats nominate their usual business as usual candidate Mr. Kucinich will get a clue, thereby completing his conversion, and join the Green Party. Personally I know quite a few Greens who have registered Democrat just so they can vote for Congressman Kucinich in the Democratic primaries. Of course they will reregister enabling their Green vote to be counted in the fall of 2004.
My web search also introduced me to the author who first purposed the Global Green Deal. Featured in Time Magazine's Earth Day 2000 issue, Mark Hertsgaard proposed the idea in an article of the same name. Hertsgaard's green deal envisions environmental restoration being "the biggest economic enterprise of our time, a huge source of jobs, profits and poverty alleviation." Using market incentives and government leadership, the Global Green Deal would do for environmental technologies what government currently does for polluting and resource reducing industries.
Kudos to Mr. Kucinich for picking up on the idea of a Global Green Deal and bringing ecological sustainability to the presidential debate.
As the United States stumbles deeper into debt and foreign intrigue, voters need to hear from every candidate how they plan to restore the decades of environmental policy eviscerated by the Bush Administration. Candidates from every political party should go on record as well. The era of ecological neglect is coming to an end.
The mismanagement of the environment and the blatant disregard of biological reality on the part of the Bush Administration guarantee ecological responsibility will be front and center in the 2004 Presidential election.
Discussing the Global Green Deal is a great way to begin the debate. Mr. Kucinich has raised the issue; the question now is will the other democratic candidates rise to the occasion.
Welcome to the Green Party Mr. Kucinich.