October 2004


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Tadit Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Oct 2004 18:11:41 -0400
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        while I appreciate the need for upliftment and positive messages, the
Apollo Alliance has been mostly stuck at the absraction stage. Unions in
the US with a few exceptions tend to the conservative end of the ideology
scale. There are fairly definite historical reasons for this fact. In
addition to these historical reasons ther is also the fact that most of
the US union leadership bears a very corporate like worldview.  Samuel
Gompers outright considered unions to be junior partners to business
management.  Apparently the environmentalists and the professional union
people are unable to do more than talk and take care of theor personal
limited agendas.  I believe that the Apollo Alliance has been in the
talking stage for over two years, despite the considerable fanfare.  Let
say it this way, most conventional union leadership relate to
globalization issues by trying to prevent jobs from being outsourced
rather than being able to create new indutrial situtaions or working in a
substantive way with workers elsewhere in the world. Note further that US
unions have often laundered money to finance anti-democratic
plots(rececntly in Venezuela) or to organize company "unions" (in Columbia
for instance).
        The US environmental organizations tend to be top heavy in how they use
their resources, largely for lobbyists, lawyers, and researchers, and not
much action on the grassroots level, the exception perhaps has been the US
Sierra Club's recent efforts to get out the vote toward a regime change.
        Putting the two groups together has been less than inspiring since both
are more familiar with adversarial and legislative activities, than in
doing creative economic development. It seems a bit like most bankers and
small business owners imagine themselves to be "entrepreneurs," but are
quite lacking in the problem solving skills or imagination that are
essential.  I truly wish that it was otherwise, and it is not.

        A better approach may be to simply implement changes in your own life and
in your own community to lead the way by example.  Large institutions are
much more interested in stability and increasing their domain.  Change is
threatening.  Looking for reform to begin at the top is contrary to
history at least.  Consider trying to establish a local "green" business
revolving loan fund, so that environmentalists can invest in their own
communities. In time the demand for larger industrial enterprises may
develop. Look into the ZERI concept of businesses clustering together to
reuse or recycle the wastes and by-products of other businesses. Another
blunt piece of information is that in the US anyway there seems to be a
lot of talk about environmental issues, but very few seem to spend the
time to reduce their own energy and material consumption.  Tadit

> We environmentalists have dedicated ourselves to
> weaving apocalyptic futures and horrendous worst case
> scenarios.  (I myself must plead guilty to this).
> Maybe we should devote more time and resources to
> visualizing and describing the ecological society that
> we aspire to create.  In other words, let's talk about
> solutions, proposals and alternatives- ecological
> agriculture, renewable energies, ecotourism, etc.
> In a very valuable recent document on global warming,
> authors Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus point
> out that Martin Luther King made history with the
> phrase "I have a dream".  They ask if he would have
> made the same impact by saying "I have a nightmare".
> No wonder we enviros scare people off with our
> constant gloom and doom.
> This is why I feel very uplifted by the work of the
> APOLLO ALLIANCE, which educates people on the issue of
> global warming without horror stories but with a
> positive and inspiring vision of energy independence
> and jobs for all.
> -CRM
> The Apollo Alliance for Good Jobs and Clean Energy
> "The Apollo Alliance is building a broad coalition
> within the labor, environmental, business, urban, and
> faith communities in support of good jobs and energy
> independence.  The Alliance is developing public
> education campaigns and communications strategies to
> link allies and build a national constituency for a
> bold, broad based, and immediate program of public
> policy."
> =====
> Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero
> Director, Proyecto de Bioseguridad
> Research Associate, Institute for Social Ecology
> Fellow, Environmental Leadership Program
> Senior Fellow, Society of Environmental Journalists
> _______________________________
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