Personal Green or Political Green?

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Published on April 26th, 2010  |  Discuss This Article  

Has green activism lost its way, forsaking political action for mere shopping and lifestyle choices? Or is personal green action a necessary prelude to collective change? Let us know what you think — leave a comment below.

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29 Responses to “Personal Green or Political Green?”

  1. I feel mainstreaming and commercializing environmentalism will lead to longer lasting change in policy. At the very least it will become a platform issue for politicians to garner financial and voter support. For the good or bad of it, popularity can preclude significant change.

  2. Cindy Donahey says:

    I want to know if this was sabotage or not. This has not been ruled out; I am not sure it has even been thought of. One way to start is to go over the names and backgrounds of the workers. If anything zings out, concentrate on that. It is depressing, but look for a Muslim name. Then somebody knowledgeable should think how he or she would do that kind of thing, which they probably do not even dream of doing. Then they would have some idea of how to stop it at the source. Of course if it was not sabotage, one has to go on to the real cause. If it was sabotage, I am ok with pretending it was not. German sabotage happened to the power plant at Niagara Falls during WWI by the way.

  3. Cindy Donahey says:

    Ooops wrong thread – but where the hell am I supposed to put it. I am talking about the oil spillage Louisianna way. Hope they can coagulate a lot of it.

  4. Dale Must says:

    To get things done requires a political hassle. The biggest challenges are greedy companies and apathy on the part of the public. Going green at the grass roots level is a requirement of everyday, not just Earth Day. Some people are just waiting to see what happens next.

  5. Dale Must says:

    Poor Louisiana! If they didn’t already go through enough heartache with Katrina, then problems with FEMA, Red Cross, and politics just to reinstate them to where they were before Katrina. Now comes an unparelled environmental disaster. Oil company drills for the prize (crude oil) and then charges the public exorbitant prices for it. Meanwhile, there is a chance of disaster. If it happens, the public and citizens of the affected area pay the price. What a return!

  6. Angela says:

    PEOPLE are behind change. PEOPLE are the true ambassadors- the collective personal will strengthens as people realize the daily impact on a personal level. It is this collective momentum on a personal level that has more power to trigger political action than the reverse.

  7. Chet Lusk says:

    While it looks as if personal green action has taken over due to state and city incentives and rules while political activities have evolved to fighting BIGGER and more powerful opponents, IMHO, the grassroots foundation formed will eventually force change as generations mature. Think of sport’s youth programs which produce fans in the future. The trade off is that we must make sure there is something to inherit for the new generations.

  8. Heph'Zi Bah, says:

    It is sad and heart aching to see what is happening to our treasured planet (EARTH) I cry each day because of the devastation occuring all over our world for this is our only home. My love and appreciation to those out there intellectually and physically trying to make things work.
    Heph’Zi Bah (Cs)

  9. Anonymous says:

    that is really sad for the animals

  10. Marion T Etheredge says:

    Alongside my concerns for a healthy earth, my thorough heartbreak at the hemmorhage of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, for some time now I have been developing a sense that any money in my control will soon be called for by corporate interests. Corporations have actually been increasingly able to determine my social environment; I feel I am a pawn in my daily life as I go about living. I feel dominated by decisions I haven’t made. If Al Gore had become President when he was elected I wonder how much we might have accomplished.

    Is the leader who must be green.
    greener our industries would be.

    I was certain our contry would leap at the chance
    to develope the break throughs we needed for us to reject the oil selling nations. I though we had the will of every citizen with us on the urgency to
    turn green.

    I guess my timing is off…

  11. Gates says:

    I feel that Environmentalism lost most of its credibility the day politicians saw it as a way of getting votes. There are lots of people who genuinely care about the planet and preventing things like climate change, but politics is all about manipulating things to get more power. The fact of the matter is politicians will do or say anything they can to get voters.

  12. Eileen M says:

    Personal change is absolutely a necessary preclude to collective change. People need to believe and live the collective change they wish to see. We need an overwhelming social norm for green living in order for a majority of the population to adopt it. However, I believe the biggest problem lies in structural barriers to behavior change. If people are going to live green personally, they need the tools and appropriate context in order to do so. For example, neighborhoods constructed for automobile dependency and overweight SUVs hiding behind a magical cloak of increased fuel efficiency are making it impossible for people to reduce their personal dependence on oil.

  13. Mark Wallinger says:

    The future of Nature

  14. Mark Wallinger says:

    What the planet is going need is a full blown revolution which the youth of the planet will have to initiate,it is apparent that our current so called leaders don’t have the smarts to understand the consequences of unbridled consumerism.Our memories our too short and we are to far removed from our nature,too much dirty money controlling the planet.Keep well,Mark Wallinger

  15. Rich Mason says:

    Living green is not the same as acting green politically but still being dependent on oil and coal. The oil amd coal industries care less about our environment as long as they make a profit. They still want to get into the Arctic no matter what the cost. Alternate energy must be found and used if we are to survive as a race.

  16. Vicki says:

    I have supervisor status with the Red Cross for national disasters. I would like to offer to do anything you might need done at the Alabama Coast. Of course, I would be doing this as a supporter of the Conservancy rather than the Red Cross. Thank you for all you do.
    Vicki Johnson

  17. Lisa Childress says:

    I think personal change has to come before political action. You cannot honestly and with integrity expect of others what you have not figured out for yourself, and made sacrifices in your daily living.

  18. While I am not overly thrilled with the abundance of greenwashing going on in the public consumer sphere I do think that personal green commitments are necessary to make long-lasting positive change. People are very wrapped up in their day to day lives, looking for ways to make things easy and quicker. If we can tie time and money savings to green items then their use will spread. At the same time we can get the conservation message across to them and it will have a trickle down effect in society.

    We still need policy makers and politicians fighting for a better, more sustainable planet but we all know that they typically do not take action unless being forced to by their constituents or the business community. We need to start with the general public, get them invested in a greener, healthier world, and the necessary policies shall follow.

  19. Michael Kimani Kahiga says:

    The dinosaurs as we are made to learn were exterminated by natural hazards. It would be very sad and unfair for one species among millions to initiate the decimation of others and very stupidly of itself. It is a big shame. No more offshore oil drilling, no more oil spills.

  20. Stephen Zipperer says:

    Progresive thought in politics left with Reagan. He destroyed the unions that paid for liberal progressive thought. Personel choice is the only way. Both parties owned by oil and coal now.

  21. No life without lfeline. Plants are lifeline of the earth. To save yourself and your chldrens health SAVE them

  22. don bronkema says:

    Tracking NC w/gratitude since 1948…consider logic of saving coastal zones…they’ll likely be submerged in a decade or maybe a vigesimal.

  23. Richard Ellson says:

    Please put my name on the petition. Thanks, Rick.

  24. pamela diez says:

    this is a terrible,accident and something should be done now and fast,oil drilling in the ocean should not be done at all,i dont think this is what nature wants at all,not normal.thank you

  25. Unless and untill the grneral people will made understand as regard the benifit they wll get from tree – they r not going to take care.

  26. Pamela Fregeau says:

    It’s really a little late for a “prelude” to a green change… the Prelude should have been over many years ago. Green power is taking WAY TOO LONG to become MANDATORY and THE LAW. In my opinion, IMMDEIATELY, there should be NO NEW BUILDINGS, ANYWHERE, allowed to be built that are less than 85% “Green”, and in 3 years 95% GREEN. I know the arguemnet is the cost, as there’s not enough subsidies in place yet. So take away the monies going to help the OIL and Nuclear Energy programs and divert it to the GREEN programs, instead. (There are SO MANY Nuclear leaks going on around the nation that it’s rediculous to continue down that path anymore. That’s just more erreversible disasters waiting for their chance to happen.)

  27. Fred Adams says:

    I believe that organic farming has a great deal to offer and should be encouraged at least as much as mass farming.

  28. Olivia Mcnamara says:

    I love your work and the Monkeys are really cute. Ruby Hales is next to me and her comment is there doing a great job. This is not what you really wanted me to say but there is no other comment spaces. Email Me Back

  29. Rick Allen says:

    Get out of bed with BP and Goldman Sachs! Can’t think of two corporations that have done MORE TO HARM THIS WORLD!

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