Image via Wikipedia
The NY Green Fest 2011 is all about finding solutions to help the planet be greener. This is largely supported by the Green Party and those who are involved in the Green Party. The great part about this conference is it reaches all spectrums; there are serious workshops about sustainability as well as music on the Solar Stage.
There are some big names who are presenting at the conference. There’s Gary Abraham is an attorney who will be talking about why the answer for clean energy production will not be found in wind turbines. Barry Miller, a mechanical engineer, will be speaking on DIY solar and wind installations. Kent Mesplay, a presidential candidate for the Green Party for the 2012 elections, will also be speaking.
The topics for the conference include rekindling the anti-nuclear movement, the truth about wind energy, real food, low-cost solar DIY, and free energy solutions. For those who are interested in becoming more “green,” this is a great opportunity to learn more. There are many subjects, so you’re sure to find classes that meet with your interest in the green initiative. It’s all about what each of us can do on our own, which combined will make a difference in the world.
If you aren’t able to make it this year, consider going to the conference in New York next year. It’s a great opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals who truly believe that we are the guardians of this planet and we need to do all we can to protect it.
The public has become used to the political debate concerning the sanctity of marriage. Interracial marriage did not become legal throughout the United States until the Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional in 1967.
As of 2011, same-sex marriages in the U.S. could be performed in Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Coquille nation. Maryland and New York recognize these unions and California does, conditionally.
Although much of society no longer even blinks an eye at interracial marriage as we see it everywhere from www.direct.tv to news and tv shows, many people continue to struggle with same-sex marriage. Because equal opportunity and social justice are integral to the Green Party’s key values, it does not stand against it.
Is a marriage between Locutus of Borg and the Borg Collective on the Horizon?
Since “all people are created equal” society needs to treat them as such. How about when a corporation becomes a person? This concept almost sounds like something the Borg collective, a cybernetic race/life form from the television series Star Trek, would plan with Locutus of Borg as the groom. In reality, this notion a collective marrying an individual will be tested when the marriage of a person and a corporation take place.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people in their decision made on January 21, 2010, in the case of Citizens United versus the Federal Election Committee. To commemorate this decision, Sarah “echo” Steiner has begun the search for her perfect corporate mate. She plans to use this marriage to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision.
In a press release issued by Citizens United, some possible corporate grooms have already been identified, including a green corporation. Citizens United also announced that the bridesmaids will be Green Party members from Palm Beach County and Progressive Democrats of America’s Florida branch.
The Californian seacoast is the second largest in the nation at 840 miles not including freshwater shoreline, and a tidal coastline of 3,427 miles. Its coastline and freshwater sources make water a primary concern of California’s Green Party and a major tenet of its platform.
California Green Party’s 2010 Addendum
In 2010, the California Green Party published an addendum to its 2008 party platform. Under the heading “Ecology and Earth Stewardship” the party issued a new principle concerning green science but the only portion of the 2010 platform it revised in this section was that of its proposition for water management and policy and water conservation and pollution.
Integral to propelling the Green Party’s policies on water conservation is the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). Its 2010 addendum to its platform includes, among other propositions, that it supports those policies necessary to implement the MLPA and end activities that damage its coastal waters such as dumping of sewage and other pollutants into the ocean.
Marine Life Protection Act
The MLPA, passed in 1999 as part of the California Fish and Game Code, requires the state to review all marine protection areas (MPAs) previously created and possibly design new MPAs that function together statewide.
The MPLA discovered that those MPAs already created were not functioning in a coordinated system. With more than 50 MPAs created randomly along the coast over the previous 50 years, there were no coherent, scientific guidelines followed in their implementation. The delicate ecosystems and flora and fauna which thrive in them were being threatened by coastal development and water pollution. By improving the MPA system, the conservation of these habitats may not only protect against their loss but also improve research opportunities and even re-grow decimated fisheries.
The Green Party grew from a desire to improve the world’s environment and conservation efforts. It became a political party when active members realized that that desire to make change could be better aided by having members become active participants in the political decisions that govern these efforts.
The U.S. Green Party has developed key values that exemplify its position on these and other political issues. Following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech on January 25, 2011, Green Party activists vocalized their disagreement with the Democrat’s approach to environmental issues in our society.
The Green Party agrees with the Democrats on one thing: the focus on the issue of jobs. And we are not talking about all jobs like small businesses like JR Dunn or your local designer clothing store. This is more of an environmental issue to discuss when job creation is viewed in light of the energy industry.
In President Obama’s speech, he indicated that he supports the continued use of non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels. The government continues to subsidize fossil fuel industries such as oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy and its derivatives. In the Green Party’s version of the New Deal, the government would deter fossil fuel corporations by repealing these subsidies. At the same time it would grow incentives for the research, development and manufacture of renewable energy sources, leading to the creation of jobs in these areas as well.
According to Cecile Lawrence, Ph.D., J.D., rapidly switching to renewable energy sources would lead to an equally fast increase in better paying jobs which would also improve not only the economy but also the physical well-being of the country’s population.
In the “Green New Deal,” public investment is the only way to create new jobs. By investing in alternative energy, expanding the use of public transportation and retrofitting the existing infrastructure to be more fuel efficient, millions of new jobs would be created.
Education has long been shown to be one of the supports of a successful society. It is frequently the educated who become the leaders of a society – although charisma and perseverance also play a healthy role.
However, education costs money. And if students don’t have money for books, laptops, tuition, etc.; then they struggle to get an education. This often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy: the Haves can pay for an education; therefore, the Haves get the education. The Have-Nots cannot pay, ergo they cannot get the education they need to get ahead.
Education and the Green Party
As a political party focused on social justice and equal opportunity, it is not surprising that education plays a key role in meeting the goals of its political platform. Two of the Party’s key values – equal opportunity and economic justice – depend on education for all. Because it is essential that communities can offer all people a living wage so that they can obtain an acceptable standard of living, it is necessary for communities to also make a decent education available to all people.
Fair is Worth Fighting For
To that end – making education accessible to all people, Andrew Dobson, professor of politics at Keele University in England, has included it in the Green Party Manifesto he penned, Fair is Worth Fighting For. The document is a pledge to abolish higher education student-tuition fees.
Fighting for Fair Leads to Increased Green Party Membership in England
Following a tuition fee vote in the British Parliament in November 2010, student demonstrations against the rising costs of higher education in London were controlled by police “kettling” the protesters. The youth branch of the Green Party, the Young Greens, started a petition to ban kettling, a questionable crowd control technique used by police. The tuition quickly garnered more than 1,000 signatures. Within a month of the vote, the Young Greens membership grew by 25%.
If the Green Party existed in James Cameron’s fictional film Avatar, It would be comprised of the native inhabitants of Pandora. Not just the Na’vi, the human being like race but all of the dwellers – fauna and flora.
The Na’vi, like the Green Party, has very well-formed and progressive thoughts about environmentalism and conservationism. And, like the Na’vi, the Green Party takes a hard line on these issues, although not a violent one.
Pandora’s ecological system is similar to a human brain. It is comprised of a neural network which covers the planet that not only connects the plants of the planet but to which all the native creatures can connect. The Green Party’s platform on ecology has a similar (although much more realistic) take on nature.
Green Party’s View of Ecology
One of the Green Party’s basic tenets is that society must behave in such a way that recognizes the integral part it plays in nature, not just locally but on a global level. Society must take socially-responsible, self-sustainable actions now so that the planet’s natural resources will be able to replenish themselves.
How Pandora Achieves the Green Party’s Platform
Throughout Avatar the Na’vi are ineffectual in their battle against humans. The movie culminates in a battle between the humans mining unobtanium on the planet and the Na’vi fighting to protect the integrity of their planet. However, the Na’vi are unable to win until all of the planet’s dwellers join together.
Thus far, the US Green Party has been unable to fully garner the support of the other major US political parties in its fight to improve the environment. Although the US has taken baby steps towards improving the environment, it will take all of the nation’s dwellers to win this battle.
Like all political parties, the Green Party came from strongly held beliefs. However, the platform based on its approach to environmentalism and conservationism, didn’t foment into a US party represented by elected officials until 1985. As global concern for the planet and its resources has grown, so has the strength of this political party still in its (relative) infancy.
Although the party has seen limited success in garnering elected positions in the US, its central tenet has pushed the other political parties to at least compromise on many of these important issues.
The Green Party’s Take on Ecology
According to the Green Party’s platform, members believe that society must act with the knowledge that it is an integral part of nature. It is incumbent upon society that it functions within the limits of its ecological resources on a local and global level. The Green Party doesn’t see the planet as meeting our needs in just the here and now but believes society needs to be sustainable. That is, future generations will benefit from our actions now rather than suffer its consequences. Therefore, society must respect the integrity of the planet’s natural resources and consume its resources in a way that will move us toward an economy that is energy efficient and agriculture that replenishes the soil.
The US Green Party and the Kyoto Protocol
The US Green Party has had little effect on the US when it comes to supporting the Kyoto Protocol, the portion of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change geared toward combating global warming. Whereas the Green Party supports rapid reduction of greenhouse gases worldwide, higher energy efficiency standards and the conversion to renewable energy sources, both the Republican and Democratic parties oppose the treaty.
When attempting to save energy and improve the environment, its a good idea to look at the types of appliances that are in your home. Gas and electric appliances, along with heating and cooling systems, use the largest part of energy in nearly every home.
One appliance that is notorious for using a lot of energy is the refrigerator. Most refrigerators run nearly constantly. If you have a household that has more then one or two family members, it’s also one that gets opened and closed quite often, which in turn, makes it run even more! Older refrigerators tend to use much more energy then the newer types that have been designed in recent years. If at all possible, try to purchase the latest, most energy saving model available. Not only will it cut down on your electric bill, but you’ll be using a greener type of appliance that can help the environment.
Another high energy using appliance is a clothes dryer. It uses no energy at all to hang the clothes outside on a clothesline to dry, but that’s not always a feasible plan. If it is impossible for you to dry your laundry outdoors, the best way to save energy with a clothes dryer is to be careful that it isn’t overfilled, which can cause you to have to run it two or three times to get a large load dry. By cutting down on the amount of heavy clothes you put in for a cycle, they will dry more quickly and use less energy.
The next energy guzzler in most home’s is the central air conditioning and heating unit. It is wise to have it checked for leaks in the ventilation system at least once a year, so the unit doesn’t have to run as hard. Cooling and heating the great outdoors can become quite expensive.
One way to save energy is to walk to as many destinations as possible. Although this isn’t always a feasible option, especially if you live in a very cold winter climate, even a few trips by foot can help. Another great way to get around that doesn’t use gas or oil is to use a bicycle. Not only is bicycling a very healthy way to exercise, but it’s clean and green. It is a cheap form of transportation, since you don’t have to make frequent stops at the gas station to refill your tank. If walking or bicycling isn’t an option, you can always participate in car pooling or using a local bus system.
Saving energy inside your home can be done even on a fixed income or small budget. Although you may not be able to afford the latest energy saving appliances, you can do small things to the house such as caulking leaky windows and making sure the doors have weather stripping to prevent air from entering from the outside, or air from the inside going out. Extra insulation is always a big help when trying to conserve energy also. If you are a do-it-yourself type, you can install the insulation yourself and it’s not overly expensive. Using heavy drapes in the winter can cut down on energy use, as they will help block out cold drafts. Using cold water to do your laundry is a great way to save energy, and it is proven that cold water works as well on almost all fabrics as using hot water.
Harming our family members that live in our house is not usually something we think about when we clean, yet some of the products that we use may do exactly that. Many cleaning products contain very harmful chemicals and agents that can cause health problems such as respiratory illnesses, skin conditions and allergic reactions. Most cleaning products are toxic, especially if a toddler happens upon them and splashes them in his or her eyes, or even worse, decides to taste the solution.
Consumers are beginning to demand that company’s offer cleaning products that are safer to the environment and to their own health. Using green or organic cleaning products is one step in ridding the environment of chemicals and toxins. Items such as shampoos, laundry soap and cleaning supplies that don’t include ingredients such as chlorine are in high demand and are becoming more and more popular by the day. Consumers are now reading the labels of cleaning supplies and scrutinizing them to see if they contain organic compounds, such as those that use vegetable bases instead of harsh chemicals. Consumers are also seeking products that contain little or no dyes. Purchasing these types of products not only helps keep our children safer, it also helps cut down on water pollution.
Other household products that are more environmentally friendly are also in high demand. These include items such as shower heads and faucets that conserve water, light bulbs that are more energy efficient and even kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and dish washers. Buying furniture that has been constructed from recycled materials is popular, along with using flooring that is made of bamboo. Being green in your house doesn’t only help you be healthier, but it can make for a healthier environment also. Most eco-friendly cleaning products are less expensive then the types that are made from harsh chemicals, allowing even those on a tight budget to be able to afford to purchase them.