Chuck Spinney: The Contradictions of Green

03 Economy, 03 Environmental Degradation, 07 Health, 11 Society, Civil Society, Commerce, Earth Intelligence, Government
Chuck Spinney

Democrats in the US like to think they can use green politics to revitalize their base. But will going green achieve this end when most of the people in the world (and the US) are either poor or lower middle class and the distribution of income is getting worse in a global economy dominated by the ideology of neoliberal economics? The attached essay in the French journal Le Monde Diplomatique provides some interesting food for thought in that regard, at least as far a Germany is concerned.

Greens now just ‘neoliberals on bikes’

Germany goes for sustainable capitalism

The Greens are likely to be a major part of the next German government; few seem to have noticed that they’ve already been a substantial part of its regional governments for 59 years

by Olivier Cyran, Le Monde Diplomatique, October 2011


The fat cats who live in [the totally green] Marco Polo Tower may not vote Green in the elections. The tower was built on a natural promontory in the port that gives residents a bird’s eye view of the landing stage for liners. But the designers forgot that these floating palaces belch out toxic smoke that the wind blows back on to the balconies and windows of the tower. According to an investigation by Der Spiegel, a “breath of fresh air” for Marco Polo’s residents contains the equivalent of the emissions from “50,000 lorries travelling at 130kmph, with significant quantities of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and other carcinogenic particles”. Multi-millionaires poisoned by luxury cruises: sustainable development has some surprising twists.

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