Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Ecological Sustainability Chapter Introduction
2010 PLATFORM ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY CHAPTER INTRODUCTION
Our planet's ecological systems are interlocking and interdependent. Nature’s survival strategy allows adaptability which itself results in biological diversity. Our stewardship of biological diversity requires that we not disrupt ecological systems to the degree that species cannot renew and maintain themselves.
We all know the truth. Our planet is dying. Climate change is searing a major ecological crisis across the planet.
Glaciers and polar ice shelves are crumbling. Species are being eradicated at record numbers. Air pollution kills about two million people prematurely each year. Water supplies are drying up, while water systems are being sold off to big corporations concerned only with expanding their profits. Meanwhile, our nation keeps building new coal plants, even though they are the most destructive way to meet our energy needs. And the Obama administration and some Democrats are pushing dangerous new nuclear power plants.
Our Green solutions make a sharp and immediate break from this madness. We believe that the human community is just one part of the Earth community. The human community is an element of the Earth community, not the other way around. People and our governments must support the ecological dynamics, not destroy them. We encourage everyone to spend more time outdoors. When we cultivate our connections with nature, we strengthen our convictions and abilities to defend our skies, oceans, land and biodiversity.
Here’s our Green vision for protecting our planet:
To forestall disaster, we call for a halt in increases in greenhouse gas emissions, and then reducing these emissions 90% by 2050. Senator Obama only calls for 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions below 1990 levels by 2050. That won’t be enough to avert catastrophic climate change. The Green plan is stronger.
As a nation, with less than 5% of the world’s population, we consume 22% of the world’s energy resources. That must change.
Greens support a decisive shift away from coal, oil, and nuclear power, towards clean and renewable energy such as wind, solar, ocean power, geothermal and small-scale hydropower. Republicans and Democrats do not.
We call for extensive energy conservation efforts, to reduce energy consumption by 50% in 20 years. Republicans and Democrats do not.
We call for a ??? of commitment to developing clean renewable energy technologies.
To jumpstart the solar market, we call for massive federal, state and local investment in solar cells on government buildings.
Unlike Democrats and Republicans, we Greens are opposed to nuclear power. The prospect of a radioactive catastrophe is ever-present, and there is no safe way to dispose of the radioactive waste.
We call for early retirement of nuclear reactors in less than five years, no new nuclear plants, and an end to all corporate welfare for the nuclear industry. Compare that to Senator Obama, whose top campaign staffer was a lobbyist the nuclear power company Exelon.
We also support a ban on new coal-fired power plants, and phasing out of electrical production by the burning of coal. Senators McCain and Obama say they support “clean coal” but really clean coal is a fiction invented by the coal industry.
Much of the solution to climate change is at the local level. We Greens support massive subsidies for the growth of mass transit, as well as more bike lanes, bike paths and auto-free zones.
Greens support major changes in agriculture. We call for a dramatic expansion of organic farming. We want to shift price supports and subsidies away from industrial agriculture to organic agriculture, small family farms and cooperatives. We also oppose the construction of all new factory farms.
We Greens want environmental justice. That means no new siting of toxic chemical or waste facilities in areas already contaminated.
And we must stop polluting so much. Greens support a shift away from the use of toxic chemicals, and towards an industrial system based on clean production.
We Greens want to protect our nation’s beautiful public lands. We call for a halt on all industrial timber cutting and clear-cutting on federal and state public lands.
2004 ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY CHAPTER INTRODUCTION
The human community is an element of the Earth community, not the other way around. All human endeavors are situated within the dynamics of the biosphere. If we wish to have sustainable institutions and enterprises, they must fit well with the processes of the Earth. The ideology of industrialism, in both capitalist and communist countries, insists that modern society lives on top of nature and should rightly use and despoil the rest of the natural world as we desire – because any loss of the ecosystems is merely an “externality” in economic thought and because any problems can be addressed later by a technological fix. We are now living through the painful consequences of that arrogant, ignorant perspective. Many of our children suffer from accumulations of mercury and other toxins in their neurological systems, environmentally related cancer is on the rise, and our air and water are increasingly polluted. Meanwhile, our ecosystems are being compromised by the spreading presence of genetically engineered organisms.
Our houses and buildings, manufacturing processes, and industrial agriculture were all designed with the assumption of an endless supply of cheap and readily available fossil fuels. Pollution and despoiling the land were not part of the thinking. The Green Party, however, is optimistic about the alternatives that now exist and that could be encouraged through tax policy and the market incentives of fuel efficiency. We also challenge the grip of the oil, automotive, and automobile insurance industries that have managed to block or roll back progress in public mass transit. The gutting of subsidies for the railroads has meant not only fewer passenger routes but also the addition of thousands of large freight trucks on our highways, decreasing public safety and increasing pollution. We are committed to extending the greening of waste management by encouraging the spread of such practices as reduce, return, reuse, and recycle. We strongly oppose the recent attempts to roll back the federal environmental protection laws that safeguard our air, water, and soil.
The health of the life-support systems – the ecosystems on our continent – is of paramount importance. Inherent in the efficient dynamics of those ecosystems is a vital profusion of biodiversity. Therefore, the Greens call for a halt to the destruction of habitats, which are being sacrificed to unqualified economic expansion. We humans have a moral responsibility to all of our relations, many of which are facing extinction because we carelessly and permanently halt their long evolutionary journey.
The Green Party also supports the spread of organic agriculture and the careful tending of our nation’s precious remaining topsoil. We support planetary efforts to slow the ever-increasing numbers of humans pressuring the ecosystems, and we especially support the reduction of consumption of the world’s raw materials by the industrialized Northern Hemisphere. We are appalled by our country’s withdrawal from serious efforts to limit greenhouse gases that are contributing mightily to global climate disruption. The Green Party strongly urges the United States to adopt an actively responsible position in this crisis and to take significant action to address the problem.