Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Ecological Sustainability Chapter Introduction
OLD CHAPTER TITLE: ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY
NEW CHAPTER TITLE: ECOLOGICAL WISDOM
SECTION NAME: INTRODUCTION
Greens are advocates for the Earth and the integrated harmony of all life with the natural world. Our advocacy is based on our love of nature and our recognition that our society is interconnected with all of life.
We believe in ecological wisdom, the philosophy of ecological equilibrium. All human life must be sustained within the dynamics of the biosphere. The human community is an element of the Earth community, not the other way around. We value all forms of life including non-human species.
Sustainable human communities must be in ecological balance with the Earth. We humans must learn to live within the ecological limits of our planet. We have a moral responsibility to carefully protect and restore health to our water, air and soil systems. We are obligated to preserve biological diversity on our planet. In our decision making, we take into consideration the seventh generation to come. When knowledge or foresight are limited, we follow the precautionary principle for safety and choose the path of caution.
The sad truth is that our planet is not in ecological balance. It is in crisis. Human-induced climate change is causing major ecological catastrophes across the planet.
Glaciers and polar ice shelves are crumbling. Species are going extinct so swiftly that this is the sixth great extinction event in the planet's history. The biology of our planet is growing less diverse -- and poorer. 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 their profits. Our weather is growing more violent.
Meanwhile, our nation keeps building new coal plants and drilling for oil, even though these are the most destructive ways to meet our energy needs. Even nuclear power is experiencing a resurgence, being falsely touted as "clean energy."
Greens advocate a decisive break from this madness. We will save our planet -- before it is too late.
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.