October 9, 2012
Kory, that is one of the best essays on why to vote Green that I've ever read. As a guy who got a bachelor's degree in Environmental studies, so much of what the Green Party says resonates with me.
Honoring God by caring for his creation is a laudable goal, and one that would be wonderful to carry out through public policy as well as personal choice. I wonder, though, about how the government can lead in a direction that the populace is not going. Is there a viable political model for this? If there is, is the Green Party the only party that we can look to for carrying it out?
Thanks, Tim, for the encouragement. I appreciate it greatly.
In response to your questions:
I think that much of the reason that the populace is not moving the direction that the Green party proposes is because of the structural inhibitions against doing so. I think that in many ways, the popularity of hybrid cars is as much out of a desire to make a more environmentally conscious decision that is as viable of an option as a less eco-friendly choice. I wonder how much more the public would 'opt in' if such choices were subsidized, rewarded, etc. As a practical example: Michigan has a 10-cent deposit on all cans and bottles of soda. Most homes collect their soda cans to recycle, wanting to get the deposit back. The amount is small enough and built into the cost of purchase such that the public accepts it with little question. What if we pursued this on a national scale? What if we experimented with this on other recyclable packaging? Just some ideas off the top of my head.
On a deeper level, the question that faces many Christians who wish to see stronger environmental ethics is whether or not the Green party is the best party to do so. What sets the Green party apart, in my opinion, is the fundamental centrality of environmental ethics as lying at the root of many other problems that we face as a nation both domestically and abroad. While other candidates may have a strong environmental ethic and make 'end our dependence on foreign oil' a part of their platform, I would guess that none of these other candidates view the environmental concerns at the same fundamental level as the Green party.
Having recently moved to coal country, I have to vociferously disagree with the idea that we can centrally plan a green economy from Washington. Now that I live in an area where coal is the only industry that provides jobs (outside of the drug trade), it has become strikingly obvious that environmental causes can only be championed by the rich at the expense of the poor. Only people with at least an upper-middle class lifestyle can look around and suddenly discover that they want more land reserved for parks and less air pollution. And poor people? Well, their just going to have to suffer oppression for the sake of keeping the environment green.
Thanks for this article. As a Christian, I am unsettled by so much going on and I may have to vote Jill Stein.
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