Sweetness and light

Like Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm, I think it is true that good things happen to those who think and speak and act in a good fashion.  Like tends to beget like.  Call it Karma if you want.  And, I know that it is true that grouchy, negative whiny crap just begets more crappy stuff to whine about.  We can (and do) create our own hell.  So, it is with growing reluctance that I write about what is wrong with everything when I know that such activity only makes it worse.  We really should be writing about how to make it better.

First, we kill all the lawyers.  Then the politicians.  Then we take Manhattan.  Then we take Berlin.  (Leonard Cohen’s plan with more details)

But, after that visceral response, how to actually make it better?  And that is the challenge facing the Green Party. The Green party has, for most of it’s existence, simply cried ‘foul’. They point out what is wrong and even take steps to stop the evil-doers doing their evil but don’t really have a platform of alternative actions to propose so as to do the good work instead of the bad. Admittedly, the Greens propose alternative energy instead of oil but that single plank notwithstanding, the overall plan to do right by the planet is not clear.  The plank to do right by human survival needs (like food) is missing altogether.

And, NO, clamoring to reduce Carbon emissions is NOT constructive.  It is, essentially, just more complaints.  HOW to reduce Carbon emissions is what is needed and charging a carbon tax to permit emitting is NOT a solution.

We (the Greens) don’t have enough solutions.  In effect, we are stuck in the same box as ‘they’ are.  Stepping outside the BIG IDEA that is our modern world to fashion a new one is not all that hard but transitioning that NEW GREAT IDEA is next to impossible.  The days of single game-changers like Marx and Mao are over.  We don’t have BIG thinkers. Nor BIG doers.   Not in economics to be sure.

The closest BIG NEW thinkers in modern economics is Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawken. They co-wrote Natural Capitalism.  NatCap basically takes the human condition (greed, ambition, fear, need to trade, etc) and channels it into a planet-friendly business model.   And their subject hero was Ray Anderson of Interface Corporation.   He did good. They then dubbed that model one of SUSTAINABILTY.  The word has caught on.  The practice has not.

But it will.  Sustainabilty is achievable.  It is realistic.  It blends or transitions from what has come to be known as normal Capitalism to something better and we are already underway on a micro-nano-scale.  But it is piecemeal.  People who live off the grid are examples, albeit not great ones.  The 100-mile diet is an example.  Buying local is an example.  Our general trend to reject the biggest of institutions and their spokes-models is an example. And we can do so much more.

Bottom line: I am Rebecca-ish.  I am optimistic.  And I am attempting to be the change I want to see (while I still do the things I want changed out of convenience more often than I should).  And I can see improvements all the time.  But I do not see leadership.  All the so-called leaders are on the dark side, Luke.

We need some good leaders.

4 thoughts on “Sweetness and light

  1. I agree set the projectile spewing aside and the three sixty head spins and let’s have a measured and thoughtful conversation on the agenda of the Conservatives. I agree that a different approach is need for to getting to an end of the partisan agenda setting through repeating certain mythologies. Get free of the left/right split. Stop the myth that the best form of government is no government. Stop the myth that only certain political parties can deliver responsible government. End myths about the economic abilities of one party over another. I’m tired of government by slogan. It is evident that serious challenges face Canada and it is not helpful when political parties claim these challenges do not exist or are not a real issue of concern.


    • Well, it is hard to keep my head from spinning and my mouth from spewing but I acknowledge it is not usually constructive. And maybe you are right; a little constructive destruction of old myths is needed. Hard to say in a paragraph or two assuming I knew the answers – which I do not. But one thing is clear: the old paradigms have holes. The old institutions are crumbling. Our systems need replacing. But, more to the point – NOW….where do we start? For me, it has been: think small, act local, be personal, act as if there was a right and wrong and treat the planet in that context as well. And so far it is working – for me, anyway. But how to scale up….?


      • I think you are correct. Change will require a new focus on newly emerging challenges. Inequality is tearing society apart. Let’s end child poverty as a first step in our new focus.


  2. I agree with Anonymous’s comment about todays partisan politics.
    The myth of “conservatives are fiscally better than anyone” is exactly that. A myth.
    Unfortunately the rare species know as “voter man” is increasingly swayed by 30 second sound bites. Rememebr the last provincial election? Christy Clark was practically crying on tv because the Liberals were relentlessly behind in the polls. Her own party was rumoured to be sharpening the “backstabber” knives to boot her down the road. And then.
    They produced a tv ad with no talking.
    A picture of the NDP leader’s head on a weathervane that blew aimlessly back and forth with the wind.
    I hate the liberals and despise Christy Clark and everything she stands for but I burst out laughing when I first saw that ad. It was brilliant.
    Uninformed voters saw that ad relentlessly on tv for the last week of the campaign.
    Who cares about BC Rail, the HST and the “stupid voters” that rejected it, $400 million dollar Fast Ferry’s given away for peanuts, $600 million dollar roofs for BC Place, BC Hydro in the red, BC Ferries in the red( see previous BC Ferry expenditure for explanation), and on and on and on.
    It came down to a 30 second ad and voters that could tell you how many shots Luongo stopped in the Stanley Cup finals but not the name of their local MLA.
    Voter Man is the stupidest species on the planet next to the Dung Beetle, but at least a Dung Beetle knows that shit rolls down hill.


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