Shopping Won’t Save Us: Report from the Alt. Green Festival


The Alternate Green Festival on Saturday was a big hit- we had speakers, live music, dancing, banner making- we even had a special ops “Greenwash Team” go inside to separate the wheat from the chaff. Thanks to Paul Freedman for bringing his pedal powered sound system and blender, to Chris Carlsson for speaking the truth as he always does, to Janel Sterbentz our video journalist, and for everyone else who made the day what it was!

Needless to say, the Green Festival was not happy with us. They censored me from their Facebook page- they even had security escort me off the property because they didn’t like my sign that said “Shopping won’t save us.” Is this how they treat their speakers usually?

What is so threatening about all this to a festival purporting to be environmentally friendly? Are they afraid of the truth getting out there- that much (but certainly not all) of what goes on inside the festival is greenwashing and actually environmentally destructive in its own right? You would think that veterans of the past struggles for clean air and water would understand the importance of protest, and ensure that the festival is a free speech zone. However, sadly this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Just like the Johann Hari article that came out in the Nation recently, I suspect a lot of what ‘drives’ the Green Festival is the wrong kind of green. It’s like a beast that has escaped control of the organizations that spawned it, ‘Green’ America and Global Exchange.

Anyway, to their credit they did hold a debate about carbon offsets, where Gopal Dayaneni and I debated Scott Porter and Tiffany Potter, two representatives of the carbon trading industry (video of Scott still being located):

Carbon Offsetting Debate Part I: Joshua Hart

Carbon Offset Debate Part 2:

Carbon Offsetting Debate Part 3: Gopal Dayaneni

Now, on to the Carbon Trading Conference scheduled for San Francisco this week! I guess I’ll have to become an oil company executive to afford the $745 registration fee, though!

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4 responses to “Shopping Won’t Save Us: Report from the Alt. Green Festival

  1. You ask why they wanted you outta there — but they could also ask why you denigrated tehir efforts. They didn’t want you there because you were saying that what they were doing was wrong. Exposing corruption is threatening, especially if so many of the people there don’t perceive the corruption.

    The corrupters took the base of environmental groups and invested their time and money so that those groups can now meet their ends. Can that be done in reverse? I mean, those guys didn’t march in and say “hey! can we buy you out?” They were more subtle. So… perhaps y’all need to be mroe subtle than in your face “shopping won’t save us” missives. Hey, you’re still operating with their rules if you’re saying that what *they* are doing isn’t enough.

  2. Good point! There is a lot of good, subtle culture jamming that goes on- the question is- do most people pick up on the subtlety? Or rather, do the “right” people pick up on it?

  3. http://risingtide.org.uk/index.htm … I can’t remember if I got there from here or some other path…

  4. Pingback: Shopping Won’t Save Us « It’s Getting Hot In Here

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