Category Archives: Nature

After the Greenwash

After a week of confronting a rising tide of nauseating greenwash in the City, it’s nice to be back out in the wild.  The life with whom we share the planet has a lot to say, if only we would listen.   Like you and me, they want to survive.   Perhaps if respect for life was paramount (what else matters after all?), we wouldn’t be in a world of pain and destruction that we are in right now.

From the mortifying shadows of failure in Copenhagen, the country of Bolivia stepped forward and hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change.   Instrumental to the outcome is the  Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

Long overdue, this document seeks to codify what all of us are born with, but beaten out of us in employee training- err I mean school- that the natural world is full of beings that are every bit as aware as humans.  Nature does not exist for our taking.   That is a one way street toward selfishness, misery and ultimately, collapse.

It’s great to have in Evo Morales a world leader who is not afraid to voice these basic principles, as he did yesterday in the LA Times.

Oak trees and caterpillars have an intrinsic right to exist.  Acceptance of this fact is critical to healing the caustic roots of our climate emergency.   It is also- as it turns out- a deeply revolutionary statement.

Che Guevaras of the insect kingdom unite!

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!