‘Green Generation’: Green Party events and news for Earth Day 2009, with a focus on water

On Earth Day 2009, the Green Party is promoting the theme of ‘Green Generation,’ with an emphasis on the party’s current activities and its role in the past generation and the next generation.  Earth Day falls on Wednesday, April 22.

A major focus of Green Generation is water, especially the growing threat to water supplies because of global warming, pollution, and privatization.  In March, the National Committee of the Green Party of the United States passed a proposal (http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=380) that makes water a priority for the party at national, state, and local levels.

The proposal lists “guidelines to Green Party candidates and organizers to increase the visibility of water issues in Green campaigns and increase our ecological focus in electoral and political activities” and charges the Green Party’s EcoAction Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/ecoaction/index.php) with leadership on water issues.  The many recommendations include:

• “development of local, renewable energy sources that minimize consumptive water use, destruction of watersheds and water pollution”

• measures to “prevent the usurpation of public rights through privatization of the water resource by multi-national corporations”

• “enforcement of indigenous treaties, paramount water rights for indigenous nations and the Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo regarding land and water rights”

• “legislation that promotes urban conservation, efficient agricultural use and the integration of land use with water supply”

• “legislation in Congress to fund public water planning and investments in upgrading and improving water infrastructure, levees and hazardous waste dumps” 

The proposal’s background section declares, “Water is the source of life.  El agua es vida.  The Green Party seeks to safeguard the well-being of future generations and restore ecological systems.  Clean and available water is a critical priority which government can and must secure for all people.  The threats to our waters are many, from depleted aquifers, to the pollution of surface waters, to the degradation of oceanic waters that have been treated as international waste dumps.  There is no time, and no water, to waste.”

The EcoAction Committee has published a brochure on water (http://www.gp.org/committees/ecoaction/documents/ecoAction%20Brochure_2.pdf).  Contact for the proposal is Martin Zehr (415-337-5773, m_zehr@hotmail.com).

Green Party news and events related to Earth Day, Green Generation, and water:

• For Earth Day 2009, Los Angeles Greens will host a panel of speakers discussing water issues in California.  “Water Justice and Preparing for Peak Water” will take place Wednesday, April 15, 7pm at the Peace Center, 8124 West Third Street in Los Angeles.  The two guest speakers are Rev. Hannah Petrie, associate minister at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, who serves on a state-wide Unitarian Universalist water issues team; and Conner Everts of the Southern California Watershed Alliance and Desal Response Group (http://www.desalresponsegroup.org).  More information: http://losangelesgreens.org

• San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi (Green) has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission.  Mr. Mirkarimi was first elected in 2004.

• Gordon Clark, the 2008 candidate for Congress in Maryland (8th District) has started a group called Montgomery Victory Gardens, which will promote backyard and community gardens in Montgomery County.  He is lining up support for the effort from groups like the Organic Consumers Association and the Grow It, Eat It program.

• On April 18, Jack Lindblad, Green candidate for the California Assembly (39th District) in the 2010 election (http://LindbladForAssembly.blogspot.com) will participate on a climate change panel at the University of Southern California (USC), on which he will discuss water issues.

• The Illinois Green Party (http://www.ilgp.org) has issued a public statement condemning legislative attempts to repeal the state’s moratorium against new nuclear production (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=197).  State House Bill 875 and State Senate Bill 2162 would delete the provision in state law prohibiting the construction of new nuclear facilities until the nuclear waste storage issue is resolved.

• The Green Party of Pennsylvania (http://www.gpofpa.org) has called for the resignation of acting Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger (http://www.gpofpa.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=216&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0).  Mr. Hanger recently claimed that the economic benefits of drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale were worth the “inevitable” environmental damage, including poisoning of some residents’ water sources.

• The Green Party of the United States has endorsed International Seeds Day (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=201 / http://www.INEAS.org/20090426_PR.pdf) on April 26, which will mark the fifth anniversary of the passage and signing of Order 81 by Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.  Order 81 makes Iraqi farmers dependent on powerful US agribusiness for their seeds.

• Green Party leader Nancy Allen, farmer and member of the Maine Green Independent Party, voiced concerns in a national Green Party press release about the “Food Safety Modernization Act” (HR 875 and S 425) and, while supporting the goal of food safety and farm inspections, urged amendments in the bill to protect small and family farms, farmers’ markets, and organic farming (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=199).

Other Earth Day events and news can be read at the Green Party’s national web site (http://www.gp.org) and on state Green Party sites (index: http://www.gp.org/states.shtml).


“Think about what you can do on Earth Day”
By Wes Rolley, co-chair of the Green Party’s EcoAction Committee, Morgan Hill Times (California), April 10, 2009

Water Planning: Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly http://www.waterassembly.org

One Response

  1. Like you pointed out, water shortage is a growing problem in USA. Here in Southern California the fresh water levels have gone down significantly since July 2006. The water shortage is not going to improve unless Southern Californians collectively change their actions. There are dozens of little things we can all do to save water and combat the water shortage situation we are facing in Southern California. If you go to http://www.bewaterwise.com/tips01.html you will see a water saving tips page that lists Indoor and Outdoor tips and how much water is saved with each one. Things like taking shorter showers saves 5 gallons a day, and installing a smart sprinkler controller saves 40 gallons per day! Check out all the tips on the site and pass it on to fellow Southern Californians!

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