Keystone XL – end game and the future at risk (www.thinkglobalgreen.org/blog.html)

By mid-June, President Obama, with the input of John Kerry, will decide whether or not Keystone will be built to connect the oil sands of Alberta with Texas. I will be in Washington DC on February 17th to join 20,000 or more citizens from all over the USA to say “Enough – No to Keystone”. Unknown to people in the Carolinas – because the media is so inept here – actions are taking place around North America, including Texas and the north-western states especially, as well as Maine and across Canada.

Five power brokers who’ll determine the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline and our future.   These are the people who may be holding our future in their hands:  link to all here

President Obama concluded his inaugural speech with a call for citizen action, saying:

“You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time -
not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense
of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”

In other words: “Your job is to push me.”

If you aren’t planning to go to DC yourself, please do write Obama – if the people do not take this opportunity to protest in the strongest terms, the pipeline may go ahead, and that allows the oil sands to be tapped for decades ahead pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere well past acceptable levels. Now above 490 ppm, the oil sands alone hold another 200 ppm. That would probably put temperature rise easily above the 2C limit – probably closer to 6C by 2100.

More on Keystone on my web page: See also Canada page.

Solar panels were placed on my roof September 2011. During February, 4 panels will be moved to the other end of the roof to catch more sunlight, and 2 panels added. This will, I hope, boost my output to where I can net meter. This will mean I supply my own power – up to 67% of household use, and Duke will supply the rest. This takes me off NC Green Power’s plan and selling the energy out of state. As Duke’s rates inevitably rise, my savings increase. Eventually, maybe, I can come off the grid altogether, but that may be a few years off yet. Progress.

Clean Air Carolinas 5K run (walk). This takes place again this year at McAlpine Creek Park on May 4th. Details here – you can enter now. Come and join me. As a member of the organising team,we’re expecting the biggest turnout yet in the four years’ event.

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Are you one of the 88% who throw their bottle out? Collectively we are dumping 40 million plastic water bottles per day. Stop using plastic water bottles and reduce your carbon footprint. (You’ll also save money.)
A good job of selling. Forty per cent of bottled water starts out as tap water. Companies, like Coca Cola and Pepsi, take the water for free, running it through some filters, pour it into a bottle with a fancy name and then sell it back to us at a price 240 to 10,000 times higher than tap water. Illusion of health Clever marketing has made us believe that bottle water is healthier and much more pure than tap water. But a four year study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found plenty of bacteria and chemicals in bottled water. Since there are currently no regulations in place for bottled water it’s hard to know exactly what you are buying. Check the label of your bottled water. If it is says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system” it’s plain old tap water (From Green Living)

 

Alan Burns is the co-chair of the Charlotte Area Green Party and founder of ThinkGlobalGreen.org, a source for comprehensive and up-to-date information on the environment and global warming. (http://www.thinkglobalgreen.org)

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“Green Party Supports Occupy Charlotte Movement” by Alan Burns

Local Green Party members support Occupy Charlotte. While there is no leadership or political party identification among the protesters, the common goal is to stop the corporate influence of policy both in Washington as well as state capitals.

Occupy Wall Street, Occupy America, and October 2011 demonstrations across America are not an appeal to vote Democrat and reelect President Obama in 2012. The Democratic Party has proved itself as dedicated to Wall Street as the GOP. Many of the protesters have expressed their disgust with two-party politics and the influence of corporate money. Organizers have rejected attempts to shoehorn the movement into any party and assert that the protesters come from diverse political persuasions. Greens, who are participating in the protests and among the organizers, have pointed to the Green Party’s alternative vision for America, as expressed in the Green New Deal.

The Green Party offers a platform for peace, economic security for working people, millions of new green jobs in conservation and clean energy development, an end to fossil fuel addiction, real steps for curbing global climate change and restoring the health of the planet, universal health care (Medicare For All), and reforms that would limit the power of corporations and restore the promise of participatory democracy and fair elections. Green candidates do not accept corporate money.

The Green Party has endorsed and joined the demos because we share the same frustration and anger as the other protesters. Greens are there because we bring alternative ideas like the Green New Deal. And we’re there because we encourage the 99 percent — We The People — to organize, end pro-corporate two-party rule, and replace the politicians in public office who enabled Wall Street’s theft of America’s future. This can only happen through an independent alliance with the same diversity we’re seeing at the protests: labor activists, Greens, progressives, anarchists, libertarians, nonvoters, disappointed Democrats and Republicans, and all others who want real change.

The postings on the Charlotte Area Green Party blog intended for educational purposes and issue advocacy. Postings represent the opinions of their author, and may or may not represent the opinions of the local, state or national Green Party affiliates.

Alan Burns is the co-chair of the Charlotte Area Green Party and founder of ThinkGlobalGreen.org, a source for comprehensive and up-to-date information on the environment and global warming. (http://www.thinkglobalgreen.org)

 

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“The Myths of Wasting, Splitting and Stealing Votes” by Jordan M. Greene

“…all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” (Declaration of Independence of these United States)


The founders of our nation were in my estimation very astute and understanding men of their time, and as the aforementioned line from the Declaration of Independence shows, they understood man’s natural predisposition to allow their own oppression without challenging the source due to becoming accustomed to that oppression. In our day, we have become conditioned and accustomed to the two major parties, and have been socialized to accept their dominance as something normal and acceptable. Along with the socialization that comes from varying areas of an individual’s life, including that of the family and religious influences, come reasons for believing such. Let me say from the start that these “reasons” for believing in the legitimacy and supposed proper dominance of the two party system and rejecting all others as superfluous, is really nothing short of self-interested and hole-ridden excuses and those who claim to act on principle and their beliefs ought to have no part in their use.

The excuse I believe is most prevalent for not supporting or voting for an alternative party candidate or independent, is also in my opinion the least principled and for Christians like myself, the least Biblical. The excuse most often goes something like this, “If you vote for a third party candidate you’re just wasting your vote.” The idea of course is that your candidate has about as good a chance at winning as a snowball in heck; however, this reasoning does not prevail in the light of principle. Principle on the other hand tells us to vote based on those values and beliefs that we hold dear, and to not compromise to be accepted or win. However this mindset of the wasted vote pushes many people to abandon their principles and choose the lesser of two evils “while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves” by voting for that candidate which actually represents their views simply because they want to be on the winning side. Simply put, the wasted vote syndrome leads to placing victory over your ideals and beliefs. I agree with John Quincy Adams, sixth President of these United States, who said to “[always] vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

The second excuse is akin to first, that of the accusation of splitting the vote and hurting one side or the other by either splitting the conservative or liberal vote. The idea is that we should all come together despite the importance of our differences because we may have common conservative or liberal views instead of using our vote based on our principles and forcing the major parties to consider the views that we think are important by threatening them with a loss. The idea should be repulsive to Christians, especially those of the Independent Fundamental Baptist persuasion as myself, who value doing what is Biblical and right above what is simply expedient and easy. This could be said to be tantamount to one of these fundamentalist churches bringing in rock bands or not preaching on sin in order to unify and somehow win in the end. It simply does not work. In essences you give in to that which you truly believe to be wrong in order to feel as though you are winning, but in the end you get more pulled in to a compromising mindset and your end goal is no longer in sight because you have compromised on those issues of great import.

Undoubtedly the last excuse I wish to bring up is by far the most indefensible of the three, that of stealing votes by voting for an alternative party’s candidate. To steal a vote, means that theft has been involved, however theft implies ownership, that the item stolen was owned by another. For that reason, it is both unintelligible and foolish to claim that a vote for a third party or independent is stealing votes from either of the two major parties, as neither the Republicans nor Democrats own the votes of the people. The peoples’ votes are exactly that, the peoples’ and go to those who they deem they should go. It is neither reasonable nor sensible to make this claim.

I understand that many people do vote for one of the two major parties out of their truly held beliefs. However, I also know that there are many, especially from my experience with the Christian conservative side of the field, who only vote for the two major parties due in large part to one or more of these three excuses and some misguided since of belonging. What bothers me most, are pastors, evangelists or leaders in the Christian community who, whether it be from the pulpit or in any other forum, urge people to blindly vote all Republican or when someone mentions voting for an alternative party they ridicule or advise against such based on the excuses I have outlined. Does not the Bible still read in James 4:17 “[therefore] to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Simply from a biblical standpoint Christians of all people should know to act on principle and to not compromise their beliefs to be accepted or to win, this applies not only to daily life but to every aspect of life. However, at the polls somehow we forget this and would rather do what is easy than what is principled and right according to our values. As Jefferson said, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

As Sartori has said in a similar situation, speaking of free choice in elections, by voting based on these excuses and forfeiting your principles, your voting “becomes nothing more than [your] periodic renunciation of [your own] sovereignty.” I hope you will join me, along with those all across our nation, in voting based on your principles this year, based on the candidate regardless of political affiliation, and help to disband these immoral and fraudulent excuses from your life. [end]

 

The postings on the Charlotte Area Green Party blog intended for educational purposes and issue advocacy. Postings represent the opinions of their author, and may or may not represent the opinions of the local, state or national Green Party affiliates.

Copyright © 2010 Jordon M. Greene. Used with permission.  Jordon M. Greene is the President and Founder of Free the Vote North Carolina (http://www.freethevotenc.com), a non-partisan political action committee dedicated to providing equal ballot access to all political parties and unaffiliated candidates. Jordan served as campaign manager for his father’s unaffiliated congressional campaign in 2008 and as a member of the Constitution Party of North Carolina State Executive from 2008 to 2010. Jordon is a student of political science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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