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Hervé Kempf: Obama and the End of the Party

President Obama’s environmental policies are, without a doubt, an enormous improvement over Bush’s. He’s given more money to the Environmental Protection Agency, made climate change a major part of his agenda, and boosted environmental protections in numerous ways. But will it be enough to save us? Author Hervé Kempf (How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth) doesn’t think so. It’s a good start, but he needs the wind of a powerful and vocal grassroots movement in his sails if we are serious about saving ourselves, our environment, and our future.

From Truthout:

A great change? Incontestably. Of direction? Yes. Radical? May the wrath of the Obamaniacs strike this chronicler! The answer is: no. In his speech, Mr. Obama mentions the environmental question almost in passing, reducing it to climate change. On other occasions, he had announced that his goal was to reduce his country’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGE) in 2050 by 80 percent. That major choice is forgotten in the February 24 speech. Only the goal of developing renewable energies – motivated primarily by the desire to reduce dependence on imported oil – and the CO2 market remained. “We will double the nation’s production of renewable energy in three years.” To the extent economic reality allows such a development, it will make the share of (non-waterpower) renewable energy in the United States’ total energy production go from 6 percent (most of which is from bio-fuels) to 12 percent. That’s significant, but not really game-changing.

Mr. Obama did not say, nor even suggest, to his fellow citizens – the world’s top GGE emitters – that their energy consumption will have to be considerably reduced. Perhaps it’s not yet possible for a political official to say that the hour for sobriety has arrived. In fact, the great majority of those officials seem to believe that by replacing oil with solar panels and windmills, the “American Way of Life” may perpetuate itself. That forgets both energy cost and the environmental crisis.

Read the whole article here.


Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More
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