Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't 'Go Green'

If we Americans go any more ‘green’ this Earth Day, we will surely destroy our planet.
That is, if by ‘green,’ we refer to those components which seem to be at the foundation of every injurious insult to our world and most of its two-legged inhabitants: money and greed.

Not surprisingly, the color choice for U.S. currency symbolizes renewal and abundance, unless, of course, it is married to the force of envy. The term, ‘green with envy’ appeared in psychoanalyst Melanie Klein’s 1932 book, Envy and Gratitude, as a response to Freud’s ego theories about our human nature “to mount destructive attacks upon parts of the object felt to be good.”
We are living the result of unprecedented corporate and political greed. The chasm between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ has rarely been greater. The modern day influence of wealth in the election of political and regulatory decision makers is reminiscent of civilizations throughout history that are at the precipice of their self-destruction.
Having fallen for the Republican’s cure-all of ‘shopping for stuff we can’t afford’ in order to ‘save’ our economy, we find our once-solid financial foundation full of termites and disappearing before our eyes. It’s not that the ‘Emperor has no clothes…,’ it’s that the Emperor, and a select few others in power, are the only one who can afford them.
We are all blind at times, to our participation in these planet-ending paradoxes. Our news media, mostly owned by the dark forces of corporate manipulation, pays greater attention to Wal-Mart’s shift from plastic bags to paper, than the earthly destruction from mega-store zoning annihilation and asphalt/petrochemical paving.
On a local level, one ‘do-gooder’ newspaper, sensitive to saving every living creature on the planet, designs increasingly large ads as a way, I suppose, of beefing up its heft, resulting in the unnecessary use of more trees in its making and more land-fill in its disposal.
Environmental challenges are global; however, America stands as the beacon of excess and self-gratification. Conservative circuit mouthpiece, Bill Bennett, who paradoxically titled his volume, The Book of Virtues, has said, “Whatever it is, America has more of it. More good, more bad, more sense, more craziness, more beauty, more ugliness.”
There is little doubt in the world view that our invasion of the Arab Middle East had less to do with altruism than with access to oil; and having questionably succeeded in a single effort to help either the Iraqis or ourselves, we will soon witness the arrival of gas at $5.00 a gallon.
Before I literally turn ‘green’ from nausea thinking about our leadership in this planetary roller-derby of destruction, let me venture toward a solution. It doesn’t call for solar panels, hemp, or hybrid engines. It doesn’t even involve the proliferation of blue, plastic recycling bins….
The simple, and therefore, impossibly complex, truth, is that our system of financing elections lies at the heart of almost every governmental decision and corporate influence under which we currently suffer. Call them lobbyists, the big boys club, or leaders of the ‘free’ world; until we return elections to the people by means of public and individual financing, the forces of greed and envy will direct our decision making.
I am suggesting an absolute cap on individual contributions, and the elimination of all corporate, Union, or association PACs. I would require public access of all donations to all candidates, and I would insist on equivalent amounts of ‘free’ advertising and media exposure for various election levels.
‘Green’ must take on meaning beyond money if we are to survive. Our elected leaders must be free to once again to place the good of the planet before the cost of their next election. It won’t be easy, because everyone from the party bosses of Washington to the corporate boardrooms of Wall Street have their own egos involved in being ‘green with envy.’
Are we really willing to save the planet, or shall we go shopping instead?

Loretta Redd’s column appears every Tuesday. E-mail her at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That greedy Republican McCain would like the general election to be publicly financed, but Obama is pulling in so much money from bundlers there is no chance he is going to give it up.