I work in a presumably green industry. A few months ago there was a giant 45,000-person national trade show all set up for recycling. It’s far too easy to still recall the image of the huge mountains of trash in and around the carefully labeled bins. Recently I started getting “natural” electronic signatures that claim the way to go green is to think twice about printing out an e-mail. Really? Could it be that easy?
It’s been said that the Democrats won’t give up balloons this year. These plastic polluters are at their worst when released outdoors, where they’re a wildlife hazard. Within the Pepsi Center, balloons are frivolous fritter that insult any family suffering under the current economy. Maybe the Dems will turn down the glaring spotlights just a couple hundred thousand watts to save a little energy and use a bit less air conditioning? They are traditionally the more sensitive party, so friendlier lighting would be more appropriate.
The Democrats’ convention environmental efforts are focused on education with healthy dining options, reusable water bottles to be refilled at water wagons, carbon-free transportation around the city with the addition of 1,000 donated bicycles and public transportation, plus displays and tours that will assist visitors in taking home some of our beautiful “Rocky Mountain High” love of nature. Denver can be proud that the Pepsi Center has already taken steps to improve its facility through their “Play Clean” program.
The Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) are progressive and will certainly be working hard to present themselves in a green light during the RNC in early September. Slipping on over to the red side to see what environmental concerns the Republicans are featuring shows every Web page with a blue sky and prairie grass background but going green seems to end there. The “Green fact sheet” doesn’t download.
Conventions are by nature a conspicuous parade of red, white and blue props with thousands of preprinted signs, hopefully on recycled paper with soy-based inks, and those occasional outlandish hats. The schedule caters to prime-time TV audiences even though everyone usually knows the ending before it even starts. Convention producers are convinced that a lavish show helps sell the candidate. Could it be that this year, people prefer to talk about the issues?
The politics of change must stay clean on ending the war, health care reform, honesty in government, civil rights, immigration reform, honoring the working class, good global citizenship without torture as well as renewable energy. May each delegate be inspired by our beautiful state to honor the reverence for the planet that John Denver’s state anthem embodied, to “walk in quiet solitude” and “seek grace in every step [s]he takes.” These delegates, after all, will be guiding the direction of the presumptive next president of this country.
Talk about “unwashed protesters,” John Adams and his allies in the Continental Congress were a scruffy bunch. Realism wasn’t their strong suit, either.
Our country has a mixed legacy when it comes to honoring freedom. Both major party conventions will sadly fall victim to the same fear-based tactics that have been used throughout the Bush administration. Government-subsidized security expenditures of over $100 million will protect democracy by caging protesters behind chain link and chicken wire and make available all kinds of sophisticated chemical weapons to control free speech. First Amendment rights are being discarded rather than recycled and reused.
The environmental movement offers hope for survival and economic boon. It’s time to work together to cast out the paralysis of inaction. Climate change will be affected by cutting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Constructive thought and sustainable plans will support the much-needed big picture solutions that will create a green future. Yes, large-scale conventions are only about the show and surely need retooling. Action follows through informed voting and picking up after yourself.
Hannah B. Hayes is a small-business owner and an activist for peace and justice. A recent graduate of Leadership Evergreen with a master’s degree in education, Hayes has remained active in this community through her writing and organizing for 35 years.
Goldurn, that there DNC convention sure sounds like a bunch o’ fun! Biking from D.C. or California, staying in a hotel with rough organic cotton sheets that aren’t washed, eating red, yellow or purple food, dodging unwashed protesters everywhere.
The Democratic vision for America will be showcased in August here in Denver, and we’re getting the first taste of it right now, with the announcement of the “green” requirements of all delegates, venues and vendors. The New York Times reports: “A 28-page contract requested by Denver organizers that caterers provide food in at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple and white.” Garnishes could not be counted toward the colors. No fried foods would be allowed. Organic and locally grown foods were mandated, and each plate had to be 50 percent fruits and vegetables. As a result, caterers are shying away.” I would too. How do they get the authentic Colorado experience without Rocky Mountain Oysters? Never mind that it might be highly unrealistic (or plain impossible) to serve 15,000 delegates under these conditions. Realism isn’t the DNC’s strong suit. Imposing these requirements raises costs and thus prices some venues and vendors out of bidding on the business. So does the requirement that workers be unionized (although there definitely is no requirement that they be in the country legally!).
Delegates will be expected to reduce all their carbon emissions for traveling to Colorado, by biking the entire way, or buying “carbon credits.” I can’t wait to see Sens. Obama, Clinton, Boxer, Feinstein, Schumer and Leahy bicycling from D.C. on I-70 to get here in their little black spandex shorts. On the other hand, yuck.
But that won’t happen, of course. For the Democratic elite, their espousal of the enviro cause has nothing to do with their own behavior. They know that there is no global warming crisis, and they really like high gas prices, because it reduces economic growth, not carbon emissions. Environmentalism offers liberals the motherlode — massive government regulation, suppression of the capitalist system and power for themselves under a moralist banner.
All of the residents and businesses of the Denver area will pay the cost for this incredibly silly charade. Keeping our city clean, supporting Colorado businesses and being responsible with public assets is one thing, and I enthusiastically support it. But I’ll bet dollars to donuts that while hundreds of volunteers are policing the trash cans in the Pepsi Center to ensure recycling, thousands of protesters will leave our city much poorer and dirtier.
If the DNC wanted to have the least impact on the environment, they could scrap all these plans and hold a “virtual” convention. And the rest of us could enjoy our city without all the moralizing. But that’s not the point. The point is cow all common sense and freedom of choice, and that’s what we’ll get in November with the Democrats.
It’s become really obvious that the Democratic vision for America is all about hope and dreams, and nothing the least bit realistic. If global warming were actually happening and was as bad as the hysterics claim, recycling plastic bottles and replacing light bulbs is basically whistling in the wind. All of the silly trendy “green” requirements reduce carbon emissions very little, if at all. Conservation and responsible disposal techniques, however, are common sense.
Common sense is not a mantra of the Democrat Party. Common sense doesn’t get people all riled up and angry, or scared out of their minds. In order to enact or impose the Stalinist governmental programs Democrats want, they need people to be so angry and/or scared that they can’t think. “Hope” and “Change,” they cry.
Meanwhile, the consensus among responsible scientists is that the actual data, as opposed to projections and theories, show that the planet is actually cooling at the moment. Funny that this isn’t reported with quite the same hype.
So the moral of the story is simple: Beware Democrats policing your garbage and your life.
Attorney and political activist Kelly Weist has served on the board of directors of the Colorado Federation of Republican Women and is the co-founder of Mountain Republican Women. She is an adjunct professor of political science at Metropolitan State College of Denver.