I’ve been writing about the Occupy Wall Street movement a lot here on Planetsave. And Jeremy has been on sister site Red, Green, and Blue. And Rhonda has been on EcoLocalizer. And others have been on our primarily green-focused media network. I think I’ve connected the movement to environmental issues in many of my posts, but for any who are not obviously aware of the connection, I thought I’d write up this piece on the connections (well, some of them) between the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and the environment.
I think the OWS movement is clearly focused on a few key points:
- Wall Street & bankers have screwed the country and their influence over politics needs to go away.
- The 1% (or even 0.01%) own a highly disproportionate percentage of the wealth and power in this country.
- Corporations have way too much influence over politics.
Well, each of these matters relates to the environment,.. in more ways than I’m going to adequately explain in this post.
On point 1: The short-term, greedy, and selfish way of thinking on Wall Street and among bankers permeates into all (or nearly all) realms of our society, including energy and the environment. We continue to plow forward with an out-of-date energy paradigm that can wipe out our whole species (through global warming and climate change). Why? Because of completely short-term, narrow-minded thinking about costs and the economy. Wall Street and bankers are important players in that whole process. They either need to go through a massive paradigm shift or their power needs to be lessened. The Occupy Wall Street movement has given up on the former and is pushing for the latter (I am, too).
On 2: Well, I don’t think I need to even explain the connection to the second point for you to know what’s up. Traditional energy industries are rich as rich. The oil and coal industry makes billions in profits every year and gets billions in tax breaks. Its government subsidies dwarf those of the renewable energy industry, and they are much more stable. Nonetheless, they convince politicians (mostly in the Republican party) and conservative media to rail on renewable energy subsidies like there’s no tomorrow (literally) and act like the renewable energy industry is getting unfair help from government. It’s so ridiculous it would be funny.. if it weren’t so sad. Our policy on energy and the environment is bought, and the results for the U.S. population and the world are catastrophic (already).
On 3: Well, this is quite similar to point number two. The U.S. political system hardly responds to the people and listen with all ears to the corporations that fund it. The Republican party especially, but even significant portions of the Democratic party, are oh too heavily supported by the oil and gas industry.
I don’t think Occupy Wall Street is going away. And those concerned about the environment, global warming, and climate change have every reason to join in the movement and push for real change. We all should.
Occupy Wall Street photo via Atomische • Tom Giebel