Who will control the ‘green economy?’

Posted January 17th, 2012 in Blog, Featured Comments Off on Who will control the ‘green economy?’

Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:

This article caught my eye at the end of the year, from Common Dreams:

Corporate Monopolies ‘May Dominate Green Economy’

Stuff like this really terrifies me. The question of who will control our future more and more rests on the question of global corporate power. Economic globalization, which took off more than 4 decades ago, has fed the growth of mega-corporations whose global reach and economic clout are often greater than whole nations. They even have their own global organizations, like the World Trade Organization (WTO), that set rules for how the global economy functions with authority and enforcement regimens that squelch the power of nations to make decisions over their own future well-being.

It has been clear to me for sometime that one of the reasons progress on a sustainable renewable energy economy has been held up is because the oil, coal, and gas industries have not yet figured out how to rein it in, to make it into commodities that can be bought and sold and by which they can make huge profits. Once they are able to do that, nothing will stop them, short of revolts against the power of institutions like the WTO.

Solar power, geothermal wells, wind turbines – these renewables source energy back to the local and regional level. You can charge oil by the barrel, but how do you do that with solar? After panels are installed, many people and communities are able to churn up enough electricity to send some of it back onto the grid – and get a rebate for doing so. That’s a different industry altogether.

So when you read this article you understand why so much of the search for alternative fuels in the US turns to environmentally destructive sources such as corn ethanol and biomass fuels. These sources make fuel like oil that can be sold by the gallon. It fits the model of our global commodity markets.

It also deepens our dependency on these markets and on the mega-corporations for what we need for life. It keeps us all feeding at the market trough.

And when you read this article, you also realize that these industries threaten ecosystems, food security, water accessibility, and all of this on a vast scale.

Then we have this election year in which unlimited corporate money can be spent on ads that will play a huge role in who gets elected and what interests they represent.

We should be worried, deeply worried, over the deepening control of these energy corporations over the future of our nation and world. How we get the energy we need to carry out our lives is one of the crucial questions of our times. This alone is reason to be engaged in democracy this year. So many of these issues around corporate power are coming to a head now and over the next few years. Who do we want making these crucial decisions for us?


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