Green Future
there is a better way

[discussion draft]

8. Shades of Green

Had we the benefit of hindsight, there is, or 'was', just the one form of Green politics, amongst several, with actual capacity to sustain living environment indefinitely. Get this wrong, and our planetary home is finished - we face a simple binary choice between two futures. Our top priority is thus to distinguish and build the single, viable Green alternative. This means acutely knowing the full spectrum on offer.

A parliamentary Green Party is a coalition, a representative subset of a national Green movement. Within such a party, as without, there are a broad range of intersections with the left-right continuum of politics - of socialist-capitalist contrast. A most useful analysis extends the metaphor of political colour.

Within the Green Party, as without, there are three basic shades of Green: blue-Green, yellow-Green, and red-Green. (Blue for the flood, yellow for the human-lemming autumn, and red for maintained arterial flow.) Against the Green Party, there has recently emerged a vague and contradicted imitation of a Green type: pink-green. Let's look at each of the Green varieties in turn.

Blue-Greens are conservatives, who like most of how global economy works, and wish to stabilise it ecologically. The National Party has growing numbers of these, whose influence within the Green Party grows daily. Light and dark blue seek coalition, to have more social effect, but cannot last. The blue-Green mantra is state control, and state environmental reform - a contradiction in terms, when the state knows no neutrality.

Yellow-Greens want not to be blue, yet remain subject to blue-Green ideas, in reaction against the radical opposition to blue. Yellow-Greens form the great bulk of Green Party membership, but eviscerating liberal split-loyalty keeps turnover extremely high.

Red-Green is by rights not green at all, but brown. This accounts for yellow-Greens unable to find their long-term political home, and doubt of red-Green ideas. Yet closer examination sees brown as the colour of earth, root, trunk, branch, and blended trans-cultural liberation - without which all green leaves fall. The systemic role of red-Green indicates its centrality to the Green project, under much contest.

All of which explains the sudden flowering of pink-green climate concern platforms: Chardonnay-green.

Pink-green has long been emerging from the political swamp. Social democracy has steadily, of necessity, sought to cover its successor doctrinal base. As economic energy shifted from worker to machine, ninety years later ideology is catching up. Simultaneously in the UK and NZ, from October 2006 - following release of the Stern Review Report on climate economics - these two Labour parties took new environmental policy initiatives public. But did they jump or were they pushed?

Green Future offers a practical programme for connecting the Green politics of today with a salvaged, surviveable ecosystem of the near Future.

In the UK, Johann Hari was pointing to The sudden death of Blair's green beliefs in The Independent a year earlier - six months after P.M. Tony Blair's green antidote to beating the blues: a "strategy for sustainable development". These recent developments follow on from Blair's 'green speech' of March 2001 - Blair's green conversion - that only saw Blair's green record condemned, and the UK's green policies condemned, in 2002. Culminating in the Queen's Speech 2006: Security in a Changing World - "Government will publish a Bill on climate change as part of its policy to protect the environment, consistent with the need to secure long-term energy supplies".

In NZ, like the UK, P.M. Helen Clark's October 2006 Address to NZ Labour Party Conference asserted "sustainability will be a core value in 21st century social democracy.. The National Party don't like those changes.. It's hard to take anything blue-greens say seriously, when their party is led by a climate change denier and attacks on the [Resource Management Act] are their party's stock-in-trade." One month later, that National leader was gone, and his replacement flip-flopped into climate change salver: 'John Key to talk carbon with Australia'. Key must stop Clark from winning again, now environmental degradation has become palpable to all, and help implement blue-green policies like 'safe nuclear' investment (overseas) and carbon and water trading instead. Their stated policy is to erode just enough Green vote to gain a majority and put the Greens out of Parliament. Perfectly doable.

Every politician has suddenly realised that voters will be responding to environmental pressures, as guided. And on an international scale, where the current social order has to religitimate itself in the face of its own productive crisis. So it's a full-on competition between mitigation ideas: Chardonnay-socialism - having quelled the class struggle of its birth - is reinventing itself as Chardonnay-green; Blue-green conservatism is acting quickly to head off this blooming electoral impetus.

Which is all beside the point. Mitigation of a terminal crisis can only be counter-productive. Ending the terminal crisis is all that matters, which must begin with fully grasping it - so as to permanently ameliorate it by resolution. For this job, red-green analytical tools are the only complete set. Only red-greens - through deepening the yellow-green of the social mass centre - can effect the change the Earth needs: initiating the deep-green transformation for collective prosperity, stability, and peace.

The future is a Deep-Green Future, or no future at all.

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