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Huey D. Johnson

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Going Green: A Strategy for Economic Prosperity

Going Green: A Strategy for Economic Prosperity
A Lecture Given by Huey D. Johnson

My topic is The Green Path for Economic Prosperity1. I call it the Green Plan Path, which I see as the doorway to the future. It is relatively new but established, well documented, and working for nations. I see it as the most advanced success in environmental management in human history. It is the Green Plan national policy of the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore. Recently, much of it has been adopted by the twenty-seven nation European Union (EU). An objective of this lecture is to make the case that the current US opposition to planning and comprehensive management is misdirected. At the end of this lecture I will describe why I think the US has little choice, and will become a Green Plan nation.

An in-depth look at the Green Plan Path to a healthy, well managed and economically productive environment is beyond the scope of one night's lecture. Rather than going into detail about the many different areas it encompasses, I suggest you look at the home page on our website, www.rri.org.*

The Dutch program has been specifically documented so that any other states or nations interested in adopting green plans have free access to the information concerning their efforts. They have fiercely defended the integrity of their data against intrusion by special interest influence, so it is trusted by all sectors, and this element of integrity has been essential to their success. The seriousness of their effort is related to the fact that one-third of their nation is below sea level, and if sea levels rise beyond the capacity of their levees, the Dutch could lose a good portion of their nation. Another comprehensive source of information is the book I wrote called Green Plans: a Path to Sustainability, coming out this year in its third edition.

The three nations [the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore] utilizing this comprehensive, integrated, and systemic method of management all share similarities. I view their efforts of environmental recovery as a broad, solve-the-whole-problem approach. Other states, nations, and currently the United States, use the method of undertaking one segment at a time: forest policy this year, chemical policy next year, water policy the next year, energy policy the year after etc. Unfortunately those previously solved policy parts start to unravel before they become part of a manageable whole.

Another similarity between these Green Plan nations is that the political leader from each of them independently advanced the idea. I will tell of one, which involves the Dutch Queen Beatrix. Once a year she is free to give a speech not prepared by the government bureaucracy, which is widely broadcast on Christmas Eve. In 1988 she spoke saying, Dear citizens, this year I am setting aside my prepared comments to share a difficulty we face... The Dutch scientific community had recently concluded in a paper given to her, that even though the Netherlands had some of the best environmental regulations in the world, it was not good enough - there was a real possibility that there would be no Dutch great-grandchildren. She appealed to the country, saying it was possible for them to rise to the challenge, improve their environmental problems, and set an example for the world. It was hardly a cheery Christmas message; however, it worked, and she is now known as the Green Queen.

The Dutch began with the term "back casting" used in business management. This is one lesson, amid many, that we can learn from them. The Dutch first decided they wanted to achieve total environmental quality recovery in 25 years. They worked back from their idea of complete environmental recovery to the present issues at hand. For example, imagine building the first computer. Imagine how those computer pioneers first needed to have a picture of the result in mind while they were building the machine. The Dutch similarly created a Green Plan which first set overall environmental goals to achieve their picture of complete environmental recovery.

PRINCIPLES TO HELP BUILD A GREEN PLAN

The Green Plan Path requires an imaginary vehicle to carry us along the Green Path to our goal - the topic of my lecture tonight. We can build it in our minds. I will now outline some necessary principles to build this vehicle for a similar Green Plan program to work in Michigan or, congruently, to work in any state. These principles have been taken from the successful experiences of nations already prospering from using a Green Plan.

Principle One: We can only solve the entire problem.

The concept of managing the whole of something is not new. Three hundred years ago a poet named Thomas Trahearne said, "The more we live in all, the more we live in one"2. My vehicle needs wheels, a body, an engine, and the usual parts; however, only building the finest wheel will not get us anywhere, nor will building any one perfect part. The goal is to build the whole vehicle. This may be a difficult lesson for technologists to accept. Somehow the technique of our thinking and learning methods have been to reduce information into parts while not bothering with the meaning of the goal, which in this case is the whole machine.

Oversimplicity is especially relevant to the current national awakening of the threat of Global Warming**. The first policy efforts are oversimplified, economically driven answers. Cap and Trade is a good example of an oversimplified economically driven policy; it is a tool amid many actions that need to be taken, it is not the only tool.

In managing the quality of citizens' lives, the whole ecosystem is the most important dimension. All the resource issues of the state have to be managed at the same time: water, fisheries, soil policy, energy, transportation, tax policy, quality of life issues, etc. Any one issue affects all other issues. Natural systems provide the cheapest and most energy efficient track. The quality of sunlight, water, crops, forests and natural systems shape the reality of the quality of our lives. All of these issues together require management. I repeat—herding all of these issues and policies through time requires the key word: management. Scientific or economic emphasis will not be sufficient any more than only one wheel will move us; it requires a comprehensive approach in order to work. The conditions of a free society are complex; everything is connected with everything else. We can only solve the whole problem, and this is possible with comprehensive management.

Pollution is an example of one issue affecting other issues. The coal burning company polluting a community will argue that its presence is necessary in order to provide a profit, that jobs are everything. I disagree; quality of life is the underlying issue. Consider the health costs of lung ailments from the polluted air, such as children's asthma; or the affects of mercury on children's intelligence, in addition to the stunted growth of forests and crops, and the damaged lake fisheries due to acidification. Include the CO2 additions and we need to seriously reconsider the use of coal. This issue is so serious that a recent United Nations scientific study recommended there should not be any more coal plants built in the world. Moving a company to Kentucky will not escape certain coming changes in laws that will limit coal as an energy source.

Why do we need to take a comprehensive approach to problem solving? The US needs to understand that the necessary task is to manage the complexity because at this time we have the habit of approaching one policy at a time. A mantra of economics, jobs, and profits is not sufficient anymore. Resource management is complex because everything is connected; each issue affects all other issues. The Green Plan Path is about managing the complexity to deliver the future.

Principle Two: Be open to new ideas - use the success of others and build on those in order to help your present needs; this is cheaper and faster.

Others have already built the vehicle carrying us. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. Further, there is a mass of very capable people in the world already working to determine a better way of maintaining the quality of life. They are pursuing concepts that will bring as much change as the Lindbergh flight that launched the age of airplanes.

The new tool of trade is electronic communication. Inventions and ideas, data on endless experiments already tried, and the accumulation of recorded information in history is instantly available to us. The most important task now is to seek and apply some of those ideas that can work in your region. The world's interesting ideas and concepts are being shared and they include a huge fiscal savings. There are many successful examples to ease the challenge of embarking on a new comprehensive management strategy.

The whole world is involved in working toward improvement, and that is a new motivation factor for us to do the same. The Dutch are among the most progressive in managing environmental problems. They have a special reason to see us improve on our environmental management, for if sea levels rise, their levees are threatened. They want everyone in the world to use better conservation management strategies, which makes their websites especially relevant. Their data is trustworthy, and there are countless Dutch studies and programs on their websites. Millions of dollars and thousands of hours were contributed to assemble the basic information needed to ease decision-making in the future; it is an example of costs and logic. If you are planning to build a house and need to buy window frames, they have a site comparing the cost of wood, metal and plastic, and that cost includes not only currency, but also resources used and energy expended. It encompasses a synthesis of ideas, which can guide us toward survival.

Here is an example of how tracking new information relates to Michigan. In anticipation of this visit I asked Michigan experts about a few issues, including energy resource issues, one of which was solar energy. I was told that solar power is not a possibility here; there are too many cloudy days. I checked cloudy days on the Internet and according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Lansing, Michigan averages 191 cloudy days per year. Germany, by comparison, has 230 cloudy days per year. Then I checked with Dr. Hermann Scheer, a member of the German Parliament, who is viewed as Germany's solar energy expert. He stated that Germany would create 50,000 new jobs in the solar industry in Germany within the next six years. Germany will then continue to expand its solar effort to the point of being independent of carbon energy sources. On a side note, Dr. Scheer defines anything involving carbon for energy to be a poison source, and he includes nuclear energy in this observation. Germans are choosing not to use poison carbon sources for their energy needs because paying a bit more to have a clean source and healthy kids as a result is sensible to the public.

There is a hint here of a long-standing problem in this great state of Michigan, the attitude that, "if it's not invented here then it doesn't work". There are 101 developing technologies that can be tracked and researched. Wind turbines can give you electrical power; but it's not the whole answer because when the wind quits utilities must have total backup equipment - that currently means using carbon or nuclear sources. At the moment storage batteries are too expensive to be useful on that scale.

However, I'll wager someone currently working on the problem will discover a better way, and when they do, that is an industry that you should go after. Here is a hint. Air compressors pressured by wind turbines can store compressed air in old gas or salt wells. The compressed air becomes pressurized energy to be used during quiet wind periods to run clean surface generators. A small start up company in Boston is raising funds to launch that compressed air storage concept. Don't forget heat exchangers as another option; and water is also a good source of energy.

Although we are behind now, the US is going to move to a green path. We will have all of the studies and tested programs available from Green Plan nations to help give us a jump-start. The exciting news is that large numbers of US corporations have turned green, and this opens the door to new possibilities.

Principal Three: Business Leadership is essential to carry the idea.

In the success models I have most studied (Holland, Singapore, New Zealand, and the European Union), environmental progress was stuck, as they currently are here in the US, until business stepped forward and took the lead. This will be true here as well. At first I assumed it had been the voice of government or the non-profit activist sector that mustered enough energy to advance the sustainable idea. However, I made a number of trips to those nations in order to investigate their processes of switching to all-encompassing integrated policies. I concluded from those trips that changing the scale to comprehensive management is so complex it requires the leadership of the most powerful institutions, in this case what has consistently been the usual opposition to government - business.

Part of the reason for the EU's environmental success is from business joining their cause. Anytime you have been locked in opposition with a strong opponent, as environmental advocates have been locked, and the opponent suddenly joins you, you move forward in huge leaps. The reality is that business has attained tremendous influence in government and public affairs. Elected government officials have to compromise to such a degree that environmental legislation most often does not make it or is hardly recognizable after business interests have compromised it. In Europe business leaders took the first step by sharing their conclusions and proposing the idea that environmental concerns were real. This was a dimension required to solve some of their long-term problems, including differences between sectors of business and their traditional enemies.

For instance, when I spoke to the New Zealand Business Round Table in Wellington, the chairperson, upon introducing me, asked if I had noticed the absence of real estate development interests in the room. They opposed our decision to support a national comprehensive green plan, he said. They did not like the word "planning". So we kicked them out of the round table. In Holland, business and agriculture divided regarding the decision of whether or not business should go to the government to suggest a Green Plan. For fear of being run out of town I will not recommend that a similar break will be needed in order to move any Michigan legislation past the auto industry domination of the legislature. However, the EXXON factor that hoodwinked the Big Three so big gas users assured them of record profits, then ignored the affect on automakers. Now while EXXON makes historical profits, the automakers and Michigan are wilting; of course, the President of General Motors is still making a fine salary, regardless. One would think that EXXON would at least give the auto industry half of their profits for sticking with big gas hogs and losing any hope of marketable competition with the gas-saving foreign carmakers. In summary, we are on the edge of the major change that swept Europe forward.

Principle Four: Though business is crucial for the first step, government is the key player; it is a positive dimension that needs to be involved.

In recent years government has suffered a down rating in US voter relevance. A challenge we have in the US is to re-build confidence in government.

Here is an important example of the role of government. The world's two leading solar powers are Germany and California. In part, both are successful because their respective governments gave them advantages of tax credits and capital in order to fuel their research and experiments. Another example is Eastern Europe at the time they were newly freed from the control of the Soviet Union. What, they asked, should we do? They wanted to establish a free market system with a free market economy. But how could they do it? Ah, lets bring in some foreign business leaders to give us advice. But who shall it be? The US? No. Not Germany or Australia. The Dutch were selected; they had excellent public education, health, housing, and they seemed to have a fine business climate.

The invitation went out and soon a jet load of executives from the Netherlands landed in Eastern Europe. However, those Dutch business leaders were stunned by what they saw. The Soviets had left the place terribly polluted; they could hardly breath. The water pollution was shocking, and watching the children trying to live in these conditions was too much to bear. They decided to go back home, and when they returned to the Netherlands, these business leaders had an honest review of what they'd learned. They had thought that economic policy free of government regulations was what they wanted. Yet, the disastrous downside was obvious from their trip, and they realized they had to move beyond that possibility, but how?

These business leaders from the Netherlands decided on the most radical action, to go to government and say, let's work out this environmental problem cooperatively. You know what standards we should have, and we know better than you how to achieve it. And so they did. Business was given the chance to do its part voluntarily; they had a twenty-five year plan, and an annual plan that required a report on the progress and challenges. The program was not without standards; it was clearly understood that if business did not succeed in the voluntary format, government would easily go back to command and control.

Principle Five: Lead from Strength.

Michigan has unique strong qualities. While you can't grow pineapples - a huge strength you do have is the abundance of water. I was recently in Arizona and noted the local press was grumbling about Intel Corporation. The large computer chip manufacturer was buying the water rights of small farmers in the region so that they could expand in the future. Maybe that will work, but whoever chooses sites for the factories in the firm should read The Milagro Bean Field War, by John Nichols. The social and political issues presented in the book parallel some sociology and politics primed to obstruct Intel's road to the future.

Water is an example of a systemic problem also. The energy required to run electric water pumps consumes one-third of California's daily electrical energy production. We send water 600 miles from the North to Los Angeles in the South, including pumping it over a mountain range. Michigan has an abundance of water, and if I were building a plant I would go where there is an abundance of water already. I encourage you to lead from this strength, and encourage businesses to see the benefits of moving their established practices to Michigan.

There are hundreds of entrepreneurs who believe they have comprehensive concepts that will solve the environmental crisis and win the future. Places like San Francisco and Boston already have many large groups currently working to produce these innovative ideas. If I were you, I would not challenge their development of ideas. What you and those groups both need, are manufacturing facilities. Unfortunately, many of the people who develop those ideas live in popular places like Silicon Valley, and flee the area just on the basis of housing costs. This seems to be a contradiction; but focusing on one or several environmental themes while ignoring the rest will bite you sooner or later. However, sometimes problems can be assets. A recent article in the press reported that while California had previously ranked fourth in the Gross Domestic Product rating of states, through the last decade it is slipping economically and is now described as suffering a reverse migration. California now ranks seventeenth. One of two reasons given is that the cost of housing is too high for any worker to own a home who has an average salary3. I understand that housing prices here are but a fraction of the cost in California.

Principle Six: Upgrade and maintain the quality of life here.

The majority of states have a welcome mat out for new industries and there is plenty of competition. Every governor hopes that their state will bring in new industries and jobs. That decision requires the evaluation of living conditions as a measurement of the quality of life. Today, in order to succeed in industry, it is necessary to appeal to the quality of life. Your actions concerning the states' ethics, assets and values determine a future company's factory site evaluation. I will give you some hints for what to consider as Michigan's assets: water and wild land recreation. By comparison, California and the American west are arid. When it doesn't rain in California for a few months, I recall how nice it was growing up in Michigan, and being able to swim and fish in real lakes and hear thunder from summer rains. And I miss the winter sports I love: ice fishing, ice-skating, cross-country skiing and other cold weather sports. Take advantage of the opportunities you have here. Advertise a sense of place, a shared feeling for the place and a willingness to sacrifice for it.

Hunting is another "sport" that appeals to a lot of people here and elsewhere. For many of us, the growing health issues in the food industry conceptually justify the return to hunting. As an example of new opportunity, I note that a number of urban states now provide an urban hunting license, allowing people to hunt deer by archery inside city boundaries. The sheer number of auto accidents with deer, in addition to the problem of Lyme disease (of which deer are carriers), justified their decision to allow hunting within the city.

An improvement category that is necessary for Michigan is land use policy. I say this without clearing permission with my host for the evening, the Land Policy Institute. From an outside perspective, we hear that in Michigan it is possible for hospitals to be built next to pig farms, or for public parks to be sold for private development; and we think that is barbaric. A change in that attitude (and policies) would improve the image of Michigan. There are plenty of examples in the world and in other countries from which to draw new ideas and experiences. For instance, you could look at zoning works as shown by New Zealand's land policy (link). Such a progressive land policy includes imaginative architecture, landscaping, zoning, and the separation of development rights and scenic easements from the ownership of the surface itself, requiring innovation in taxation4. These are all areas that would set a tone of new quality for the state. Regarding the haphazard sale of parklands for any purpose, something your [Michigan] legislature seems determined to do, I borrow a phrase from David Brower, "The world is not rich enough to lose any more of the gentle wilderness, nor poor enough that we need to."5 Acquiring money from the sale of parks is not worth the damage to the image of integrity as seen from the outside.

Lead from strength. You have water, you have low cost housing, and you have adequate appealing qualities that could entice the technical specialists needed to carry out programs for the future. You have successfully overcome bad times before. I remember reading in some past sociology class that during the horrors of New York's Hell's kitchen period, the cut over timber areas of Michigan were equally tragic, but still overcome.

There are additional factors that could be principles in my view, and I will mention them briefly.

Time - plan for the evolution of the Green Plan theme to evolve over several years. Both the New Zealand and Dutch examples took about five years from the beginning to become the functioning national programs they are today; and they are still evolving, sixteen and eighteen years into their plans. Part of the reason it took years was the time it took to sell the idea to the opposition and cynics. When we join these nations in a green plan effort we can expect a shorter timeframe because the evidence, the hard statistics of the advantages of Green Plans already available, will move us quickly ahead.

Green Taxes - have a proven track record and should be applied here. A green tax on fuels would guarantee that all Americans would be involved in the sacrifice to create and maintain a sustainable environment and environmental policy. Make those who are opposed fight the whole population of America. The Dutch get 12% of their present tax revenue from green taxes, using the concept that the polluter pays.

Social Contract - get everyone involved. When industry, government, labor and environmentalists supported the new direction, The Netherlands had a new basis for governance and began the process of change for the better. They understood the need to be comprehensive and involve the whole country in a social contract. Enthusiasm was stirred by education. Considerable TV campaigning was done and the whole country was soon involved. Industry especially applied its skills in advertising, which helped develop public support.

Health - is the new force. It is clean versus poison, and carbon sources are described as poison. Since they are often cheaper, some argue that being economical is a priority. However, if you include the health costs, the epidemic of children's asthma, cancers, loss of crops and forests, rising seas and the flooding that entails, you have a different set of statistics.

The Dutch use this term as one of the sub-categories describing their Green Plan. They appealed to their nation at all levels to take on the problem of environmental health decline and solve it. They worked to convince many institutions to join them and had a major victory when the labor sector became involved.

Integrity of Information - is critical. It is one of the principal reasons the Dutch plan worked. A trusted scientific institute oversees and constantly evaluates the Dutch programs; it is a referee when there are differences in the meaning of data. This scientific institute is funded by government but remains independent of government influence and the annual report is the blue ribbon document of integrity. The information content on their website is detailed, lengthy and trustworthy.

The Third Player - a third player besides government and industry are the environmental movement critics. From the beginning business and government decided that they would not invite the environmentalists to sit in on their closed-door negotiations. They realized the environmentalists were the trusted judges and communicators in Holland and their independent critique of whatever advances the two negotiators decided on would be essential to political support. As a result, the environmental movement receives some funding from government just so they can maintain economic energy to act as a critic. As independent voices they constantly and accurately transmit their findings to the media.

Here is an important point, one where Michigan State University could help itself and the nation: Launch an Extension Sustainability Service/Green Plan Community Assistance Program. MSU was the nation's first Land Grant School implemented by The Morrill Act and signed by President Lincoln. As a result, each state with a land grant school has an Extension Service. At the time, The Extension Service brought farmers out of the dark ages of serfdom and into modern society. I recall in some ancient lecture during my student days, that The Extension Service was one of history's foremost successes in dealing with an immense human problem. For Michigan, it would be wonderful if a well-funded Extension Sustainability Service were launched. There are better and cheaper ways to maintain the quality of our lives. Some areas of the country are complacent or so rooted in tradition that they will avoid change for as long as possible. The choice isn't whether we want to move into this contemporary new style of managing our environment. We have little choice.

Now I will describe why the US has little choice but to adopt a Green Plan, and manage the whole problem in an integrated manner.

I believe the Green Plan model will be adopted by the US for several reasons. The principle reason is that the rest of the world is responding to The EU's Green Plan requirements. As to the EXXON era, others such as Shell Oil, have already begun to modernize, and are now choosing to be called "energy companies" as opposed to "oil companies" and Shell has quickly become one of the worlds' largest solar energy technology manufacturers.

While the EXXON era has caused the US to fall way behind in environmental regulations, much of the rest of the world understands the necessity of competition in the world market. Growing numbers of countries continue to require clean environmental products and will not allow contaminated products into their national trading markets. The US is already under pressure because the now larger, 490 million consumer EU market requires all imports to meet their standards. The US will find that the best option will be to correspond with the requirements of other nations in order to maintain our role in world trade and to improve the health and well being of our citizens.

The first stroke of this environmental hammer occurred in 1989 when the EU banned the US from exporting beef to Europe. The reason for this ban was to discontinue the import of steers injected with large amounts of growth hormones to Europe. The EU has recently passed regulations limiting the import of other pollutants as well, which has caused some companies in Silicon Valley to recall exported computer products and other electronic equipment to Europe. In addition, the European Commission recently passed a new chemical restriction policy called REACH. This policy will limit 30,000 chemicals from entering Europe, some of which have not been proven to be harmless to consumers. They are also looking to limit air pollution produced by airplanes. They also intend to pass a law applying criminal penalties to corporations in violation of environmental regulations, and the executives who run these corporations could receive jail terms. The EU supports applying regulations consistently and across the board without favoring any one country, person, or organization. To show that they are serious, the EU is pressuring Holland, the country that provided the basis of structure and information for their current environmental policies, to improve their CO2 emissions.

The reason the US has opposed new regulations is due to current free market political dominance. These opponents use the US Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) to guide their efforts. In recent years, such conservative lobby efforts have generally limited US improvement in environmental standards; however, its attempts to force its methods on the EU have failed.

The Chamber has large offices in Belgium, home of the EU, and President Bush appointed an attorney friendly to the Chambers' position as ambassador. When I was last in Belgium, a respected member of the EU laughed at the pressure the Chamber attempted to place on the EU. He said we are not going to listen to their plea against restrictions. They have chosen to forge ahead regardless of the complaints from the usually successful and tough Chamber. Recently, the frustrated president of the Chamber was quoted as saying "...We're going to sue the hell out of them for some of this stuff," which brought hearty laughter from the EU policy makers.

The Chamber's belief in few rules has its problems. A classic example in case is Michigan. A few years ago, both the auto and oil industry blocked the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards in order to set higher automobile mileage standards favoring their profitable interests. If the CAFE standards had become law at that time, I believe the US auto industry would still be booming ahead of Japanese car manufacturers. However, last week the Big Three appeared again before congress, complaining that they still did not want CAFE standards. This causes cynics to see EXXON as the strong arm reaching out to keep the big gas burners coming. Michigan fuel users spend $18 billion a year in purchases, which continues to pave the streets of Houston in gold. Detroit, it may be noted, is in such bad shape that there are fifty thousand abandoned houses. One can at least say the automakers misread the market.

The problem can be described as social, political, and environmental progress coming to us the hard way. In fact, the US is dragging its heels as it is pulled into the environmental quality management standards that world trade requires. While the Green Plan concepts of science and technology are documented and available for free on the Internet, the US ignores them. Again, that will change.

I'm optimistic after my visit here; there is a spirit of optimism that the worst is over and that the state can get on with building a better future. I noted today that Lansing's Mayor Bernaro has announced a Green Lansing Program and has signed the growing list of mayors agreeing to help global warming. He deserves a round of cheers for his leadership. It marks one of the turning points that will bring Michigan to a positive future.

As a former resident who was treated well while growing up here, I will be a gentle critic of the Big Three. I feel an allegiance to General Motors; I was able to pay for my education by working in their factories here. If I had any say in state policy, I would apply tough love, and that would include some increased green gas taxes. In addition, an enlightened labor movement worked in Europe; I assume it would work here too.

I see a major lesson for the nation from what has happened here. Having a one-industry economy, without the public sharing in the profits to build infrastructure, is high-risk business. A one-industry state has locked into a legislature so it looks after the Big Three. The problem here is that every indicator imaginable says big gas burners are over. I was on the Cabinet of a California Governor who decreed that Chrysler's largest car could not be sold in the state due to its fuel consumption; currently, the California administration awaits word from the Supreme Court as to whether a state can apply stronger CO2 restrictions than the existing federal restrictions. The Federal EPA said a state can't have stronger regulations, but it is being challenged. If it goes California's way, look out, the hammer is coming down on Hummers.

A point of interest, amid the coming EU restrictions, is a serious vehicle mileage requirement that will affect car manufacturers.

Finally, this path and journey that I believe so much in, is still easy to join, and much of the pioneering work for blazing the path has been done. Whether benefiting from the hundreds of millions of dollars of research, or the proven advantages and the pitfalls, the time won't get any better.

For the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Singapore, the Green Plan Path to prosperity took five years to get underway. Part of that time was in convincing opposing interests to participate. They have the information for us on how to make this process work in the US, and bringing their expertise here is an attempt and an opportunity to save time. We have a remarkable scientific and technical dimension indexed in the Resource Renewal Institute's website designed for anyone to reference.

If you have any more political or social questions please email me and I will be happy to answer them.


1 One in a series of lectures called The New Path to Sustainability, sponsored by the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University.

* On the right side click on Green Plans In Action and that will take you to more options; click on The Netherlands and then Further Links. There are many Netherlands website options in this section. The first website, VROM, and another called MNP are both very valuable and provide detailed information.

2 From Not Man Apart. Int. by Loren Isley. P. 24, 1965 Sierra Club Books

** At this time, the United States (US) is in what some call the "EXXON - Big Three" era, with carbon fuels dominating political decision-making. Which is a reason the US initial Global Warming action is an example of oversimplification. It is thought of as an energy supply problem caused by carbon dioxide (CO2); however, energy flow is just one of the problems contributing to global warming and other environmental issues (link http://international.vrom.nl/pagina.html?id=9504; page 75, figure 30); there are many other factors that cause global warming. Conversely, global warming is just one environmental problem proliferating due to coal burning processes such as steel production (link: http://international.vrom.nl/pagina.html?id=9504; page 76 figure 31).

3 See the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday 2.24.07, Golden State May Have Lost its Luster, Joel Kotkin.

4 From Forward, David Brower, Not Man Apart, Sierra Club books 1965

5 David Brower, The Gentle Wilderness, The Sierra Nevada

*Huey Johnson, Green Plans, U. of Nebraska Press, Third Edition, 2007, p.22.

Posted on March 1, 2007 11:16 AM |

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