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Thursday, February 17, 2005

New Alliances

The ability of big corporations, religious fundamentalists, and others on the conservative side of the aisle to work together on a range of issues, raises the question of how those on the progressive side might do so more effectively.

So it is positive to hear about a solid alliance between unions and environmental groups in Minnesota (an editorial in the Star Tribune 2-17):

"...investments in mass transit, renewable energy, conservation-oriented construction and sustainable technologies are becoming an important engine of economic growth, as well as delivering environmental benefits."


"The primary message is that environmental stewardship and restoration create new jobs, and new wealth, in the construction, manufacturing, service and agricultural sectors. Another is that the public-health benefits of cleaning up energy production and other industrial processes, while shared by everyone, are of special importance to the people who earn their livelihoods from them. A third is that the business savings achievable in greener buildings and leaner resource appetites will be shared by customers and taxpayers, too."


"But the truth is that tomorrow's industries will be looking for greener techniques as a matter of economic preference. This is the dollars-and-cents message within the abstract notions of "natural capitalism" or the "restoration economy." New models, new methods and new businesses are on the way; the states and localities that nurture them will reap the rewards of foresight in a world where, more than ever, what's better for the environment is also what's best for the economy."