Our "green" lifestyle includes organic gardening, recycling, buying local, longing for world peace and even green politics. I attended the May 1, 2011 Maine Green Independent Party convention in Brunswick. Socially, it was fun to see old friends and to be with like-minded people for the day. On the business side, we amended by-laws, elected committee members and delegates and listened to pertinent speakers.
A great lunch was followed by small discussion groups and brainstorming sessions with a theme of "Green Party Rising". The day ended with a drumming session to wind down the day and encourage us to keep on promoting the green way of life.
The convention had many themes and I'll focus on some that had special relevance to me.
Wind power is a clean energy alternative to fossil fuel consumption. Critics cite problems with the large blades and the resulting noise pollution and harm to birds and bats associated with horizontal axis wind turbines.
Vertical access wind turbines are an alternative to the horizontal axis turbines. Vertical access turbines are quieter, have easier access since the mechanism is not up in the air, they rotate at lower wind speeds and can be placed closer together. Horizontal axis turbines must be separated at ten times their width due to a slowing effect if placed closer together. We incorporated vertical access wind turbines into the party plank on energy, along with striving for a no-waste policy for energy production and use.
Without getting into all of the Maine Green Party Ten Key Values, one is especially dear to my heart: "Future Focus and Sustainability." This states that our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect natural resources, safely disposing of or "unmaking" all waste we create while developing a sustainable economy that does not depend on continual expansion. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
In the discussion group session, I shared our own personal green experience. Growing your own veggies, cooping poultry and building with lumber harvested from trees on your land is the ultimate in the local movement. I feel it is important that the Green Party identify with practical green lifestyles and practices. As we come in contact with people and share our philosophy of growing our own, buying local, and consuming less we want to share the Maine Green Party politics as well. There are people who share the "green" lifestyle but don't get involved in politics. I'd like them to know that when the opportunity to vote arises, there is an alternative to the two corporate parties. Lifestyle, philosophy and politics all meet in the Maine Green Party.
Coming home from the convention, it's no longer theory and focus group discussion. It's now planting and weeding. It's chain sawing and pasture clearing. It's homesteading, and living the green life. I love to socialize with my Green Party compatriots and share our dreams of a universal green lifestyle. But it's great to be doing what we believe in. -G.H.