Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bright Green, Dark Green, Deep Green

A lot of my posts are not topical, because I'm more interested in longer term issues, but I had to jump on this because it's all about stuff that I've blogged about and because the issues raised are close to what this blog is all about.

It started with a post by Alex Steffen on the WorldChanging website (see my post of 11/13/08 for more about WorldChanging) entitled 'Transition Towns or Bright Green Cities?' As might be gathered, it was more or less a slam on Transition Towns. (See my post of 10/16/08 for more on Transition Towns.) Rob Hopkins (Transition Towns founder) quickly responded. It seemed like a level-headed response to me, even suggesting that the problem may be that the Transition Initiative (as they now call themselves) hasn't been as good as they could about communicating what they are all about.

Other folks across the net begin weighing in, beginning with John Robb over at Global Guerrillas (I've touched on the Global Guerillas blog in posts on 8/13/08 and 8/31/08) and moving on to Sami Grover on Treehugger. Sam Grover wrote a second piece a couple of days later with a video that he claims gives credence to the idea that Transition Towns aren't such a Dark shade of Green--and he also thinks that Alex Steffen made his points better in his more recent post: 'The Revolution Will Not Be Hand-Made'. I'm not so sure. I actually do think that the revolution will be mostly hand made, but I'm sure that Alex Steffen would just dismiss me as just another 'Dark Green' wannabe.

Those who read some or all of these posts--or have even followed this post this far--can be forgiven for being a bit bewildered. What is with this 'Bright Green'/'Dark Green' terminology?

This is more of the way Alex Steffen thinks--beginning with a post entitled 'Bright Green, Light Green, Dark Green, Gray: The New Environmental Spectrum'. Basically he sees those who embrace technology as 'Bright Green'; those who advocate easy lifestyle changes as enough as 'Light Green'; those who advocate local solutions, change at the community level, bioregionalism, reinhabitation, and collective action (sound familiar?) as 'Dark Green'; and those who deny we need to do anything at all as 'Gray'. He also claims that the Dark Green folk tend to be 'doomers'. (Since he is so enamored with 'Bright Green' ideas, I was tempted to put lyrics from Paul Simon's 'The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine' as my 'Quote of the Day'...)

Somewhere (and I can't seem to find where--or maybe I just made it up) I thought I saw a response to this post adding the term 'Deep Green'--from 'Deep Ecology'--to differentiate those who believe in significant ecological change from those of apocalyptic persuasion. I like that differentiation.

Me? I think of myself as being somewhat Deep Green, but with a Bright Green tinge in spots as well as some pockets of Dark Green. But that only describes part of who I am. I'm a rainbow person, embracing the anarchist Black, the socialist Red, the feminist Pink, the queer Lavender, the Blue that stands for peace as well as supporting the Blue of working-class collars, and also supporting the Black, Brown, Yellow, and Red of people of color, not to mention the as-yet-to-be-named colors of simplicity, justice, community, and equality. (Hey, I live in a state where the Green Party changed its name to the Green-Rainbow Party.) And at the heart of it all, as far as I'm concerned, is the Deep Rose color of love and compassion.

Okay, what color are you?

Quote of the Day: "Perhaps the best example that Transition Initiatives are an incredibly positive part of that vision lies in Rob's response to Steffen itself. Having refuted some of his arguments, and taken (I think rightly) objection to some of the more hyperbolic charecterizations, Hopkins takes the opportunity for some self reflection: 'Perhaps if he manages to miss what Transition is about in such a way, his piece bats the challenge back to Transition; how well are we communicating what we are doing?' That's the sign of a movement willing to learn—even from perspectives that it disagrees with. I didn't think it was possible, but my love for the Transition Movement just got a little bit deeper." - Sami Grover


Jerry said...

I think too much energy is spent on trying to label everything.

But I think I am white...and I do not mean racially.

MoonRaven said...

You are probably right about the labeling. It's a failing of mine--I like labels. They're useful to me.

And, I have to ask, why white?

Austan said...

Labeling and defining are useful in communication but shouldn't be used other than defining oneself. In that spirit, I'm pretty certain I'm deep purple. With silver stars, green clovers, red flags and blue moons. ;)

MoonRaven said...

Wow--that's a great image!

Jerry said...

White is all colors in equal balance.

MoonRaven said...

For some reason, Jerry, your original comment seems to have disappeared--at least when I look at the post. Since my comment following it and your current comment are based on what you said originally, I am repeating your first comment here. It may make our comments more understandable to anyone else reading this.

On November 15, Jerry wrote: "I think too much energy is spent on trying to label everything.

But I think I am white...and I do not mean racially."