By Steven Schmidt, [email protected]
Editor’s Note: Continuing his series of articles entitled eOS, an eco-operating system, Steve Schmidt looks over the horizon as he encourages “green best practices” that fully utilize the unprecedented developing worldwide Web/Internet. The future of online networking has potential to redefine politics, both locally and globally, in ways that are green, resilient and sustainable. Steve introduces the concept of ‘globally connected citizens’ as planet citizens (with a new website even — www.planetcitizen.org).
Green Horizon is pleased to look over the horizon again with Steve, who played a central role in the US Green Party’s formation and the drafting of the 2000 national platform. We
hope you find this further development of his eOS vision as positive and promising as we do.
We’re in need of another Enlightenment. We need to evolve to another level very soon… We all need to step up. The last Enlightenment happened because of the printing press. The Internet is that, potentially. — Steven Soderbergh, July 2014
The worldwide reach of the Internet enables green ideas as a powerful ‘value add’ to politics and business as they exist today. Old ways of thinking, ‘business-as-usual’, prevails but green networking as an alternative offers a vision that is urgently needed.
Starting in the 1960s, first as an upstart movement focused on the West Coast of the US, a counterculture then cyberculture (1) has kept on “keeping on”. A “greening” of culture, a legacy of the 60s, now a net counterculture, keeps on expanding frontiers in a liberating, digitally connected world. Linking is a new science (2). Social networking (3), transnational and international connections (4) and disruptive ‘bursts’ (5) of ideas are creating a new norm.
In Parts 1 and 2 of a green eOS, we spoke of the socially connected Internet enabling waves of change reshaping old ways of politics, economics and even dogmatic religion. Greens are taking up the challenge to change the world and “speak truth to power”. Whether in politics, religion, business, education or simple day-to-day living, green values are pushing policies and ideas for change.
Green practices in effect are impacting business and life at every level and better use of Internet technology/IT and the worldwide web by greens will act to reshape the world as it is.
Online sharing of green best practices, an eco-operating system, brings successful models and templates as green solutions to a world that needs to move beyond ‘old ways’ of doing politics and business.
A big picture vision is needed and greens are the ones to present a transformative vision as an “overview”, a green belief in interconnectivity. We speak of the ecology of our planet, a biosphere where “it’s all connected”, a global planetary reality greens hold worth protecting and sustaining.
While around us we experience a seeming endless cycle of “perpetual war,” “War, Inc.” with trillions spent on weapon systems, invasions, occupations, excursions, and inevitable blowback, the voices for sanity who argue for saner, smarter policies include greens who put forward alternatives to failed policies. Green parties are now organized in over 100 countries (6) and green values, policies and practices are presenting considered, far-reaching and needed solutions.
In eOS, we propose to extend the Internet and its connectivity and multiply a green vision and green ideas, to take green best practices and share them via the worldwide web, social media and mobile ‘anywhere, everywhere, always on’ channels of communication. Green paths to peace and prosperity deserve to be widely considered, on the merits, in opposition to failed policies of the past.
We propose thinking like a “global citizens”, citizens of the planet. An “overview” (7) of our planet is a starting point. We see our earth as an oasis in space, a wondrous system, a biosphere
of connected life forms, of which we are an integral part. We speak of caring for all people on the planet, not just “our people.” Greens look to be “patriotic” to community and nation – and
go deeper to act for peace, resolution of conflict, to offer life affirming values and far-sighted action on behalf of today’s world and generations to come.
Greens see the “big picture” and recognize connections that link us together. “Think globally, act locally” (8) is a common belief as greens often speak of grassroots politics and day-to-day decisions that are meaningful and measurable as we look to make waves with rippling power. Greens are not naïve, we recognize “bad actors” and threats, irrational, violent extreme behavior and
need for defense, while we also recognize old ways of security haven’t worked. Yet, we bring optimism that new answers for old problems are possible.
With the worldwide web and its unique cross-border connectivity, citizen of the planet can share content/media/messaging in historically unprecedented ways. We have the potential to remake
and re-form ideologies and powers-that-be. Green politics is primed to take it to the ‘next level’ – beyond the limits of nations, conflicts, wars and harsh conditions ‘on the ground.’
An expanding body of globally connected citizens (9), netizens, is rapidly moving beyond previous eras of separation and issues of “us versus them” thinking. Limitations of tribe, ethnicity, religious dogma, nationalism are being confronted by the openness of the worldwide web. Now, with access to knowledge and information, and online engagement via the expanding net’s infrastructure, a proliferation of ideas, not weapons, is transforming old ways of doing business.
Business-as-usual is being seen for what it is, and green values are making more and more sense in a new linked world. The interconnectedness greens have been advocating philosophically is becoming a reality as the worldwide net rolls out. The connectivity of the Internet is fostering a global village and prompting the realization that we are all in this together.
OPEN DATA MOVEMENT
The future is already here. New ways of seeing and sharing, for example, are embedded in the open data movement. Open Data resources (10) are pointing toward a new evolving democratic network.
The open data movement is flourishing even as nations, military and surveillance organizations, corporations and other groups attempt to access, legally and illegally, the online activity and behavior of online users.
As we discussed in eOS Part Two, the users of the net are often being tracked and privacy rights are increasingly at risk. The sharing of data/content is at times a danger zone (11) and threats to the net (12) on multiple fronts are present and real. Yet efforts to spy on, restrict, limit and otherwise stop the spread of the Internet/World Wide Web (13) as an open sharing network are bound to fail with netizen engagement.
As awareness of the Internet’s systems and a privacy rights movement (14) grow, greens should continue advocating an expansion of rights, a core belief in the US Green and Euro Green platforms, and be out-in-front on behalf of a digital Bill of Rights (15) and, as WWW originator Tim Berners-Lee has called for, an online Magna Carta (16).
Greens should be in the forefront of an international/global movement to expand Internet rights, as we have advocated in our Green platforms to expand human/civil/environmental rights.
Greens as global citizens, interactive netizens, have the Internet and its digital extensions to enable a new enlightenment, with advocacy of reason and science, information and knowledge.
Green perspective has never been more critically important, even vital, as we talk how best to employ the tools of the Internet and look to our planet as a common ground community. We share
a mutual defense pact, as it were, to look out for the health of the planet as a community. When it comes to threats to security, ‘national security’ is no longer merely self-interest. The fact is it’s
no longer the 19th century or the 20th century with millions of deaths attributable to extremes of nationalism.
Greens speak of security threats beyond nationalism, debilitating wars, denial of science, global warming/climate change, rising seas, extreme environmental threats, nuclear risks, resource depletion, biodiversity devastation, water shortage and more. Greens are the ones who have raised concerns that need to be raised and are not exclusive to any one nation. Green beyond-the-
horizon thinking is global citizenship, a reality check that says we need to re-think and act in different ways if we are to solve problems we’ve created (to restate the familiar quotation
attributed to Albert Einstein — “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”)
Let’s look at one global citizen initiative that is not traditionally associated with greens but could be an example of how greens can ‘elevate’ a green vision in new ways to benefit all of us on
earth, in this case, via democratization of earth science/open data being delivered from space (17). The recent launch of the first “Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2” (18) will provide, beginning late in 2014, a stream of data monitoring the carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere in a 360° survey that will be the most comprehensive ever undertaken. Here is where ‘global citizens’ have an opportunity to access open data that can demonstrate an ‘existential security threat.’
The data will be made available to us, the public, to study, analyze in case studies, report on and project threat levels into the future. The OCO open data will provide a first time, first ever opportunity for a green ‘army’ to go into the field and wage a scientific campaign to protect (a new definition of ) common-ground security, that is, security for all of us, the biosphere of earth.
Choose a challenge that works for you and use the data…perhaps focus on your latitude/longitude, e.g., check out the carbon signature over your city or go further with the data that is now being made openly available to study and report, tag, distribute and share as nextgen #earthsciences — OCO-2 and the challenge to join in (19) and micro-satellites delivering a nextgen of earth monitoring and earth systems awareness (20). The ‘greening’ of our culture, our politics, business and environment is to watch greens @work.
Going forward, the green counterculture will always be an alternative to destructive policies. Green work will offer choices, options, new ways to approach problems we have inherited. A green way is going beyond borders (like the organization, Doctors Without Borders) and thinking of us all together and our common needs and issues.
GREENS AND SCIENCE
One of the guiding principles of green thought is a reasoned approach to identifying and solving problems, whether simple or complex. The natural world is a system of systems, and to interact
successfully, in harmony with our natural world as it were, we need to manage carefully. It has been said that “you can manage only what you can measure” and to manage with success in the natural world, we need to measure carefully. Greens need to look at science as a way to interact with our earth systems for successful, sustainable results.
With a touch of humility, knowing we will never know for certain exactly how earth systems work, the green way is to interact with nature on several levels of awareness – such that our senses play
a part, our feelings play a part, and science plays a part. We are just beginning to geo-monitor the ‘’thin atmosphere’’ of earth and our biosphere from space (21), a whole earth point of view.
In the bigger picture, an overview of earth brings a realization that has come to those who have seen the wonder of earth from space, suspended blue-green with its thin atmosphere seemingly fragile in the vacuum and against a background of deep space. Beginning with first ever images of our home planet, Earth (22), taken from the Apollo era (23), greens have taken the iconic Apollo
images of earth, our first “overview” and have gone far from the 60’s Whole Earth catalog and roll out of personal computers.
Greens of all stripes are at work these days greening politics and business, bringing forth serious, credible ideas and policies in a connected world.
From an ecological perspective, conscious of the interdependence of life and environment and the necessity of a sustainable eco-nomics, we have a world of reasons to support #earthsciences, #greenvalues, and #greenbestpractices. An eOS, an eco operating system, utilizing the full scope of the Internet/World Wide Web, is there for all of us as a tool in a green #planetcitizen tool kit.
The founding Green Party platform (24) of the US Green Party, in its structure and focus on democratic participation, social justice and environmental/economic sustainability, is based on
an ecology that sees us all together. A thriving global, open Internet has the potential to become an e-platform for Green platforms across the planet as we link up and join together to create waves of change.
When we speak of a Blue Marble, a Pale Blue Dot, our home (25), I hear blue-green citizens. We can all be #planetcitizens.
STEVEN SCHMIDT founded Global Policy 360 and Green Institute online. He is co-author, with Roger Morris, of Strategic Demands of the 21st Century: A New Vision for a New World bit.ly/12DWYAB, the Green Institute’s initial policy paper and organized the Surviving Victory conference in Washington DC with the Institute bit.ly/1277ZiX. A key drafter of the founding national Green Party Platform http://www.gp.org/platform2000.shtml, Schmidt chaired the original platform committee, serving from 1995 to 2001. He initiated the first Common Ground platform between the Association of State Green Parties and European Federation of Green Parties and assisted in the proposal to draft the first Green Global Charter. In 1994 he ran for Lt. Governor on the Green ticket in New Mexico with Roberto Mondragon, achieving major party status for the New Mexico Green Party, and over the course of the 1990’s worked to organize a legally recognized U.S. Green Party http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Schmidt. From 1995-1999, he served with distinction on the New Mexico State Board of Education. Recently president of a leading interactive firm, he established M Channel to set up a forward-looking online media company http://mchannelonline.com/. Steve can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, Strategic Demands and GreenPolicy360.
SEEING THE WORLD IN NEW WAYS
1. From Counterculture to Cyberculture – http://amzn.to/1jBaymf
2. Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked:_The_New_Science_of_Networks
3. Understanding Social Networks – http://amzn.to/1mQoloC
4. Six Degrees of Separation – http://amzn.to/1r6fmkg
5. Bursts, the Hidden Patterns – http://amzn.to/1nA72n5
6. Green Parties, International – http://www.greenpolicy360.net/mw/images/Green_Parties_global_list_June_2014update.pdf
7. Overview – http://vimeo.com/88602839
8. Think Globally, Act Locally – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_globally,_act_locally
9. Global Citizenship – http://www.kosmosjournal.org/article/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-global-citizen/
10. Open Data linked resources – http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/GreenPolicy360-eOS#GreenPolicy360_.2F_Open_Data_linked_resources
11. Danger Zone – http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/winning-the-war-on-info
12. Threats to the Net – http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/07/03/net-threats/
13. Surveillance State – http://www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/23560-taking-on-americas-runaway-surveillance-state
14. The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age (UN Human Rights Council Report/June 2014) – http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/DigitalAge/Pages/DigitalAgeIndex.aspx, http://www.
15. Digital Bill of Rights – http://jameslosey.com/post/79356515492/an-overview-of-calls-for-rights-or-principles-for-the
16. Online Magna Carta – http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/12/online-magna-carta-berners-lee-web
17. Mission: Democratizing Access to Information about the Changing Planet – Doves/Planet Labs – http://vimeo.com/88602839
18. Earth Science from Space – http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/oco2/a-train-atmosphere-20140703/index.html#.U7qp9JH8cjw
19. OCO-2 and the Challenge to Join In – http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/NASA_EarthSciences,_Challenges_Public_to_Join_In
20. Micro-satellites Delivering a Next Generation of Earth Monitoring and Earth Systems Awareness – http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Micro-satellites#Micro-Satellites.2C_
GREENS AND SCIENCE
21. We are just beginning to geo-monitor our ‘’’thin atmosphere,’’’ earth and biosphere from space – http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Micro-satellites
22. Beginning with first images of our home planet, Earth, taken from the Apollo era – http://www.greenpolicy360.net/mw/images/Whole_Earth_1972_Apollo_17.jpg
23. Apollo Era – http://www.greenpolicy360.net/mw/images/From_Apollo_4.jpg
24. Green Party US Platform (founding platform 2000) – http://www.gp.org/platform2000.shtml
25. Our Planet, Our Home – http://www.scribd.com/doc/234244894/Our-Blue-Marble-Pale-Blue-Dot, www.earthpov.com, www.planetcitizen.org, http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Planet_Citizens,_Planet_Scientists, Planet API