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The Need for New Coalitions


Our reckless use of energy is creating acid rain, global warming, endangering the ozone barrier, and we're not doing enough about it. What can we do to be more effective? We can try to build better coalitions among people, among nations, among organizations. We must recognize that environmental hazards affect people as well as wilderness. Toxics, pollution, and pesticides especially affect poor people and people of color. We as environmentalists must build bridges to people affected by those hazards if our movement is to succeed.

We have begun to build such bridges in our Fate and Hope of the Earth conferences. We've had these conferences in New York, Washington and Ottawa. Last June, we had 1,200 people from 60 countries at a great conference in Managua, Nicaragua. The next conference will be in Zimbabwe in the fall of 1991. We're trying to get something going in the Soviet Union, Japan, and in other parts of the world. We're trying to get as many different kinds of organizations into this whole act of keeping the earth a livable one.

An enormous amount of good can be done if we have multi-cultural and multi-racial teams, cross-generational, male and female, going around to various spots in the developed nations as well as the nations of the South, to help them recover from the damage done by the industrial revolution. Their work could focus on the out-of-doors, the soils and the forest. But it could also help to put the cities back together again, to get the hearts of cities that are deteriorated fixed up. It's a great challenge, one of the most important challenges there is, one of the most important opportunities. Building organizational bridges is exactly what the International Green Corps is about, and Earth Island is doing everything it can to make this project succeed.

Earth Day    |    Vol. 1 No. 1     |      April 1990