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For the first time in decades, Congress will enact major environmental legislation. Many environmental laws were enacted in the 1970s and 1980s, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act,  Safe Drinking Water Act, Endangered Species Act, CERCLA or Superfund law and RCRA or hazardous waste law.

Now, new laws are needed to address issues long neglected and reverse damaging Bush policies. This includes laws on climate change, endangered species, polluted air & water, contaminated food chains, energy, and mountaintop removal mining. Even state lawmakers now use a "full steam" approach to enact laws after years of neglect.

Bloggers play a key role by analyzing and writing about proposed legislation, but we can also be part of the DC debate by submitting our own proposals before DC minds are cemented in some ill-advised approach. This is all part of bottom-up politics, which includes pressuring Obama when we disagree as well as covering his back from GOP attacks.

The principles of community organizer/bottom-up politics described in Bloggers' Role In Obama's Bottom-Up Presidency apply to all substantive issues we face.  Today, my focus is how DK has the tools we need for eco activism based on Obama’s principles of bottom-up politics. As noted by Obama:

One of my fundamental beliefs from my days as a community organizer is that real change comes from the bottom up.  And there’s no more powerful tool for grass-roots organizing than the Internet.

Principle 1:  No pre-compromise but "stick to our guns" on our core progressive values.

Post-partisanship does not mean starting from a position of compromise with the GOP, but rather maintaining our core values:

Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will.

Finding real remedies for our environmental crises may ultimately require some compromise, but Obama believes that the ultimate compromise should not violate our core principles:

Basically you carve out your ethical limits and make sure to never cross them but, within them, understand the need to use compromise to get things done.

In fact, Obama believes that our core principles should be protected from opposing Democrats or Republicans by "go[ing] after them with everything that [we]’ve got." The urgency of grass roots pressure is needed to fight back against compromise harmful to environmental issues.

Without a grassroots uprising that challenges business as usual in Washington, we aren't likely to get the change we were promised, much less the change we need.

For example, one doublespeaking meme often used to rationalize compromises is a concern troll issue of economic impact.  The reality is that the practice of "protecting" business interests by raping our environment and natural resources is pursued under the guise of obtaining money today that is not sustainable tomorrow.  Green jobs are growing 2 ½ times as fast as traditional manufacturing jobs while damage to ecosystems from environmentally unsound projects can "lead to financial losses" to companies. Moreover, water shortages are "beginning to constrain economic growth."

Principle 2:  Daily Kos eco advocates need to unify with divergent groups sharing commonality of issue interest to create the power to pressure DC to take the right action.

A core principle of community organizing is that the power for change is derived from people joining forces to act together as one. It is the forming of coalitions with other progressives as well as "enemies" when there is commonality of interest on environmental issues.  It’s a paradigm of shifting alliances as groups united on one interest may differ on the next issue.

Similar to labor unions, unification changes the existing power dynamics "between business, government interests and the community" because people who lacked access to the traditional power venues can obtain that access by unification so that our voices are backed by our numbers.

As Obama says, a grass roots organization to bring about change to shape our own destiny, and that of future generations, is obtained by  organizing people to match and overcome the power of corporations and lobbyists to influence national policies:

Our putative alliances here are many. Environmental issues are intertwined with issues of economy, health care, civil rights, human rights, equal justice, poverty and political stability.

Principle 3:  The unified group applies pressure on President Obama and DC.

Obama has been trying to mobilize the netroots and America to unify so that we can present a united front to pressure Congress and defeat special interests.  Obama also believes that we should speak out when we believe that he or the Democrats are "screwing up."

It was Saul Alinsky’s disciples who hired Obama as a community organizer and taught him Alinsky’s "philosophy of street-level democracy." Alinsky often used this example to illustrate how pressure should be targeted at the President:

It is not enough just to elect your candidates. You must keep the pressure on. Radicals should keep in mind Franklin D. Roosevelt’s response to a reform delegation, "Okay, you’ve convinced me. Now go on out and bring pressure on me!" Action comes from keeping the heat on. No politician can sit on a hot issue if you make it hot enough.

This means we apply pressure on Democrats when they reject good proposals to implement Obama’s clean energy agenda by voting to overturn a ban on offshore drilling in Florida.  It means that when Obama is under "intense pressure" from the GOP to reinstate oil and gas drilling leases, we apply counter-pressure on the GOP. It means that when Obama refuses to end mountaintop removal mining that we support and applaud those Democrats working to end MTR and apply pressure on Obama to do the same.

Principle 4:  Submitting our proposals for reform to DC.

Obama has encouraged us to write our destiny in language that is both literal and metaphorical:

Hope is the bedrock of this nation. The belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.

We need to draft our plans or proposals on issues to submit to DC.   It is far easier to achieve real change if our proposal is on the table rather than working defensively to correct proposals submitted by others.

Obama has made it clear that he will listen to new ideas. As community organizer, he learned the importance of "listening to people as opposed to coming in with a predetermined agenda." He can’t listen if we don’t submit our ideas.

Our diaries can analyze issues and draft legislative proposals. Meteor Blades has drafted proposals to address sustainable, environmentally friendly development in Eco New Orleans: 'A Shining Example for the Whole World'.  Meteor Blades, Jerome a Paris, and Devilstower initiated the development of an energy policy with the assistance of A Siegel that resulted in the Energize America plan. I’ve written about Ending MTR Mining With Change That Works and outlined a draft proposal for creating additional water supplies to address the current and future water shortages.

We have all the tools we need. We can draft proposals in our diaries, discuss strategy by using Green Diary Rescue as our workroom and should we need privacy, we can create a private forum.

We’re all set for bottom-up politics!

If you are interested in environmental issues, please join DK GreenRoots, a new environmental advocacy group created by Meteor Blades. DK GreenRoots is comprised of bloggers at Daily Kos and eco-advocates from other sites. We focus on a broad range of issues. We alert each other to important eco-stories in the mainstream media and on the Internet, promote bloggers at one site to readers at other sites and discuss crucial eco-issues.  We are in exciting times now because for the first time in years, significant environmental legislation will be passed by Congress. DK GreenRoots can also be used to apprise members of discussions and strategy sessions happening in Meteor Blade’s Green Diary Rescue thread, which is also our workroom.

Schedule for DK GreenRoots week.
All listed times are PDT.


Sunday June 28:
11 am:  Mr. President, go and see for yourself by Devilstower
3 pm:  Kermit was right, it ain't easy by jillian
7 pm:  Patriot Daily
Sunday Series:
Overnight News Digest (Science Saturday) by Neon Vincent;Sunday Talk by Silly Rabbit aka Trix;Free Food Foraging by Wide Eyed Lib, How Regulation Came to Be: Donora by dsteffen;  The Week in Editorial Cartoons by JekyllnHyde; Overnight News Digest by Oke



Monday June 29:
11 am:  billlaurelMD
3 pm:  jeremybloom
7 pm:  Jeff Biggers
Monday Series:
Science Tidbits by possum; Meatless Monday by beach babe in fl; Labor Diary Rescue by djtyg, Got a Happy Story? by Carnacki); Overnight News Digest by jlms qkw



Tuesday June 30:
11 am:  LaughingPlanet
3 pm:  TBA
7 pm:  Magnifico
Tuesday Series:
Cheers & Jeers by BiPM; Healthy Minds & Bodies by RLMiller; The Left Wing by Texas Revolutionary; Top Comments by Elise; Overnight News Digest by wader



Wednesday July 1:
noon:  FishOutofWater
3 pm:  Asinus Asinum Fricat
7 pm:  Mark H
Wednesday Series:
Bookflurries: Bookchat by cfk; Siglines! by Wee Mama; Books by Kossacks by sarahnity



Thursday July 2:
11 am:  Muskegon Critic
3 pm:  Bruce Nilles
7 pm:  Jill Richardson
Thursday Series:
Morning Feature by NCrissieB; Labor Diary Rescue by djtyg, Thursday Night Health Care by TBA (contact: TheFatLadySings); Top Comments by Elise; Write On! by SensibleShoes; Overnight News Digest by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse



Friday July 3:
11 am:  Meteor Blades
3 pm:  TXsharon
7 pm:  Land of Enchantment
Friday Series:
Morning Feature by NCrissieB; Mojo Friday by TexDem or rbutters (TBA); Frugal Fridays by sarahnity; Friday Night at the Movies by Land of Enchantment; Top Comments by noweasels; Overnight News Digest by Oke



Saturday July 4:
11 am: Jerome a Paris
3 pm:  buhdydharma
7 pm:   TBA
Saturday Series:
Morning Feature by NCrissieB; Dawn Chorus Birdblog by lineatus; Saturday Morning Garden Blogging by Frankenoid; Saturday Morning Home Repair Blogging by boatgeek; Top Comments by carolita



Plus there'll be music on environmental themes in jotter's High Impact Diaries every morning, along with schedule updates.  Additional diaries will be filled in from amongst the following: A Siegel, DarkSyde, faithfull, The Cunctator, and Turkana - kinda like musical chairs?

Thank you all for participating in DK GreenRoots eco week!

TEST RUN OF NEW UPDATED SCHEDULE

Schedule for DK GreenRoots Week
All listed times are PDT.


Sunday June 28:
11 am: Mr. President, go and see for yourself by Devilstower
3 pm: Kermit was right, it ain't easy by jillian
7 pm: Obama Wants Green Bottom-Up Politics by Patriot Daily

Sunday Series:
Overnight News Digest (Science Saturday) by Neon Vincent; Sunday Talk by Silly Rabbit aka Trix;Free Food Foraging by Wide Eyed Lib, How Regulation Came to Be: Donora by dsteffen; The Week in Editorial Cartoons: The Crying Game by JekyllnHyde; Overnight News Digest - Ole Man River and the Big Muddy by Oke



Monday June 29:
2 am: Now it's "Cleaner" Coal? by Zwoof
6 am: CBS Jumps a Whale Shark by DarkSyde
7 am: News from the Arctic: 29 June 2009 by billlaurelMD
1 pm: With Assistance, Foxaganda Finds Another Denier by Meteor Blades
9 pm: Obama Says Mountain Crimes Can Be Regulated by Jeff Biggers

Monday Series:
Science Tidbits by possum; Maccas Meatless Monday - Action Diary by beach babe in fl; Books by Kossacks by sarahnity; Got a Happy Story? by Eddie C); Labor Diary Rescue by djtyg, Overnight News Digest: Eco Week-O by jlms qkw; Green Diary Rescue by Meteor Blades



Tuesday June 30:
11 am: Ecotourism: Not an oxymoron by LaughingPlanet
3 pm: Walking Gently in the Footsteps of my Ancestors by Got a Grip
5 pm: Coast Redwoods and Climate Change by maggiejean
7 pm: Climate War: the United States and China by Magnifico

Tuesday Series:
Cheers & Jeers Tuesday by BiPM; Glacier Park 1, Strip Mines 0 (Healthy Minds & Bodies) by RLMiller; The Left Wing: Owl Farm by Texas Revolutionary; Top Comments: The Local Green Economic Stimulus Edition by Elise; Overnight News Digest by wader; Green Diary Rescue by Meteor Blades



Wednesday July 1:
5am: A Siegel with energy meta
noon: FishOutofWater
3 pm: Asinus Asinum Fricat on bottled water
5 pm: it really is that important visits Shenandoah NP
7 pm: Mark H

Wednesday Series:
Bookflurries: Bookchat by cfk; Siglines! by Wee Mama



Thursday July 2:
9am: jeremybloom on climate
11 am: Muskegon Critic
3 pm: Bruce Nilles
5 pm: boatsie on social networking
7 pm: rb137 on blood diamonds
9 pm: Jill Richardson on food

Thursday Series:
Morning Feature by NCrissieB; Labor Diary Rescue by djtyg, Considered Forthwith by Casual Wednesday; Thursday Night Health Care by TheFatLadySings; Top Comments by Elise; Write On! by SensibleShoes; Overnight News Digest by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse



Friday July 3:
11 am: Meteor Blades
3 pm: TXsharon
7 pm: Land of Enchantment on energy

Friday Series:
Morning Feature by NCrissieB; Mojo Friday by rbutters; Frugal Fridays by sarahnity; Friday Night at the Movies by Land of Enchantment; Overnight News Digest by Oke



Saturday July 4:
11 am: Jerome a Paris on wind power
3 pm: buhdydharma
5 pm: Land of Enchantment on climate
7 pm:  Stranded Wind

Saturday Series:
Morning Feature by NCrissieB; Daily Kos University by plf515; Dawn Chorus Birdblog by lineatus; Saturday Morning Garden Blogging by Frankenoid; Saturday Morning Home Repair Blogging by boatgeek; Top Comments by carolita



Plus there'll be music on environmental themes in jotter's High Impact Diaries every morning, along with schedule updates. Additional diaries will be filled in from amongst the following: faithfull, The Cunctator, and Turkana. And we'll make more slots as needed - anyone who has an environmentally-related story they want to post this week, we'll create a place on the schedule for you.

Originally posted to Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 06:55 PM PDT.

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