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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Management > Social Responsibility

All Politics Is Local -- And So Is the Environment

Think systems, think systems...think...

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Hearts and health Former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s sage advice was "all politics is local" -- so stay engaged.

I've found that "all environment is local" -- so stay engaged.

From large ecosystems down to microclimates, natural resources are dependent upon local environments. And local environmental management depends on decision makers to stay engaged with the natural systems.

The seasons. The watershed. Weather patterns. Native plants. Native wildlife. And the local human population and mores.

Take lawns, for example. Even people who think neatly clipped grass is an abomination are hard pressed to find realistic alternatives. The city inspectors can swoop in and declare a new landscaping approach a hazard or in violation of city ordinances. Yes even manicured grass that dumps stormwater runoff and pollutants into the natural water system is controlled by local politics.

Finding native plants in nurseries can be a real challenge.

Finding information about water gardens and rain gardens can be an adventure in global Internet searching -- forget the local library.

And introducing a new concept to the neighbors can be trying, to say the least!

It's all about the system. The system. The system. The system.

When we want change, we must look at all the elements of the equation, the system and change them from the supply side first. And the supply side includes local politics. And local businesses. Local tribes (neighborhoods and family). And local household leaders...be they adult or children.

The best kept secret in the environmental and green awareness movements is "local systems". Can you define your green systems? Are they well oiled machines...or struggling with huge loopholes in them? (See how we have political terms for the concept of systems?)

Carolyn
Beware, editor on a soapbox! (And yes, that's our free speech system)



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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