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Happy Sustainability Day - July 4

Congratulations, we mark another celebration of American Independence Day...with NEW local action for a just, healthy, and sustainable future.

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Independence Day is uniquely American, yet shared by many countries and groups of people around the world on their own special day. It is a day of focusing on adult responsibility as much as fun and festivals. It is a moment for reflection on where our independence can lead us...from the grassroots to our centers of government.

I received the following paragraphs in an email today...and it struck me as one of the most perceptive overviews of the angst and optimism and change I see in our community...and our productive sectors:

That insistent rumble and scraping you hear is the sound of a foundation in motion, a great nation undergoing an epic economic transition. The market signals that provided much of the prosperity of the American 20th century -– cheap energy, cheap land, rising incomes, formidable government wealth, competitiveness in core manufacturing industries, moderate population growth –- have all flipped in the 21st.

Independence Day looks a lot different in an era of expensive fuel, rampant foreclosure, static incomes, government deficits, manufacturing losses, and the fastest population growth of any industrialized nation on Earth.

Our mettle as a nation is being tested. Our ability to innovate, decide, and act is motivated by very new conditions, many of them beyond our control. The years immediately in front of us will be challenging in ways that are not at all familiar to most of us. The soaring price of oil alone makes that all but certain. A nation and economy built on the principle of plenty is confronting, arguably for the first time, formidable limits.

What's impressive about this Independence Day is us -- our culture, our system. Both provide the stability and flexibility for people and their communities to evaluate the new market signals and make choices about what to do.

The author is Keith Schneider, Communications Director or Apollo Alliance (

The Apollo Alliance is inviting community leaders to sign the Green-Collar Jobs Pledge and take public action that links global warming to economic strategies to create high-quality green-collar jobs.

The Apollo Alliance is a coalition of business, labor, environmental and community leaders working together to catalyze a clean energy revolution in America.

Partners in this initiative include the Apollo Alliance, Center for American Progress, Green For All, and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, and King County (Wash.) Executive Ron Sims.

They ask you to join this wave of local action for a just, healthy, and sustainable future.

If you have questions about the partnership, please contact Mac Lynch at 415-371-1700 ext. 216, or

Edited by Carolyn Allen
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