Originating from local problems of minor importance, ecological threats have reached global level nowadays. They have become the agenda of any international summit or official state meeting. The discussion of environmental perspectives has entered all spheres of human activity and made people look for conceptual change of their relationships with the nature. Alarming natural disasters have led to the broad discussion and implementation of the green political thought throughout the world. However, the difference of the states’ development, the amounts of natural resources’ consumption and harmful gas emissions have led to numerous misunderstandings between nations (Giddens 35). Developed and developing countries have different potential for combating the global ecological threats. Moreover, the responsibility for the current non-consoling environmental mutation is not equal among the industrialized countries and the countries of the Third World.
The paper researches the evolution, principles, and methods of green political movement in the process of global cooperation. It represents the green political thought as a complex vision on the balance in the relationships between nature, people as individuals, and human society as a whole. It claims that the salvation of the planet depends on the development of new environment friendly social consciousness of every citizen of the Earth.
The Evolution of Green Politics
Green political thought originates in the modern social movement born from the concern about the destruction of the ecosystem in the second part of the twentieth century (Callenbach 29). It gained the greatest scope in Germany. In the parliamentary elections of 1987, the German Green Party received more than 3 million supporters(Pinka 29). As for the parliamentary activity, complementary mass of the democratic green movement entered the parliaments of Belgium, Portugal, Germany, and Switzerland (Pinka 30). In 1989, 24 representatives of various European environmental parties in the European Parliament formed a joint fraction for providing a common policy. In the elections to the European Parliament in 1989, the representatives of environmentalist parties received 38 seats (Pianka 32).
The problems of ecology stimulated the development of the new approach to the understanding of social functionality and efficiency. The problem of overconsumption has challenged the traditional ways of leading national policy. Green parties represent political movement standing for the reform of human government that would better fit into the constraints and destruction of the biosphere (Burchel 41).
Global Greens is an international network of green parties and political movements founded in 2001, Australia, at the First World Congress of the green, where it was adopted by the Global Greens Charter. Global Greens consists of four federations around the world: North and South America, Africa, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Global Greens has a steering committee of 12 members, including three people from each federation. Europe is represented by the European Green Party. In addition, the international network Global Greens includes several dozen of national parties and civil society organizations.
The Four Principles of Solidarity
The Green Party is a world famous organization based on the concepts of ecology, social justice, non-violence, and democracy (Carter 55). Many people confuse it with Greenpeace, a global non-governmental organization that shares some green goals and values but works by other methods, and it is not organized with any political perspective (Death 84).
Program positions of the Greens include a wide range of issues. These issues include requirements for the protection of nature and the human environment in the conditions of modern industrial society, criticizing the capitalist ownership of the means of production, the proposed abolition of the major economic structures, and the development of small and medium business (Burchel 49). The Greens look for the ways of full employment and workers' participation in the management of the mills and factories. They call for the democratization of the state, the establishment of various forms of direct democracy, especially in the form of various civic initiatives. In many countries all over the world, the participants of the Green movement work out and bring into life the requirements for the protection of the world, promoting the principles of peaceful co-existence, the complete destruction of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, eliminating the use of space for military purposes, the dissolution of the military blocs, and the free development of all nations. The Green movement objectively reflects the growing desire for change among different layers of the population. It announced the search for alternatives (Dobson and Eckersley 67).
The movement has its own characteristics in different countries. Thus, the program of the Party of Environmental Protection in Sweden is based on the four principles of solidarity. First of all, it implies the solidarity with nature. No one can take more than nature can recover. There is an urgent need for the establishment of cleaner production. The second principle is the solidarity with future generations. The Earth is the place where children and grandchildren will be living and fighting for the better life, so the purpose of the current generation is in saving and preserving the ecosystem of the planet. The third principle is the solidarity with the Third World countries, providing them with the necessary support in the fight against hunger, infectious and other diseases. The fourth principle is the help to those who are poor. It can be realized through the formation of strong social programs, the struggle against bureaucracy and centralization of power.
Methods of Green Political Thought Promotion
Green tactics offer a number of general provisions emanating from the principle of non-violence. Revolution does not fit for achievement of the goals. Substitution and gradual replacement of the existing problem lie in the "double strategy" (Dobson 260). Acting from inside of the problem through change of social mind and consciousness and resolving it through legal proof of the offence are the only possible solutions leading to a long-lasting result. According to Peter Dauvergne, every citizen is responsible for the implementing of green political thought into life through the denial from the products dangerous for human health and the environment (36).
The parliamentary activities should be coordinated and consistent with the performances of the masses. The demonstrations, sit-ins, picketing, leafleting, theatrical action with political overtones, including rock concerts involve Green political thought to service. The combination of different forms of struggle indicates their flexible adaptability to a variety of conditions (Dauvergne 38).
Young people actively participate in the Green movement. They respond to the progressive anti-war and environmental programs, the creation of a society without exploitation and violence. They see attraction in the denial of the traditional orientation of bourgeois society expressed in the triad ‘job - career – consumption’. Young people tend to focus on values such as mutual aid, non-consumerism, promotion of spiritual values expressed in such mottos “Less money less stress” (Tarrow 51). They search for harmony between nature and man and try to support the disadvantaged.
Green Parties, involved in a particular legislation of the electoral process, try to influence the formulation and implementation of environment concerned laws in each country in which they are organized. According to Carl Death, the Green Party does not call for an end to all laws but they prefer peaceful approaches to the implementation of laws, including the de-escalation and harm reduction (Death 46).
Supporters of the Green policies share many ideas relating to the environment, environmental conservation, environmentalism, feminism, and pacifism(Carter 42). In addition to the issues of democracy and ecology, the Green policy pays attention to civil liberties, social justice, non-violence, and generally leans towards progressivism. This refers the Green party to the supporters of left ideology.
Among the Greens, there are many proponents of so-called ecological socialism, which is understood as a kind of decentralized democratic society with extremely limited resource for consumption and waste-free technology (Carter 42). The idea lies in creation of rural communities, environmentally friendly cities. From a social point of view, it is a utopian society, but in the idea of "ecological socialism" it has a rational grain (Tarrow 54). The protest against the pollution of the environment as a result of irrational development of science and technology calls for democratic, environmentally sound communities and Green sociologists claim that the salvation of the Earth demands the transition to such forms of human existence.
Green political thought implies a special humanitarian vision close to non-violent political ideology. The leaders see their main aim in creating a sustainable society. The Green movement is one of the most popular social and political movements in the modern world, uniting various social and political groups and organizations. They oppose environmental pollution, harmful effects of nuclear, chemical, biological and other types of industrial production. The leaders stand for the creation of a democratic society, reduction of military budgets, the number of armies, and the easing of international tension.
The international community is increasingly aware of the need to unite the efforts of all people of good will to defend the existence of civilization. There must be collaboration on a global scale both at the intergovernmental level and at the level of mass movements in the struggle for the preservation of peace, life, and nature on the planet. Global Greens Charter proclaimed the core values of ecological wisdom, namely social justice, participatory democracy, non-violence, stability and respect for diversity. Priorities of the Global Greens are the dominant economic model of reform, the fight against climate change, the solution of the food crisis, the promotion of democracy and the peace movement as well as the protection of biodiversity.