We miss the point of the Green movement if we fail to realize that everything is political. We (Americans) live in a society whose culture of consumption, excess and waste, has been shaped by the powerful advertising machinery of corporations. They had all the help they could buy from a government only too happy to hand out corporate tax breaks, deregulate, and promote the corporate worldview. In many cases corporate executives and politicians are interchangeable: today’s governor or V.P. will soon be serving on the board of directors of a multinational corporation that contracts with the military or develops agrofuels.
Rather than focusing resources on developing energy alternatives (or restructuring to reduce national energy consumption) the US government is fighting a war to secure a large share of the world’s remaining oil reserves. That oil is not primarily for the people, but for the corporations who will then profit by selling it to whoever can pay the most. The war is likely to continue no matter who is elected in November because as the system is designed, the corporations control the government. They contribute the big bucks to the candidates (on both sides), they own the media that does its best to steer public opinion. They leave nothing to chance. And while some of us carry our reusable bags and grow a few vegetables, the corporations package ever more unnecessary products in non-recyclable packages and build shopping malls to entice us to drive and spend.
If we want to be effective as environmentalists, we need to get beyond changing our light bulbs. We need to organize around all the issues that affect our world and its diverse populations. And that certainly includes speaking out against a politician who could, on a whim (or based on a personal belief) obliterate everything we are trying to achieve.