This week, green business guru Joel Makower encourages us to envision success in creating a clean, sustainable economy that averts climate catastrophe and improves our environment, communities, and lives. And shareholder activist John Harrington urges banks bailed out with Troubled Asset Relief Program funding to make sure they stabilize US economic security.
As icecaps and global markets melt down, localism is rising up as a solution to our ecological and economic crises. United for a Fair Economy and Class Action, two national nonprofits based in Massachusetts that address the inequitable distribution of resources, are sponsoring a workshop entitled “Building a Local Economy that Works for All.” Today, we speak with Class Action Executive Director and United for a Fair Economy co-founder Felice Yeskel, and current United for a Fair Economy Board Chair Prakash Laufer about how the workshop weaves together economic, social, class, and environmental solutions to build a local sustainable economy. We at CWR have spoken with Felice in the past about her book, Economic Apartheid in America. Prakash is former CEO of Motherwear, a catalog company providing clothing for breastfeeding mothers that he co-founded in part on the principles of PROUT, or progressive utilization theory, which envisions a post-capitalist economy that is sustainable and just.
On September 26, 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy,president of France and the European Union, said, “we must rethink the financial system from scratch, as at Bretton Woods.” On October 22, US President George Bush announced that Bretton Woods II, as it was called, would be held in Washington DC on November 15. The new summit seeks to fix the broken economic order created at the summit of world leaders held in a small New Hampshire ski town as World War II wound down. In today’s ViewPoint, we speak with Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets about her recent CSRwire commentary, “Advice for Summitteers on Reforming the Global Casino.” This continues our series with Hazel commenting on the market meltdown.
You could see the global market meltdown coming a mile away, according to futurist Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets. She’s been identifying fatal flaws in the global economy, and sustainable alternatives, for three decades. Her most recent commentary on CSRwire critiques the “fractional reserve banking system,” which allows banks to lend 10 times the amount of money they actually have in reserves. In other words, money for nothing. Today, CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Henderson about using the financial crisis as an opportunity to shift to a more sustainable economy.
CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Gary Hirshberg, CEO of organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm, and author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Hirshberg believes that business is a necessary force for creating a sustainable economy and society, as outlined in his book. Yet he admits that business is a primary cause of our current unsustainable economy, a seeming contradiction that he explains in our conversation.
Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk, provides commentary on a recent Ceres report examining how mainstream mutual funds vote on shareholder resolutions that urge companies to address climate change. A 2004 SEC rule requires mutual funds to disclose their proxy voting records each year. The report finds that mainstream mutual fund opposition to climate resolutions is thawing–but ironically, support for climate resolutions is also decreasing. Filling this gap is abstentions, which have doubled from 2004 to 2007. For the sake of disclosure, CWR co-host Bill Baue co-authored the report.
Renowned Futurist Hazel Henderson discusses her new book, Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, and the paradigm shift from our current economy measured in Gross Domestic Product to a new, sustainable economy measured by such yardsticks as the Buddhist country of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness or Henderson’s own “love economy.” Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue co-host.