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Friday, October 28, 2011

Strategic CSR - Green Tea Party

The article in the url below presents the case for a Green Tea Party. Building on the libertarian strain of politics that fuels much of the Tea Party debate today, the author argues that a similar distrust of government, together with a desire for meaningful market-oriented action, could form the basis for an environmental (or Green Tea) political party:

The GTP would not be for you if you think increasing Washington bureaucracy budgets will produce a cleaner environment. Since 1980, the Environmental Protection Agency's inflation-adjusted budget has been relatively flat, but air and water quality have improved. Most improvements came through cost-saving technologies in the private sector, not regulations. The GTP's platform would be that only prosperity and incentives can drive environmental improvements. The first plank: Wealthier is healthier. … The second plank: Incentives matter.

I am forwarding it because I like the play on words, but also because I found the arguments interesting:

Here are a few GTP environmental policies that make economic and common sense because they rely on market forces to discover what works:
• The GTP would make land management agencies such as the Forest Service, Park Service and Bureau of Land Management turn a profit on the federal estate.
• The GTP would tap water markets instead of tapping the U.S. Treasury.
• The GTP would establish tradable catch shares to halt the decline of ocean fisheries.

Ultimately (the article did appear in the Wall Street Journal, after all):

It is not enough to strut your stuff in clothes made of recycled materials while driving your hybrid to an environmental protest. And environmental quality cannot be bought simply by throwing more tax dollars and regulations at problems. The GTP would serve environmental quality, budget cuts and economic prosperity.

After searching for the article online, I found that this idea has been around for a while. It was featured in one of Thomas Friedman’s NYT columns (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/opinion/25friedman.html) and has its own website, manifesto (http://www.greenteaparty.us/), and international branches (http://www.melaniephillips.com/britains-green-tea-party). The slogan for the movement in the U.S. is:

Making a More Perfect Union―One Cup at a Time!