American Public Media's "Greenwash Brigade" kicks off OD's "Ethical Politics" Blog

We'd like to welcome you to our new "Ethical Politics Blog." This Blog is a companion to The DIctionary of Ethical Politics, a collaborative project of openDemocracy and Resurgence that is developing over the course of 2009. Here's the basic information on the Dictionary, which should be available to the public in 2010:

The world is entering a new epoch, one in which social justice, ecological balance, sustainable economic systems, and spiritual evolution will be inextricably woven into our political systems.

In order to help define this new era, and offer a resource to all those concerned about ethical governance--activists, politicians, policy makers, students, and writers--we are building a lexicon of new political thought centered on the relationship between ethics and politics. We examine the basic concepts of our political life: freedom, equality, sovereignty, justice, sustainability, sympathy, love ... and how all can exist in an interconnected balance. It is meant as a popular but serious examination of central political concepts in the light of ecology, spirituality, and radicalism

To emphasize open source collaboration, the dictionary will be developed in the Wikipedia model, using a combination of authors and activists who have been approached directly for the project, and volunteer contributors who express interest in participating. Collectively, we aim to provide 300-500 word entries on specific political terms, topics and concepts.

The purpose of the "Ethical Politics Blog" is to cover new economic and political thought and how it relates to the four "E"s of the new epoch: Environment, Ethics, Ecology, Economy (with "Ecology" being seen more as an ideology, and "Environment" being an applied issue). It's a place to see what other people are saying, and doing, and appeal to emerging problems without "playing into the catastrophe." 

So, how about we start with something simple? Since I'm from the States, which is the epicenter of the crisis, we'll start with some interesting responses over here on our side of the Atlantic.

If you are a public radio junkie like I am, one of the most incredible resources for understanding the ins-and-outs of the global economy can be found on Marketplace, a unique program that "appeals to listeners who aren't attracted to the usual business fare." The show is produced in Los Angeles by American Public Media in association with the University of Southern California. Of particular interest are: the "Fallout" blog, which chronicles the financial crisis in some depth without veering off into the arcane; "Working", which each month brings you into the life of a single worker in the global economy; and the "Greenwash Brigade."

The Greenwash Brigade grew out of the steadily growing number of green-themes segments on Marketplace. It's a partnership between the producers and their hand-picked environmental professionals, each part of the Public Insight Network, a new-paradigm news network of more than 70,000 public sources who help find and report stories. As the website states, the Brigade is constantly "on the hunt for "greenwash" as they examine eco-friendly claims by companies, governments and other groups. They ask tough questions about the mainstreaming of green, from the perspectives of people in the trenches who are focused on these issues 24/7."

The Public Insight Network is also looking to hear your stories, and share in your insight. Look through this list of developing stories and see if any relate to your present circumstances (although they are primarily looking for American stories, my experience has been that they never let a good story go by, no matter where you are from). Maybe you'll even join the network and help report?

--CS