Michael Lerner

Michael Lerner is president of Commonweal, a health and environmental research institute in Bolinas, California. He acknowledges the contributions of Gary Cohen and Pete Myers to this article.

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A Renewable Economy as a Global Ethic

In a song dedicated to martin Luther King Jr., James Taylor sings: We are bound together By our desire to see the world become A place where our children can grow up free and strong. For more than three decades, the world movement for sustainable development has been driven by that aspiration. The vision of a plant-based economy is a new way of offering a more concrete vision of sustainable development to create a world safe for children and all life. For many groups that now work separately, the vision of a plant-based green economy also provides opportunities to work together. In the United States, nonprofit networks operate principally in separate silos on green economy issues such as environmental health, climate change, sustainable agriculture, sustainable consumption, forest preservation, smart growth, environmental justice, and the like. Each of these networks is, in itself, far too small to drive transformative economic change. The green economy, by contrast, is a...