Counter-culture: Manifesting Change – Environmentalism

Go Lean Commentary

News Flash: The hippies of the 1960’s grew up! They became middle class suburbanites. They traded in their tie-dye T-shirts for Polo shirts; and their Volkswagen Beetles for ‘Soccer-Mom’ Minivans.

Did the revolution for the 60’s Hippies simply fail? Did they retreat into the mainstream?

No and No, they simply won, their fight; the changes the counter-culture demanded were manifested:

The counter-culture has been argued to have diminished in the early 1970s, and some have attributed two reasons for this. First, it has been suggested that the most popular of its political goals—civil rightscivil libertiesgender equalityenvironmentalism, and the end of the Vietnam War—were “accomplished” (to at least some degree); and also that its most popular social attributes—particularly a “live and let live” mentality in personal lifestyles (the “sexual revolution“)—were co-opted by mainstream society.[57][65] Second, a decline of idealism and hedonism occurred as many notable counter-culture figures died, the rest settled into mainstream society and started their own families, and the “magic economy” of the 1960s gave way to the stagflation of the 1970s[57]—the latter costing many in the middle-classes the luxury of being able to live outside conventional social institutions. The counter-culture, however, continues to influence social movements, art, music, and society in general, and the post-1973 mainstream society has been in many ways a hybrid of the 1960s establishment and counter-culture.[65]Wikipedia.

Wait, what?!

The fights for civil rights, civil liberties, gender equality, environmentalism, and the “end of the Vietnam War” was successful. The world – America and Western Europe – we live in today is radically different than the world before the 1960’s. So they – the counter-culturists – are able to declare some relative victory.

Unfortunately, while that success was only limited, the Caribbean was left out in this fight … and the victory tour.

For example, the mentality to “live and let live” which is present in the US and other countries is painfully absent in the Caribbean. Many Caribbean citizens have fled the Caribbean orthodoxy, many being “pushed”, to live in a society where they can “live and let live”.

Let’s consider one fight that was manifested by the counter-culture: environmentalism.

At its crux, environmentalism is an attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems on which we depend in such a way that all the components are accorded a proper degree of sustainability. There was a relative success for environmentalism in the US with the creation and facilitation of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This new independent federal agency was established by the 37th US President Richard Nixon in December 1970. The Administrator of the EPA is accorded Cabinet rank, so it wields power and authority to effect change in American society. In fact, under the 44th President, Barack Obama, the EPA began to impose regulations on carbon emissions from cars, power plants and other industries who contribute to Climate Change.

Despite all the accomplishments with environmental protection (land, air and water), there is still more work to do. In fact, Climate Change has been identified as one of the biggest threats for the Caribbean region. There is a need for our Caribbean communities to stand-up and fight for better Climate Change mitigations. This commentary asserts that there is the need to re-kindle that old counter-cultural vigor and vigilance.

This commentary – entry 2 of 4 – is a continuation in this series on the counter-culture of the 1960’s/1970’s. This series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean considers the experiences of how people deviated from the mainstream society to forge change in their communities. The people – youth mostly – were scorned and ridiculed, but they persisted … and manifested the needed change. The other commentaries in the series are cataloged as follows:

  1. Counter-culture: Embracing the Change – Battling against Orthodoxy
  2. Counter-culture: Manifesting Change – Environmentalism & ‘Climate Change’ abatement
  3. Counter-culture: Monetizing the Change – Education, Workplace, Healthcare & Retirement Mandates
  4. Counter-culture: Pushing for Change – Is Ganja here to stay?

All of these commentaries convey “how” the stewards for a new Caribbean can take a “page from the counter-culture book” so as to shepherd societal change in this region.

Yes, we can!

We need that 1960’s vigor and vigilance in our efforts to abate Climate Change today. Remember the powerful anthem by R&B singer Marvin Gaye Mercy, Mercy Me! See the VIDEO here:

VIDEO-AUDIO – Marvin Gaye: Mercy, Mercy Me! (1971)

Published on Aug 21, 2007
Marvin Gaye – Mercy, Mercy Me (the ecology); Rest in Peace Marvin


VIDEO-AUDIO – Robert Palmer – Mercy Mercy Me/I Want You (1991)

Published on Aug 20, 2006
A cover of two Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me” and “I Want You” singles from Robert Palmer (Rest in Peace).

  • Category: Music 
  • License: Standard YouTube License

The science has proven that Climate Change is man-made – it is not just Mother Nature – and so man can mitigate the risks and remediate the threats. While this is a global problem, one man, one community, one country and one region can make a difference. Since we are on the frontlines of this battle – due to our vulnerabilities with hurricanes (see Appendix A below) – we need to be front-and-center in the fight.

We have the successful track record of Acid Rain.

In a previous blog-commentary (October 13, 2016), it was related that previous fight against Acid Rain is a good model for Climate Change today. Consider this direct quote:

Remember Acid Rain?

That was a big deal in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was a big environmental problem; the stakeholders came together – many kicking and screaming – to put in the remediation and mitigation and now the problem is greatly abated. See the encyclopedia details of the problem in the Appendix A below, where it is reported that Acid Rain levels have dropped 65% since 1976.

Climate Change is another area of atmospheric pollution that can also be abated with a lot of the same strategies, tactics and implementations as was employed to abate Acid Rain. But instead of the smoke stacks of factories and power plants, the problematic culprit this time is fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels and carbon emission = Climate Change!

Unlike Acid Rain, the “bad actors” for Climate Change are not just industrial installations; this time it is “almost everybody”. Cars are one of the biggest contributors. There is no denying this cause-effect any more. The problem is now globally acknowledged! There are new international agreements – Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) or COP21 – to curb fossil fuels / carbon dioxide emissions. 195 countries have signed on to these accords, including big polluters China (#1) and the US (#2).

The overall goal of these international accords is to achieve significant environmental benefits through reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases, the primary causes of Climate Change. The remediation and mitigations employ regulatory and market based approaches for controlling GHG [(Greenhouse Gases)] elements. It should be noted that the COP21 accord is a non-binding agreement, but the biggest contribution is that the community will is now entrenched.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean uses an alternate technical term for “community will”; it identifies “community ethos”, as “the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a society” (Page 20). So, in everyday practical terms, it will now be politically incorrect to pursue policies in denial of Climate Change.

The Go Lean book presents a 370-page roadmap for rebooting, re-organizing and restructuring the economic, security and governmental institutions of the 30 member-states in the Caribbean region, especially in light of the realities of Climate Change. … We must “Go Green” to arrest our own carbon footprint, so that we may be less hypocritical – have moral authority – in calling for reform from the big polluting nations.

The timing for this commentary, and reminder, is crucial! We are on the threshold of the 2018 hurricane season and the scientists are expecting a catastrophic one … again. See the related article in Appendix A below.

We must do better this year and in the future, compared to how we did last year. In 2017, 2 major storms impacted the Caribbean regions, leaving death, destruction, dysfunction and defection in their wake:

  • Irma – A Category 5 storm on September 4, 2017; this caused devastation in many islands, hitting Barbuda and the Virgin Islands especially hard.
  • Maria – A Category 5 storm on September 18, 2017; this caused devastation in many islands, hitting Puerto Rico and Dominica especially hard.

Remember that Hurricane Season is imminent.

Remember Acid Rain …

Remember the Hippies …

In the previous submission in this “counter-culture” series, it was asserted …

… the ‘Hippies’ stood in the track of an oncoming locomotive … and stopped the train!

We need to apply the lessons-learned from the counter-culture most urgently in getting our communities ready for Climate Change abatement.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), to reform and transform all of Caribbean society – all 30 member-states. There is the need to shepherd our communities through major challenges, ones that are too big for any one member-state alone; we need to confederate. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines; including a disaster planning and response functionality.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Caribbean needs the spirit of the previous counter-culture to “stop the train” that is on our track. Can we remember and role-model the previous rebels and revolutionaries who did not settle for the status quo? Yes, we can!

No we are not saying become hippies! Yes, we are saying to counter the status quo.

The movement behind the Go Lean book has previously detailed many related issues and advocacies for Climate Change awareness and abatement. Consider this sample of previous blog-commentaries: Canada says: “Follow-me” for Model on ‘Climate Change’ Action EU Assists Barbados to Go Green Looking and Learning from the Cautionary Tale of Kiribati The Science of Green Batteries Fix ‘Climate Change’ – Yes, We Can Due to Climate Change, ‘Crap Happens’ – So What Now? COP21 – ‘Climate Change’ Acknowledged A Meteorologist’s View On Climate Change ‘Hotter than July’ – Reality in the Caribbean Climate Change‘ Merchants of Doubt … to Preserve Profits!! Book: ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate’ Climate Change May Affect Food Supply Within a Decade Climate Change May Bring More Kidney Stones Caribbean grapples with intense cycles of flooding & drought Go ‘Green’ … Caribbean

The Go Lean book and roadmap stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean’s societal engines is possible; it is conceivable, believable and achievable. But changing society entails changing the people in society, their attitudes and values.

We saw change manifest with the counter-culture of the 1960’s/1970’s. As related above, “the post-1973 mainstream society has been in many ways a hybrid of the 1960s establishment and counter-culture”.

We now need to change our people, our Caribbean people. We need them committed, devoted and inspired to adopt the appropriate community ethos to derail the current trajectory – to doom – and move our countries in a new direction.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to forge a counter-cultural revolution transition in the Caribbean; it details the new community ethos that needs to be adopted, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

We urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this roadmap for change, to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Grenada’s Forestry Department Concerned About ‘Climate Change’ And Its Effects On Hurricanes

By: Maryam J. Tawfiq-iLAND Resilience Project

With the announcement from Colorado State University hurricane researchers of their projections for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season the forestry department of the ministry of agriculture in Grenada is concerned with the likely effects of this year’s storm and of them possibly intensifying.

The 14 named storms of the 2018 season will be slightly above-average, said a report from the university. It projects that seven of the storms will become hurricanes; three of them “major’’ hurricanes.

Ever more people around the world seem to be experiencing freak storms, floods and droughts — including catastrophes that devastate whole regions. The reasons for these complex weather events aren’t straightforward. Some say the crazy weather we’re experiencing is due to greenhouse gas emissions around the world; others disagree.

Anthony Jeremiah, acting chief forestry officer, said the ministry of agriculture is adopting “active preparedness measures’’, admitting that “we are very much concerned regarding the destruction that can arise from hurricanes’’.

During the 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season, six major storms – all of which were Category 3 or higher – produced devastating human, material and financial losses across the southern United States and the Caribbean.

Last year’s above-average storm activity was foreseeable. Hurricane intensity ticked up in 2016 and scientists have predicted this trend will hold as global temperatures continue to rise.

Though the Caribbean is facing increasing vulnerability to hurricanes, many in the region hold very different opinions about the severity of climate change. According to results from the latest Vanderbilt University Americas Barometer survey, a strong majority of Caribbean residents perceive climate change as a “very serious” problem. In contrast, just 44 percent of the U.S. public does.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Source: Posted May 5, 2018; retrieved May 8, 2018 from:

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