The organizers of second annual Boston GreenFest 2009 have many ideals regarding their festival, what it represents, and view it as an ethic to live by. They have worked tirelessly to promote many aspects of green thinking, living and architecture – including green roofs, of course – but their scope is quite global and much more encompassing. Karen L. Weber, Coordinator of Boston GreenFest and Executive Director of Foundation for a Green Future, Inc., told me that last Thursday, August 13, 2009 was indeed “a momentous occasion for the planners of Boston GreenFest.”
Karen elaborates, “We held our first Green Town Meeting at the Massachusetts State House in front of the Grand Staircase with over 50 people in attendance. Rep. Frank Smizik, Chair of the Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, opened the session. He reminded everyone about the importance of energy efficiency and working to make the changes we need to go forward. He also suggested that although Massachusetts has an excellent record about advocating for policy that addresses climate change, we must do more. Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton, recommended that everyone continue to lobby and push hard for their legislators to strive for higher goals in regards to climate change and efficiency. Ben Wright of Environment Massachusetts, a group that works hard to advocate the weatherizing of everyone’s home and ways to reduce the cost on homeowners, acknowledged the remarks of Smizik and Pacheco.”
Karen read the draft of the GreenFest Manifest to set the stage for their brainstorming session, and continues, “Scotland Willis, a member of the GreenFest planning committee and candidate for City Councilor at Large, reaffirmed the work we had to do and the unique opportunity GreenFest provides to the community to bring everyone together. Raking Williams spoke about the fact that we have entered a time for change, for all life to be revered. Tito Jackson, another City Council candidate, praised us for doing the work we are doing. Craig Altemose, law student at Harvard, local coordinator of Massachusetts Power Shift and Green Town Meeting Coordinator for GreenFest, set the parameters of our work today. We were to break in three discussion groups, with reports back before lunch. After lunch, we were to constitute new groups and refine our ideas from the ones proposed at report back. Final summary at 1:45 – 2 pm.
“The GreenFest Manifest is a document that combines ideas and a plan for action. We decided to create a way to bring everyone on board to making changes in ways that could impact energy conservation and efficiency, global warming, and respect for life in a way that could establish clear actions for our city and commonwealth. We intend to read the Manifest publicly at Boston GreenFest and hope to have everyone at GreenFest sign it. It will then by sent to President Obama and our world leaders at Copenhagen to show them what we are ready to begin doing, and to inspire them to do that much more on a global level. We hope we can inspire every state around the country and groups across the globe to come up with their own Manifest and put it into action.”
Here is the preamble to the GreenFest Manifest, and when the final form is complete, Karen will share it with us:
Whereas Boston GreenFest invites all of our communities to come together regardless of race, color, background, and diverse beliefs to learn, connect and celebrate, today we reaffirm our commitment to protect and nurture life in all of its forms; to explore a balanced relationship with our complete self and our world; and to use sincerity, justice, discipline, kindness, wisdom, and principled determination to achieve a better union and universal peace.
We pledge to eradicate hunger and war so that peace will reign in our world; to educate each other so that we can create a world in which we live in harmony with nature and our surroundings; a world in which our children will not have to worry about carbon counts or rising tides; a world in which a stable climate will continue to provide us with the blessings of all our natural systems as well as the blessings of agriculture; a world in which the ties of family and community are placed above material possessions.
We commit to the principle that in all our decisions, we will consider their impact on all future generations.
How inspirational, and momentous, indeed!
~ Linda V.