START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Dec 18, 2009

How would 'The Family' deal with the biggest climate change offenders? The following is taken from C2NN story submitted by Care2 member, Daphna
We drive hybrids, we car pool, we opt for bicycles and/or public transportation. They(iii) burn 340,000 barrels of oil per day. We compost, recycle, and switch to CFL bulbs while they(vii) leak 27 friggin' tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate. How are the good guys supposed to win when faced with these kind of odds?
The late great Kurt Vonnegut once said: "There is no reason good can't triumph over evil, if only the angels will get organized along the lines of the mafia."
As they say in South Florida: Bingo.
Now, I'm not suggesting we sink toxic waste(i), indulge in wind power scams(xi), or get involved in the, uh...equine business(xiv). No, we can skip the gas guzzling cadillac but here's a offer we can't refuse: How about a protection racket for our entire eco-system?
Let's say you closely followed the recent COP15 United Nations Conference in Copenhagen and have decided to ratchet up your personal commitment to addressing the human contribution to climate change—or to put it in Vonnegut's terms, you've sided with the angels. What can you learn from the goodfellas(xii) to help the good guys (and gals, of course) win?
5 Things the Green Movement Can Learn from The Godfather
1. It Takes a Family(xiii)
No mafia don acts alone. He gathers information, makes decisions, and delegates. All members of the family play a role in contributing towards a larger goal. In its own bizarre way, the mobster model offers a powerful lesson about collective efforts. As Michael Corleone told his brother Fredo: "Don't ever take sides with anyone against the family"(xiv)
Application: Recognize our connection to all living things and instill this ethic into the next generation.
2. Know Who's to Blame(xv)
When a mob leader advises, "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer,"(xiv)  he might as well be pointing us in the direction of Corporate America. You see, personal choices are vital and can serve to bond the aforementioned "family" in a big way. But it's also important to stay close to those most responsible for climate change: the racketeers behind factory farming, the transport sector, etc.
Application: Don't mistake "greener" for "green"(xvi). Not buying a new pair of jeans may reduce our lifetime carbon footprint by about 900 pounds but meanwhile, Exxon-Mobil emits 138 million tons of CO2 every year. Keep making the personal changes but do so while organizing your "family" to take down the worst forms of organized global crime.

3. Be Bigger Than the Competition
The infamous Meyer Lansky often bragged that organized crime was "bigger than U.S. Steel". Considering what we just learned about corporate culpability in the poisoning of our land, water, and air, we need to be bigger than the biggest industries. Perhaps not in a literal sense, but bigger in every other way. Al Capone called capitalism the "legitimate racket of the ruling class." If so, eco-activism is the legitimate mission of everyone else.
Application: Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers(vi) once showed that a small group of dedicated workers can defeat a large conglomerate. Don't settle for a switch to recycled toilet paper. Keep upping the ante until you're standing toe to toe with the folks described in #2 above.
4. Don't Be Careless
As Don Vito Corleone confessed, "I spent my whole life trying not to be careless."(xiv) A good start because it's careless people who pollute, who don't recycle, who use their car for trips of 2 miles or less, who casually dismiss climate change as a hoax. A true greenie understands the consequences of her or his actions.
Application: As the New Year approaches, make time for a personal inventory to re-evaluate the green steps you are and aren't taking.

5. Endure (iii)
We know reinventing our culture is a marathon and not a sprint.
Application: There's no time like now. What we do (or don't do) in the next few years could quite possibly tilt us all toward either the point of no return or a far more sane form of society. In other words, each and every one of us can take part in creating the most important social changes ever imagined.

Mistaking Greener for Green?(xvi) ...Recycling is okay, and you shouldn't stop doing it, but it's not the height of green life. True sustainability -- where our stuff never has to go "away" -- can only be achieved with an altered cycle that does not involve trash or recycling. Think about how much less work you'd personally have to do if you never had to take out the trash, or haul the recycling to the curb; everything would be designed for longevity, and you could either pass it on or turn it in to something more useful when you were done with it. Composting is a great example of this; nature recycles everything, and we should, too
You want links? Fuggedaboutit, we got links:
(i) Watch video: American Gangster: The Silver Screen
(ii) Original article in 
PlanetGreen.Discovery by Mickey Z., NY
Deliver a Green Knockout Punch: How Rocky Balboa Inspires Us to Win
(iv) How Bruce Lee Can Help Unleash the Green Dragon Inside You
(v) Can you name the planet's biggest gas-guzzler?
Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers 
How to challenge corporate power...and fight the real source of pollution 
multi-national corporations ravage the earth 
(ix) review of Derrick Jensen's book,
As The World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial  
Toxic Waste Ship Sunk by the Mafia Found in Italy - At Least 32 More Suspected 
Gangsters Go Green! Mafia Tied to Fraudulent Italian Wind Farms - Madagascar 'Timber Mafia' Thriving 
Mickey Z: My Dad and the Mob 
Why Building Community is the Greenest Thing We Can Do
(xiv) Reference to or quote from The Godfather
(xv) Green glossary: 
Know Who's to Blame 
Are You Confusing "Greener" with "Green"? 

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , ,
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 9:20am


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


Jenny Dooley
, 3, 2 children
Eastlakes, SW, Australia
Shares by Type:
All (348) | Blog (298) | Alert (14) | Top 10 List (1) | Recipe (8) | Photo (1) | Tribute (1) | Message (25)

Showing shares tagged with: culture [show all]
(1 comments  |  discussions )
\\nZEN was suspended by Eric with no warning. We don\\\'t know any reasons nor how long it will last....\\r\\nI asked about it on the forum but my post was immediately deleted. 2 threads and petitions about Zen also. And 2 her help-groups. :-(\\r\\nUntill to...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Look Grandma I can stand!!
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Bath time is FUN time!!
(0 comments  |  discussions )
I love it when someone reads too me!!
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Just pink!!  I am the best Valentine you could have! Think Pink!
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Ally Jo my little Valentine.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Look out!!  This guy just got his drivers permit!  Nathan, I am proud of you sweetheart! My first grandchild driving!
(0 comments  |  discussions )
This is my oldest daughter and her son. My Grandson!
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\r\\nCOME TO: \\r\\nTucson\\\' s 32nd Annual Peace Fair and Music Festival2014 Theme: Climate JusticeThis FREE event is Arizona\\\'s largest gathering of Peace, Justice, and Environmental groups, with Live Music, Tables, Food, Entertainment, Children\\\'s ...
(0 comments  |  0 discussions )
\\n\\r\\nHello my C2 Family, \\r\\nFirst let me say Thank You to those of you who have so sweetly fwd my posts. You are SO AWESOME!! I will never forget your help. Anytime I can repay the favour, please tell me. Second, my Submit button has disappeared lea...