Environment - Overview

The World Around Us
coordinator

HELADA members maintain a high interest in environmental matters, both here in Greece and in the US, and we see US enviro policy as having a major impact on the health of nature around the world. We also know that the environment is impacted by US trade, foreign and military policy.

As a stateside issue, the environment saw worrying neglect during the Bush years, beginning with a refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol and culminating in the lame-duck period with a flurry of roll-backs in environmental regulations. HELADA members monitored the damage, shared the bad news, wrote letters, and clicked petitions.

Living in Greece, we have witnessed the extent of man's impact on the landscape. Anarchic land and water use, deforestation, subsidy farming, and delays in addressing the political issue of waste management have blighted much of the Greek countryside. While great strides have been made in raising enviromental awareness, especially among young people, environmental degradation remains a major threat to a fragile Mediterranean ecosystem and with it the Greek tourist economy. Climate change could gobble coastline and turn the rest of Greece into a desert.

HELADA members called on our elected representatives in the US to support the fight against global warming and eroding environmental standards through: 
 - Carbon taxes and other ways to limit the human contribution to global warming 
 - Ending the politicization of the EPA and other federal and state bodies 
 - Economic incentives for sustainable lifestyles

We realize the green-investment initiatives of the Obama administration have been, to some degree, forced by the US and global economic crisis that became apparent to all in late 2008. We look forward to the results of their implementation.

In Greece, we cooperate with local environmental groups, encourage recycling at the community level, promote sustainable energy iniatives and support environmental education. We also mount, or provide volunteers for local clean-up efforts. For Earth Day 2005, HELADA sponsored its first beach clean-up at Rhamnous. More community-based events have followed.  

 

 
Vikos Gorge, Epirus, Greece

FOCAL POINTS

Economy
Food
Foreign-International

 HELADA's views in more detail:

Energy

Living Green

Wildlife