Subject: Viridian Note 00076: American Power Brokers
Key concepts: lobbying groups, political power structure
in USA, Viridian Notes Table of Contents 00001-00075
Attention Conservation Notice: It's political.
It goes on
quite a while.
Entries in the Viridian Couture Contest:
Prada's Fall 99 "EcoWarrior" get-up, pirate-scanned out of
July 01999 issue of VOGUE:
(((Thanks for showing us how the pros do it, Miuccia!
Everybody go click the banner ads in gratitude at
Summer 1999 issue of Whole Earth magazine has lead article
on "Viridian Manifesto"
Tor Kristensen remarks:
"The links in the bespoke.org Viridian Notes are now
active (clickable). Please notify the Viridian public that
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Sources: FORTUNE magazine December
When you're baking in inhuman heat beneath an angry sky,
just as, for instance, millions of inhabitants of the East
Coast of the United States are doing as I write this, the
carbon dioxide problem can seem monstrous and unstoppable.
After all, the planet's entire atmosphere has been soiled.
There's no place left for anyone to hide. It's easy to
feel helpless and to become very paranoid.
No entity anywhere seems to be helping climate matters
much. Especially in politics. The National Wildlife
Federation's *Conservation Directory* (44th edition) lists
no fewer than 3,000 government and private environmental
groups, in the USA and Canada alone. Many of them have
been beavering along in the halls of power for decades
now. Yet we're still roasting in our own exhaust spew,
just like the turkeys we are.
But in fact, to date, CO2 has never become a central
political issue. The Kyoto treaty is buried under the US
Senate's carpet. Even the political anti-Kyoto forces,
(and there are plenty of them with plenty of funds) are
very much fringe amateur small-fry, power-politically
speaking. Before I tear into the anti-Kyoto groups as if
they were causing the end of the world (as in point of
fact they may be), it's useful to put CO2 politics into a
broader political perspective.
We'll stick to an American political perspective for
the time being, because I haven't found good data yet for
other juridictions, and the Americans clearly play a
major, starring role in the planet's CO2 crisis.
Who actually runs the American political system?
Could it be CIA/NSA/FBI? The Military-Industrial Complex?
Freemasons? The ultra-rich? The Skull and Bones Society?
The 4,312 guys on the grassy knoll who shot Jack Kennedy?
In December 01997, FORTUNE magazine took the
trouble to conduct a formal poll of members of Congress,
Congressional staffers, and White House officials. The
magazine, aided by two professional pollsters, asked 2,200
politicians to rank American interest groups in terms of
their political clout. These were America's top
politicians, talking about the people who tell them what
to do. Who can get their way from the US government? Who
do American politicians fear to cross? Who really compels
their political attention?
Interest groups have their ups and downs, just like
all other aspects of industrial democracy. It's only a
year and a half since the FORTUNE poll though, and we're
still in the same Administration. So this is a viable
snapshot of the American political landscape, seen from
the top of the system.
FORTUNE did the ranking, but I'm doing my own helpful
commentary. I hope that non-Americans may find this list
of particular use.
1. American Association of Retired Persons
Old people who vote faithfully and have plenty to gain and
lose by government subsidy.
2. American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Wealthy, discreet alien sympathizers with a focussed
Largest labor union. Historically dominates Democratic
4. National Federation of Independent Business
The small-business lobby.
5. Association of Trial Lawyers of America
The privileged legal caste. They know how legislators
think and act because many of them are future, current or
6. National Rifle Association of America
Notoriously zealous American armed-populace freaks and the
industries that supply their ammo. The classic single-
issue pressure group.
7. Christian Coalition
TV-satellite evangelical empire. Good at grass-roots
attacks on Republican party structure.
8. American Medical Association
The privileged medical caste.
9. National Education Association
Huge numbers of government-employed teachers.
10. National Right to Life Committee
11. National Association of Realtors
Huge real-estate industry is highly vulnerable to changes
in federal tax structure.
12. American Bankers Association
The privileged financial caste.
13. National Association of Manufacturers
Classic iron-bending industrial lobby.
14. American Federation of State, County,
and Municipal Employees
Government workers who have everything to gain and lose by
activities and budgets of governments.
15. Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A.
Broad-scale business lobby.
16. Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Caste of military veterans. Formerly in government
uniform, receive many formal privileges, have own Cabinet
17. American Farm Bureau Federation
18. Motion Picture Association of America
American global entertainment complex: movie, video, DVD
and ancillary rights subdivision.
19. National Association of Home Builders of the U.S.
Home construction industry.
20. National Association of Broadcasters
Traditional broadcast television lobby.
21. American Hospital Association
Lower and industrial ranks of medical caste
22. National Governors' Association
Fifty state executives below federal level, common source
of Presidential candidates.
23. American Legion
24. National Restaurant Association
25. International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Large,scary labor union notorious for organized-crime
*26 United Auto Workers
Labor union, and the very first group in the listing that
might have any direct interest in CO2 issues.
27 Independent Insurance Agents of America
28 National Retail Federation
*29 American Trucking Associations Inc.
Transportation lobby, another group of CO2 interest.
30 Health Insurance Association of America
USA is unique in having no government health policy,
creating anomolous boom situation among medical lobbyists.
*31 American Automobile Manufacturers Assn.
Auto lobby. Major CO2 greenhouse interests.
32 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Yet more medical lobbyists.
33 Business Roundtable
Ultra-wealthy business caste.
34 National Beer Wholesalers Association
Drug industry, heavily regulated, still remembers
America's "noble experiment" with alcohol prohibition.
35 Natl. Com. to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Elderly demographic group protecting cross-generational
*36 National Automobile Dealers Association
Car salespeople. They sell large devices that spew CO2.
*37 Sierra Club
First environmental group on the list, finally in at
number 37. Old, wealthy, well-organized. But you could
fill a banquet hall with powerful Washington lobbyists
before the first environmentalist got a Birkenstocked foot
in the door.
38 American Federation of Teachers
Another teacher's lobby.
39 Pharm. Research & Manufacturers of America
40 Children's Defense Fund
Social-welfare lobby beloved of Hillary Clinton and
*41 American Petroleum Institute
The first Washington lobby that can be unhesitatingly
classified as a Viridian class-enemy, with direct
responsibility for climate damage, and compelling,
unavoidable reasons to damage more and more.
42 American Insurance Association
Yet another insurance lobby.
Reproductive rights zealots.
44 American Council of Life Insurance
45 Recording Industry Association
American global music entertainment complex.
46 American Bar Association
47 Securities Industry Association
48 National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
Business distributor lobby
49 National Assn. of Letter Carriers of the U.S.
Postal employee lobby.
50 Tobacco Institute
Nicotine drug industry.
So much for the top fifty power players. As you can see,
climate scarcely ranks at all. This is not without its
benefits, as, if things work out the way we Viridians hope
they will, climate will quickly cease to matter
politically. We don't *want* a permanent political
interest in CO2 issues. That might be fatal. If climate
spins so drastically out of control that climate becomes a
long-term, central political crisis, it probably means
catastrophe for civilization.
Just for fun, here's a swarm of the following fifty minor
players, where the situation remains very the same.
51 National Cable Television Association
52 National Council of Senior Citizens
53 Communications Workers of America
54 Service Employees International Union
55 Independent Bankers Association of America
*56 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Labor union including electric utilities.
57 United Steelworkers of America
58 Associated General Contractors of America
*59 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Electric utilities, possible solar, wind
60 Mortgage Bankers Association of America
61 American Cancer Society
*62 Citizens for a Sound Economy
63 Intl. Assoc. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers
64 Grocery Manufacturers of America
65 Planned Parenthood Federation of America
66 Americans for Tax Reform
67 National Association of Life Underwriters
68 Handgun Control Inc.
69 Beer Institute
70 Credit Union National Association
*71 League of Conservation Voters
72 United States Conference of Mayors
73 National League of Cities
*74 Chemical Manufacturers Association
*75 Independent Petroleum Assn. of America
Oil drillers, carbon miners
*76 National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Methane problems, highly energy-intensive industry.
77 National Association of Independent Insurers
78 American Nurses Association
79 Natural Resources Defense Council
80 United States Telephone Association
81 Food Marketing Institute
*82 United Mine Workers of America
Carbon mining a major sub-industry.
83 National Association of Securities Dealers
84 Bond Market Association
85 Hotel Empl. and Restaurant Empl. Intl. Union
*86 Environmental Defense Fund
Legal arm, carries out class-action lawsuits.
*87 American Forest and Paper Association
Cuts trees and plants them.
*88 National Wildlife Federation
*89 American Lung Association
*90 Edison Electric Institute
Electrical power lobby.
91 Common Cause
92 American Heart Association
93 League of Women Voters
94 Federation of American Health Systems
95 Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.
96 National Association of Counties
97 Newspaper Association of America
98 Air Line Pilots Association International
99 Union of Needletrades, Ind., and Tex. Empl.
100 Electronic Industries Association
You'll notice that the "Viridian Design Movement" is
nowhere listed. But on the other hand, neither is the
"Global Climate Coalition," with their vile assertions
that CO2 is just great for Mom and apple pie. It's still
hand-to-hand battle among small clusters of savages, out
on the CO2 frontier. And with luck, it will stay that way
until no one has to worry about it any more.
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Table of Contents 1-75
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Viridian Notes 1-75 (complete with titles, some
00001: Viridian Design Speech
00002: Viridian List Mechanics
00003: Viridian Design Principles
00004: Historical Awareness
00005: Viridian Aesthetics
00006: Floods 1
00007: Floods 2
00008: The Science Press on Global Warming
00009: The Science Press on Global Warming, Rewritten
00010: Comments from Viridians
00011: Viridian Mascot Contest
00012: Web Links
00013: Link Criticism
00014: Remembrance Agents
00015: Weather Violence
00017: Viridian Aphorisms
00018: The Viridian Model Family
00019: Viridian Domains of Interest
00020: Energy Reform, the Swedish "Solution"
00021: The World Is Becoming Uninsurable, Part 1
00022: The World Is Becoming Uninsurable, Part 2
00023: The World is Becoming Uninsurable, Part 3
00024: Kelly's Koan
00025: German Greens
00026: Viridian Aphorisms
00027: Viridian Graphics
00028: Viridian Gardening
00029: The Interfund
00030: The View From Ecotopia
00031: Self-destructive Jungles
00032: The Viridian Refueling Project
00033: Viridian Aesthetics: Andy Goldsworthy
00034: Researching Andy Goldsworthy
00035: Viridian Aesthetics: Landscape Transformation
00036: Offshore Wind Power
00037: Viridian Commentary
00038: Viridian Aphorisms
00039: Starck's New Catalog
00040: German Politics
00041: The Viridian Product Catalog
00042: the Viridian Alcohol Cellphone
00043: the Viridian Electrical Meter
00044: The Viridian Service Station
00045: Twentieth-century Thinking
00046: German Bankers Love German Greens
00047: Viridian Imaginary Products Exhibition
00048: Viridian Aphorisms
00049: Submerging Carbon
00050: Wired Urban Forests
00051: Viridian Commentary
00052: Human-Assisted Wildlife Migration
OOO53: The Ecosystem Game
OOO54: The Festo Stingray
OOO55: Biodiversity Maps
OOO56: Viridian Commentary
00057: Extinct Megafauna
00058: Grass Gas
00059: Viridian Aphorisms
00060: Viridian Strategy
00061: Web-site Power Banner Contest
00062: What I Did for Earth Day
00063: Real-World Projects
00064: Viridian Finances
00065: Burning Man Festival
00066: Freeplay's Wind-Up Power
00067: Eco-Disaster Tourism
00068: Household Localizers
00069: Viridian Aphorisms
00070: The Coal-Burning Net
00071: Greening the US Govt.
00072: Viridian Couture Contest
00073: Viridian Commentary
00074: Browning the US Govt.
00075: Kyoto Politics
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thick black icky death beneath electric wings of light
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