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Green Party LogoThe Green Party salutes Barry Commoner for his environmental and political leadership


For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party candidates and leaders remembered Barry Commoner, leader in the movement to build an alternative party in the US, who died on September 30 at the age of 95.

"Barry Commoner was one of the first environmentalists who understood that saving the planet meant challenging the power of the corporate political parties in the U.S.," said Jill Stein, Green candidate for President ( "He was a global leader in the effort to promote clean, renewable energy, especially solar, rather than dangerous nuclear power plants that maximized the profits of the wealthy. He warned us of the dangers of garbage incineration, promoting 'reuse, reduce, and recycle' as a saner solid waste strategy. More recently, he dismissed the genetic engineering of our food system as junk science."

Dr. Commoner was the Citizens Party candidate for President in 1980. He help created an international network of environmental parties in the early 80s, which included the Green Party in West Germany. His most vivid memory of the 1980 campaign was when a reporter in Albuquerque asked him, "Dr. Commoner, are you a serious candidate or are you just running on the issues?"

Like the Green Party, Barry Commoner linked environmental issues to social and economic justice, peace, women's rights, civil rights, and labor movements:

"Nothing less than a change in the political and social system, including revision of the Constitution, is necessary to save the country from destroying the natural environment…. Capitalism is the earth's number one enemy."

"Everything is connected to everything else. Everything must go somewhere. Nature knows best. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you don't put something in the ecology, it's not there."

Barry Commoner argued that post-World War II industrial methods, with their reliance on nonrenewable fossil fuels, were the root cause of modern environmental pollution. He was one of the first scientists to warn of the dangers of climate change. In 1970, the year of the First Earth Day, Time Magazine put Dr. Commoner on its front cover, calling him the Paul Revere of Ecology.

"It's very important that, in 1990, people understand that the control strategy has failed, that prevention is the only way to go, and that prevention means confronting the corporations where they live and where we live," said Dr. Commoner.


"Green Party prepares for Oct. 3 protests over Green nominee Jill Stein's exclusion from the presidential debates"
Green Party press release, October 2, 2012

Jill Stein on Democracy Now!, hosted by Amy Goodman, live from Denver during the Obama-Romney debate on Oct. 3:

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