Goldman Environmental Prize
The Goldman Environmental Prize, the world's largest award for grassroots environmental activists, is presented each year on the fourth Monday in April. The prize honors grassroots environmental heroes from the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America.
As shown further below, this movement along with others represent a Return of the Commons.
In 1989, Richard Goldman and his wife Rhoda Goldman established the prize to recognize ordinary individuals working at the grassroots level who protect and enhance our environment. In 1951, Richard and Rhoda started the Goldman Fund, a philanthropic foundation that gave away nearly half a billion dollars to nonprofit organizations that are making the world a better and safer place. Richard and Rhoda's children John, Susan, and Douglas now manage the prize and take turns as presenters each year.
The ceremony is held at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House and is live streamed on the internet. The award and ceremony celebrate the achievements of six heroes from around the world for their sustained, significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. It is followed by a reception at City Hall where the audience can meet the recipients of the awards. The awards began in 1990. In addition to the trophy, the recipients now $175,000 (an increase of $25,000 starting in 2014) for a total cash prize of over $20 million dollars.
The 2014 ceremony pointed out, "If you see a problem that no one else is doing anything about, you're elected!"
The 2018 video below begins by asking: "When you have no political clout and the opposition seems insurmountable, what does it take to halt air pollution, to shut down a destructive mine, to clean up a toxic waste site, to restore clean water for your community, to safeguard our ocean's resources, to save an endangered species, to protect a virgin forest? What on Earth does it take to protect the planet?"
The video responds;" Sometimes, it takes just one person -- who becomes many -- and then becomes a movement.
It takes one of us. It takes all of us". Click the graphics below to see the 2017 and 2018 ceremonies. They're awesome!
Return of the Commons
The Goldman Environmental Award and the activists who have received the award since 1990 are re-establishing is the concept of "The Commons" -- an idea we forgot, but which is re-emerging around the world now. The Commons means that clean air, water, and access to arable land are rights that belong to everyone and cannot be confiscated for private profit! The Commons create a sense of "community". The Return of the Commons is in line with "Ubuntu" (cooperation vs competition). The Cosmic Disclosure show has reported that the Secret Space Program supports Ubuntu as an alternative to rapacious capitalism that is destroying the Earth.
Environmental activists like the winners of the award are re-defining not only the concept of "power", but also of "knowledge". Who knows what is "best" for the community -- corporations, politicians, and co-opted academia, etc -- or the people whose lives are most affected by their decisions? This movement is returning the West to the values held since time immemorial by indigenous peoples around the world because we must shift to these values now to survive.