San Francisco Bay Area coalition urges focus on local economy

What will those hippies think of next? A coalition of groups in the San Francisco Bay Area is undertaking a push against globalization and the labor and environmental offenses it incurs. The coalition, which just released a 30-page plan, hopes to coordinate with business and government leaders to move the Bay Area toward a more sustainable, less exploitative economy. One of its main goals is to have environmental costs reflected in the price of goods — for example, upping the price of electronics because of their disposal costs. The hope is to reduce “overdependence” on the global economy, according to the report; not, says coauthor John Talberth, to encourage isolationism. Next step: mobilizing the public with messages about the benefits of localization. It may be tough, as Don Shaffer of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies admits: “It’s well documented that people tend not to act unless there is a crisis.” Also, everyone knows the best hemp products come from abroad.