Some cities just turn out the lights for an hour to celebrate Earth Hour. But not Manhattan Beach which is launching its MB2025 vision of a 100% renewably energy powered city by 2025 at a special forum in the late afternoon and then filling the world famous Manhattan Beach pier with hundreds of people for Earth Hour to demonstrate their support for clean energy and their ability to Light Up Your Future. Hosted by the Mayor and City Council of Manhattan Beach and featuring an uplifting live music performance from the Hawaiian ukulele recording group Pihemanu, this event will be live streamed to a worldwide on-line audience. The world leader in LED lighting, LEDtronics has generously donated 500 LED candles and holders. Continue reading
Last night at the Hermosa Beach City Council meeting I heard an ignorant little man reference my favorite Edward Abbey book, “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” which I read the year it came out – in 1975 as a senior in high school.
It’s true. I am that young.
The little man made himself look even smaller with a Rush Limbaugh styled rant. But the whole time he was doing so he ironically missed calling out the big time “eco terrorists” sitting just a few feet away from him.
I’m talking about the people who work for and represent E&B oil. The people whose business model is to wreck the ecology and the climate and profit from it.
These are the people who in the face of science that says we must transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy or destroy the futures of our children and all who come after them, still want to drill for oil that should never be burned.
Even when we reach the limit of our carbon budget, when burning any more oil, coal or gas will push global temperatures beyond 2 degrees celsius, the E&B business model is to harvest more oil so that it can be burned as fuel.
No foreign terrorist could ever do us more harm.
E&B has no limit on the amount of their product they think it’s safe to burn. There is no limit to the amount of pollution they are willing to cause. No maximum amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases their product will be allowed to produce.
Even if you are willing to support that kind of world class level of eco terrorism for the profit of Hermosa Beach, you are still going to be terrorized by E&B’s promises of revenues to come – because they cannot deliver on them.
E&B won’t tell you, nor will their paid shills at the American Petroleum Institute or the other dirty fuel groups they belong to, but the climate science dictates that they will have to keep 60%-80% of their reserves unburned and not used as fuel.
When this happens sometime in the next 10 years, E&B will be worth 60% to 80% less as a company.
That means the pie in the sky projections of tens and hundreds of millions of dollars of income from E&B’s Hermosa Beach oil operations will be worth as much as that coupon for cigarettes you thought you’d use at CVS.
There are no bigger cowards then the people who work for the oil, coal and gas industries.
They know full well what the climate models predict based on a continued burning of their product.
Yet they are too cowardly and morally weak to do the right thing. They are so cowardly that they lie about the impacts of their business practices and they help finance the climate change denier movement.
They are the Vichy French of our time and they are proud of themselves for being so.
On the other hand – to buck the billions of dollars from the rouge and reckless fossil fuel industry, to risk the wrath of their law suits, their intimidation tactics and their attempts at character assassination takes real courage. The kind that brave people who run towards the danger have.
In fact, the most patriotic Americans today are those who despite the greatest of odds, in the face of what may already be runaway climate change, are willing to spend their time and energy to fight for our children’s future.
I’m talking about heroes like climate scientist Michael E. Mann, the scientist best known for his “Hockey Stick” and for having his emails hacked in a failed attempt to smear him and try to disprove the science.
For his service, Dr. Mann was attacked and threatened and forced to file a defamation of character lawsuit against the powerful right wing, pro-oil National Review. That’s what real courage looks like.
It doesn’t take any courage to sell your soul and become a sycophant and a shill for the world’s biggest, most powerful and richest industry in exchange for dollars in your own pocket.
There’s nothing patriotic, or noble or decent in that choice. It’s sad and pathetic and shameful.
And we certainly won’t be taking any value lessons from the people whose work is selling out their own children’s better future.
But I’m more than happy to give them one:
If it is wrong to wreck the climate then it is wrong to profit from it.
When the one guy in all of Congress who understands the latest science on climate change best, the guy who has the most experience and knowledge of the environment and how to get life-changing legislation passed like the clean air act, the clean water act, the laws that forced our government to acknowledge AIDS, not to mention having kicked the tobacco industry’s ass – when that guy announces he’s sticking a fork in it and he’s done – then you have to ask yourself this question -
What does Henry Waxman know about what’s coming next and what our government intends to do about it that made him throw in the towel and quit?
If he thought he had passed the carbon tax or climate bill torch to someone else he was confident would bring it across the finish line he would have said so.
If he thought we were already in great shape and had the plans in place to prevent or respond to the worst of what’s coming he would have mentioned that too.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence at all that Waxman’s announcement came during the same week as the President’s decidedly weak on climate SOTU or the same week the State Department’s report on the XL pipeline’s impact on climate was released. There are no coincidences when a 20 term Congressmen picks his adios announcement day.
I think Henry called “No mas!” because he knows the politics has terminally trumped the science and that there will be no adequate response on climate from our United States government – either from the Congress or from the White House which gave lip service to Waxman but not the kind of support he needed – the kind Obama is happy to approve if it means killing Osama Bin Laden, but not if it means killing his relationship with the fossil fuel industry.
Waxman knows that the Canadian tar sands are game over for the climate. He knows that fracking California just helps put the unneeded nail in the coffin and that our current national orgy of oil production is the climate’s Sodom and Gomorrah.
Waxman knows that the White House isn’t listening to Michael Mann or James Hanson – let alone Al Gore or Bill McKibben. The same way they wouldn’t listen to Steven Chu after they picked him to be their energy expert.
How many times do they have to piss on your leg while telling you it’s raining before you get it?
I think Henry got it and now he won’t be taking it any more.
If I’m wrong then you’ll see Waxman take the lead in the climate hawk community and come out swinging on climate the day his term ends. If that happens I’ll welcome it and work side by side with him. 350.org would be a good place for him to land. Plenty of heavy lifting left to do, Henry.
But personally I think at age 74 Henry’s had it. He doesn’t see any signs that we’re going to go Fossil Free and 100% Renewable Energy in time to prevent a 2+ degree rise in global temperatures and the destiny that brings with it. And that absence of hope comes from a career in DC and being able to smell the crazy juice being guzzled down by the corporate right and their shameless suckups and sycophants.
Fair enough, Henry. Go in peace. But your friendly neighborhood Greenuis still has plenty of juju and mojo to keep me going for whatever comes next. I’m in it till I see how it all ends.
And I’m ALL in.
And The River Opens For The Righteous
On this Veteran’s Day 2013 I honor my father-in-law, Bob Bushweit for his service starting at the age of 18 in World War II where he fought as a member of Patton’s Third Army across Africa and Europe and actually did preserve our freedom and our democracy as part of the greatest generation.
It is not hard to see these men and women as America’s true heroes – uprooted from their lives and sent to the European or Pacific theaters under harsh, brutal and primitive conditions without any of the technology, medical advances or modern conveniences that are an afterthought for today’s military. They didn’t know if they could win, many times were on the verge of losing and the fear and isolation they experienced never stopped them.
While we honor today the service, sacrifice and loss of all our military members, there was no threat to our homeland, our freedom or our democracy from the North Koreans, the North Vietnamese, the Cambodians, the Iraqis, or the Afghanistan people. Our men and women were put in harm’s way by politicians for different reasons, none of which have ever proven to be worth it. It’s not the men and women in uniform’s fault in any way and it does not diminish their personal service but it is not the same thing as putting your life on the line to protect and defend our American way of life. Continue reading
Why would your Creative Greenius walk away from his high-paying, highly rewarding executive role at CBS EcoMedia where I was working to fund environmental, education, and wellness projects all across the USA, just as the company hit more growth milestones and was likely to pay generous bonuses?
And so it is that I resigned from my position as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs for CBS EcoMedia effective the first of this month and I will now be devoting my full time to working on climate change response with the South Bay 350 Climate Action Group, the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and 350.org
I had no other choice once I did The Math and saw what things add up to – and how little time we have left before the global temperature goes past the Game Over limit of 2°C.
I went to Detroit last month and found myself in neighborhoods that looked like they had been attacked by enemy forces, had lost their battle and had now surrendered and in most part been abandoned. The house above looks good compared to what I’m talking about.
I didn’t just find myself in Detroit, I went on purpose to help bring books to public school kids who need them and to meet with an amazing neighborhood activist (more about that to come) who is using his creative greenius to create an alternative reality in the heart of one of the worst-of-the-worst places in Motown even in better times then these – and that was before bankruptcy was forced upon the city and its people.
And now Detroit has hit bottom and many are ready to give up on both the city and its people.
But not this Creative Greenius who says – like how it happened or not, Detroit offers a clean slate.
Detroit is an unprecedented opportunity to use the tremendous assets already in place to reimagine and reinvent its post-industrial future and address the great challenge of the 21st century – no, it’s not dealing with deficits or pension obligations, it’s adapting to climate change and building a sustainable society that can survive.
So obviously this isn’t a job for any known political figure or member of the existing power structure – none of them will ever be confused with the best and the brightest and they’re the Clyde Crash Cups who screwed the pooch to begin with.
No this is a job for the company I’ve long been a stockholder of – Google.
It’s kind of a shame that our kids’ futures are being crucified since they’re the ones we need to resurrect us
In the many years I spent studying for the priesthood I learned that the stories of Jesus Christ’s years on our planet serve as models and lessons for all of us.
So it’s as obvious as a bad face lift that we are going through the stations of the cross and that climate change is our crucifix.
It’s been the Republican party, in the type cast role of Judas Iscariot. And the silver they betrayed us all for came from today’s Pontius Pilatus and the Romans – the dirty fuel industry top executives whose empire stretches farther and wider than Caesar’s ever dreamed of.
But unfortunately the way this version of the story is being written there is no Easter and Black Friday becomes Groundhog Day – doomed to repeat ad infinitum.
That’s because when it comes to humanity, vision and a sense of the future of their own brand, the Republican Party and their supporters makes the ancient Romans look like Quakers. Continue reading
For those of you wondering what your friendly neighborhood Greenius does when he’s not blogging or hanging out with 999 other climate activists at Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, the answer is he works for a living. And he works hard in his role as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Outreach for CBS EcoMedia. When he’s not working away at his Manhattan Beach office with his fellow EcoMedia colleagues, or on the road traveling from community to community across the country participating in ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, grand openings and celebrations of environmental EcoAd funded projects, healthy WellnessAd funded projects or student related EducationAd funded projects, your Greenius is now helping to tell the EcoMedia project stories in videos like this one:
While I wait for the rest of this country to wake up and smell the climate change, every single day I work at EcoMedia I’m making positive progress on behalf of the environment, on behalf of the health and wellness issues that go hand in hand with an unhealthy ecosystem and on behalf of improving the education young people need to survive not just the job market but to face the challenges of global warming and the consequences it will bring them. It’s all thanks to EcoMedia’s President and Founder, Paul Polizzotto and the vision he had that made EcoMedia a reality and made it a division of CBS. And of course to Paul’s great eye for talent.
And just in case you were wondering – the Greenius speaks only for himself personally with this blog post and no one should think I’m speaking on behalf of CBS EcoMedia or that they approved this message. And shouldn’t that be more than enough for you when it comes to weight and credibility? Yeah, I thought it would.
Joe Galliani Selected As Climate Leader Just As Global Warming Reaches Tipping Points
After five years of studying, writing, advocating, volunteering, community organizing and now working professionally to try and make a positive difference on the issue of global warming – all in the face of relentlessly increasing world temperatures and rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions – I have reached the point of one last stand.
We may well be as doomed as doomed can be already – as I frequently tell my friends that we are, and the “Hell and High Water” may already have arrived earlier then even Joe Romm’s dire predictions, but I’m not quite ready to cash in my chips and give up the ghost. I can’t offer you any scientific hope to hang your sporty new fedora on, or any magic bullet news that might yet save the day, but I just don’t have it in me to piss on the fire and call in the dogs so I can go quietly into that good night.
Today is Earth Day 2012, a day filled with celebrations of the environment and all the things being done to try and improve it and make it more sustainable . You can go to events where you recycle your old paper tax records, your motor oil, your cellphone, computers and other electronics.
You can go to festivals and visit the booths of green nonprofits and solar energy companies, take part in composting workshops, learn about wildlife protectors and electric car companies. You might even get the chance to hug a person wearing a polar bear costume.
You can participate in beach cleanups, ride your bicycle with large groups in parades or march in protests against coal-fired power plants, polluters and planet-pummeling profiteers. You can even watch NBC-Universal TV and see how they turned their logo green and laugh at their funny PSAs about cutting your energy use or carbon footprint.
But what you cannot do at any Earth Day event – or any other day’s events – is change the sense of urgency of the U.S. government or the majority of our population about taking the immediate and dramatic steps necessary to avoid runaway climate change or the hell and high water that’s coming with it.