Robert Earl Bushweit (right) runs into his Detroit buddy, Percy, in a captured German town during WWII.
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?
The answer is simple and direct – because I have done The Math.
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.
One of the houses Power House Productions is transforming in Detroit – and none too soon. photo by Galliani (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.
Greenius on the job at Gompers Elementary School in Detroit
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.
The latest news on global warming could not be worse. Climate scientists now agree that we won’t be able to restrict warming to just 2 degrees – which would have been bad enough. Those in the know, including NOAA say there is no doubt that the world’s extreme weather is being caused by climate change. And last week’s The Planet Under Pressure conference, made up of planet’s top scientific experts on the climate issued an urgent plea for action as we reach the tipping points for runaway global warming from which there will be no reversal or respite.
“Civilization is at risk,” they warned.
But no one is listening. You don’t read these stories in your newspaper or on mainstream news sites or see them on your TV news. The fossil fuel industry floods the airwaves and Internet with lethal lies and propaganda in a nonstop assault on reason and intelligence. News of the Mega Millons lottery jackpot and the gunning down of individuals in American cities trumps the most important story of the last 100 years. Distracted by the bread and circuses of our time and doomed by our own lizard brains half of the United States population believes that global warming is a hoax designed to make scientists wealthy. Every Republican running for President of this country agrees with that ruse and vows to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. Nothing I do can change any of that.
Faced with this bizzaro world reality I have opted out of futile protests and demonstrations and chosen to do the only thing I can do – increase the amount of renewable energy, energy efficiency, tree plantings and sustainability practices in the most effective way I can. Which is why I now work for EcoMedia, who is responsible for doing all of those things, and more.
Alison Diaz (with scissors) along with ECHS staff and supporters about to cut the ribbon in front of Environmental Charter High School's new solar-powered greenhouse. (photo by Glenn Marzano)
I have seen the future and it looks like a solar-powered greenhouse, a solar-powered pump driving aquaponics, a non-toxic termite treatment for buildings, students growing their own fruits and vegetables on their high school campus irrigated by captured rainwater, and other sustainable practices paid for by grants from corporations with no strings attached.
The on-stage banner heralding the ribbon cutting event @ ECHS. (Courtesy of CBS EcoMedia)
In a still repressed economy during an era when “no new taxes” is the mindless mantra that forces cutbacks and the elimination of educational programs and resources, the only place the dollars are going to come from are nontraditional, innovative sources. You can argue the merits of that if you want, but I’m done arguing. I just want to see projects get funded, renewable energy put to work, energy efficiency retrofits instituted, conservation measures adopted and sustainable practices replace business-as-usual before the climate crisis makes any positive action a moot point.
That’s why for the past week I’ve been working at my new job in Manhattan Beach where I’ve transitioned from the volunteer advocacy efforts I’ve been contributing since 2008 to a professional role in sustainability partnerships for CBS EcoMedia. EcoMedia employs exactly the kind of nontraditional, innovative business practices I’m talking about through their EcoAd program – the kind of innovative business practices that found me on the campus of Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Lawndale on Friday morning to celebrate the ribbon cutting for their new solar-powered greenhouse.
I took an unexpected trip in the WABAC Machine last week while I was on vacation with the lovely and talented Debra just outside Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park here in America’s most beautiful state, California.
We like to rent a house in the town of Three Rivers when we go up there and we’ve always found different, very cool places to stay on Vacation Rental By Owner (vrbo.com). The house we stayed in this trip was perfect. It was a craftsman-built one-bedroom with every amenity. Private. Quiet. On 13 acres and just a 15 minute drive from the Park’s southern entrance.
There was a nice selection of books, especially guides to the flora and fauna of the High Sierras. We also found magazines (Utne Reader anyone?) CDs and Blueray DVD movies and documentaries.
I pulled an old issue of Sierra (the magazine of the Sierra Club) from July/August 1997. It was there because the cover story was “Among the Ancients, Giant Sequoias of the Sierra” Another article headline that made the cover, “Is Al Gore Our Great Green Hope?”
Wow… 14 years ago doesn’t seem like a million years ago, but damn if it wasn’t.
Vice President, Al Gore, talking about the need to take immediate action on global warming and failing to convince the President or any Republicans that he knew what the hell he was talking about.
Indeed as it turned out he knew far more than the President or any member of Congress did on the subject but none of them cared because Gore’s personality and persona didn’t work on TV. I’ve always said that it’s a curse to be truly intelligent in the USA and nobody in American politics ever fails when they attack the smartest person in the room for having too damn much intelligence and not enough common man “I want to have a beer with that dude” appeal.
Al Gore is one reason I like to believe in my own favorite version of the String Theory of particle physics – multiple alternative universes occurring simultaneously is the way I like to grok it.