Electric Company Too Scared To Tell Truth About Climate Change

If SCE Won’t Tell The Truth About Climate Change Why Should We Trust Them About Anything?

SCE solar workshopI attended the Southern California Edison’s free Solar session for homeowners last night.  I was there as a volunteer for the South Bay Environmental Services Center.  After my volunteer stint was over I stayed for the presentation and workshop.

P1040773Overall it was a good workshop with lots of solid basic information for people who don’t know much about solar but are considering a solar electric system.  Javier Burgos, a Project Manager with the SCE’s California Solar Initiative program gave a nice, if overlong and overwordy PowerPoint presentation.

The workshop was very well attended with over 130 local people showing up.  Their interest level was very high and they were a very attentive audience.

But it’s too bad Javier was too afraid to tell the truth about climate change to the people who came to his presentation hoping to get the facts and the straight story.

P1040776Javier said several times that he wasn’t going to talk about “global warming” or “climate change” because that was “too PC” and he was afraid of getting complaints on his written evaluation form.  He said his boss from SCE was there too and he didn’t want to get in any trouble.

So while Javier was there to tell people about why the electric company wants people to go solar to relieve pressure on the grid and to help green it, he was too intimidated by his fear of global warming denier objections to factor greenhouse gasses and climate change into the need for people to use renewable energy.

P1040774Javier seemed like a nice guy, but it wasn’t the only untruthful slant he gave on SCE behalf last night.  He also downplayed any thoughts that feed-in tariffs might be possible and actually told people there was no action going on in our state legislature on feed-in tariffs. That’s just not true and Javier was either flat out uninformed on the subject or was just misleading people.

I got the feeling it was a bit of the latter when Javier’s boss didn’t exactly tell the audience the honest story on AB 920 and its chances in the State legislature.

Your fiendly neighborhood Greenius along with my very green friend Dency Nelson, had to speak up and tell the audience that our very own Ted Lieu, Assemblyman of this 53rd District, was the co-author of AB 920 and that electric companies like PG&E and SCE were fighting against it.

P1040775Ironically, Javier, who has been with SCE all of five years, is from the country of Spain – as he reminded us several times and as his accent was evidence of.  Spain is one of the countries where they actually have feed-in tariffs for solar.  It’s a shame he couldn’t offer the audience any insights into something he mentioned very briefly in passing.

But it was the unacceptable dance around climate change science and fact, and it was the admission that he was afraid of any objections from global warming deniers that destroyed the credability of Javier and SCE last night.

It’s not that I doubt that Javier and SCE know and understand the truth.  I’d bet they’re up on the climate change news and the proven science on this topic that’s vital to their industry and the work they do.  It was obvious that Javier knew better and was just too timid and cowardly to tell the truth that 130 of his customers need to hear.

At this point in the climate change timeline and with the science now on the table – like last week’s landmark Climate Change Impacts on the US Report being issued – there is no excuse for SCE to let their petty fears keep them from telling the truth and educating the public who needs to hear it.

Last night’s statements on global warming were completely unacceptable coming from SCE and their spokesperson.  There is no excuse for this failure of responsiblity on their part and they should be ashamed of pulling that kind of crap in 2009.

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One thought on “Electric Company Too Scared To Tell Truth About Climate Change

  1. Wow Joe, really? I actually attended the same presentation in Wildomar (not far from where we met) a couple weeks back. Javier, I thought, was a bit overly doom-and-gloom on the environment and the chances of the world lasting much longer without serious change (solar installations). Honestly, more than 3 times he hinted at basically world Armageddon due to humans screwing up the environment. I’m not kidding you, it was a running theme through his presentation and his passion was one of the few things keeping me interesting in the generally basic solar presentation he was giving. His opening story was about how badly solar is needed to bring our environment back from the grips of death.

    I was under the impression that he had given many of these talks and had refined his spiel along the way according to feedback. I assumed this was the strategy he ended up with – teaching solar with a focus on the environmental benefits.

    Maybe he received negative feedback from my presentation. Maybe his boss was watching him at yours to make sure Javier didn’t focus so much on Global Warming and its negative effects. I should ‘ol Javy and let him know I appreciated that aspect of his presentation (to counteract the people who probably informed him otherwise).

    Sorry to hear that was your experience, Joe. You should give ‘ol Javy a holler and tell him how you feel. Let ’em know, Joe… let ’em know!

    Greenius:
    First off Shawn I’m getting a whole “Boom, goes the dynamite!” vibe from your attempted catch phrase, “Let ’em know, Joe.. let ’em know!” Not your best creative work, but I do so appreciate the effort.

    I do not doubt for a minute my pro solar pal, S Roe, that it was because of complaints and pressure from his boss that Javier took the tact that he did. In fact he said as much.

    And if you know me, then you know that it is my habit to send an email directly to the people I write about in this blog with a link to the piece in which I mentioned them and opined about them. I do not write behind people’s backs or without giving them a chance to respond or comment. Most of the time the folks I send those emails to never respond. I’m betting most of them are just too busy to read this blog anyway.

    But I’m real glad to hear Javier made a much better impression on you and that his pendulum swung the other way whilst in Wildomar. Must be tough being him. Attacked by the wackos in the denier cult for making the obvious and scientific case for solar based on greenhouse gas and climate change needs and now slammed by the Creative Greenius for being too timid to call out climate change at the session I attended.

    Maybe the easy answer is to just tell the truth and report the science instead of playing politics or caring whether the dude one rung higher up on the SCE corporate ladder likes it or lumps it.

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