A Few Words on Eco Terrorists, Cowards and Courage

photo 1Last 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.

51Pkf5BUOHL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_The little man cited the book to accuse a friend of mine of being an “eco terrorist” because he had used the term “monkey wrench” on his Facebook page.

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.

carbon-budget

The graph on the right is the amount of carbon eco terrorists intend to burn.

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.

664972_143018165849212_1061094742_o

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.


And one last thought – on the subject of cowardice, which E&B has introduced into the conversation.  

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.  

vichy-surrender (1)They know that the work they do contributes every day to the wrecking of our climate and all the hell and high water that goes with that.

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 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.

1912385_10152216061533914_1753644434_n

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.

Getting To Work In Hermosa Beach – The Carbon Neutral ClueTrain Leaves the Station

There’s a broad movement in Hermosa Beach with a goal of a carbon neutral city. Here is the genesis of the idea from 4 years ago.

Creative Greenius

Courtesy of YouTube and the Hermosa Beach City website, and converted and enlarged through the magic of Greenius, we bring you this exclusive look at the Carbon Neutral ClueTrain leaving the Hermosa Beach station this week.  Local mainstream media missed this story completely but fortunately for them this on-line record will exist for them to use as research.  So will the reporting that the new Patch.com news group will be providing.

The story actually began last week during Hermosa Beach Mayor’s State of the City address where Mayor Michael DiVirgilio spoke about the Carbon Neutral City concept:

Mayor DiVirgilio was right back at it Monday night at the Hermosa Beach Green Task Force meeting, speaking enthusiastically on behalf of the idea:

Join us after the jump to see your friendly neighborhood Greenius and my Fratelli Verde, Robert Fortunato, following the Mayor with our own remarks.

View original post 332 more words

What Does Henry Waxman Know About Climate That Made Him Quit?

Congressman Henry Waxman receiving environmntal award at 2013 Earth Day Celebration, Manhattan Beach (c) Joe Galliani

Congressman Henry Waxman receiving environmental award at 2013 Earth Day Celebration, Manhattan Beach (c) Joe Galliani

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.

Congressman Waxman in a Tesla, contemplating how fast he could drive away from DC in one of these EVs. (c) Joe Galliani

Congressman Waxman with 66 District Assemblyman Al Muratuschi, in a Tesla Roadster, contemplating how fast he could drive away from DC in one of these EVs. (c) Joe Galliani

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.