This political primary season just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
Imagine my surprise on Friday afternoon when my cell phone rang and it was Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi on the line calling to tell me he had made a big mistake and that he was sorry.
He wanted me to know that he really regretted his YES vote two days earlier for AB 2145, the CAA Killer bill, which – Surprise! – was written by the big utilities to try and kill Community Choice Aggregation.
Al said he had been lied to about what the bill really says and does and that he didn’t really know anything about CCAs until a few weeks ago. He again said he was sorry, that he had dropped the ball on this one and that he was now going to lobby State Senator Ted Lieu to make sure the State Senate didn’t make the same mistake. What could I say? Al sounded sincere and remorseful… Continue reading
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.
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 Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce quietly parted ways with its executive director last week, telling local reporters only that it wanted to embark on “a new direction” that would include “more community outreach and more collaboration with local businesses and city government.”
Well I’ve got just the new direction the Chamber is looking for.
It’s a direction totally in line with its mission to “promote, educate and organize the businesses which serve our residents” and will instantly deliver on its desire for community outreach and collaboration with both businesses and city government.
The Green Idea City movement has been slowly building since the Hermosa Beach City Council embraced it at its January goal-setting workshop, as then-Mayor Michael DiVirgilio outlined in his March article in the Daily Breeze.
In an era when most elected officials offer no substance and no positive vision for our future, DiVirgilio is downright JFK-like in his view of what must be done:
“But now is not the time to narrow the vision for our own future, to diminish our expectations for the better days ahead or to downsize the ambitions for our children’s quality of life.
Now is the time to step up and seize the opportunities available to those who act on new realities before they become mainstream trends. Now is the time to use the stimulus, grant and foundation money available to those who lead before the map is even drawn.
Now is also the time to act because we are standing at another threshold, the threshold of climate-change tipping points that may diminish the future prospects and possibilities for young and old alike.”
So we choose to go carbon neutral, not because it is easy, but because it is our best possible future, and the best path to preserving the small-town beach community and culture we all cherish and want to pass on to the generations who follow.
Ever since the Copenhagen climate treaty talks ended in impotence two months ago there hasn’t been a single ounce of positive news on the international scene about our chances of cutting the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and getting CO2 levels back down to the safe 350 ppm zone. Here in the United States our President and Congress haven’t shown the leadership or sense of urgency necessary to prevent a climate catastrophe and they’ve given the people no hope for their children’s future at the national level. Many in Congress have acted unethically and immorally with the responsibility they have been trusted with.
As the Creative Greenius and organizer of the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group that’s just unacceptable to me. If they can’t get the job done in Washington, DC or at the UN – and it’s obvious to me that they cannot – then we will take the reins of responsibility from them right now and we will get the job done here locally.
That’s exactly what is happening now.
Last night at the Hermosa Beach, California City Council meeting, Mayor Michael DiVirgilo, confirmed that he and the City Council are committed to making their iconic beach town a Carbon Neutral City at the earliest possible date. Hermosa Beach’s Green Task Force was directed to come up with the plan and a special joint session of the Council and the Task Force was scheduled for March 30 to get the carbon neutral ball rolling. This makes Hermosa Beach the first city in the South Bay of Los Angeles County, and the first city in all of Los Angeles County to declare their intent to become carbon neutral and sustainable. And that makes them the leadership model we will replicate in all of the other 87 cities that make up this County of 10 million people.
None of this is happening by accident.
Your Creative Greenius was there on the scene to witness the historic action and to add my remarks to note the occasion. Check out the video excerpt courtesy of Hermosa Beach’s website after the jump, and discover, in classic Paul Harvey tradition, the rest of the story… Continue reading
I sure hope you’re strapped and ready to roll for the Greenius Decade because ready or not, it’s already begun and I guarantee you it will not be like any other decade you’ve ever experienced or even previsualized. The Greenius Decade will be all now and totally happening. The Greenius Decade is ready to discover the limits of the possible by venturing a little way past them into the impossible.
“If we prepare for climate change by building a clean-power economy, but climate change turns out to be a hoax, what would be the result? Well, during a transition period, we would have higher energy prices. But gradually we would be driving battery-powered electric cars and powering more and more of our homes and factories with wind, solar, nuclear and second-generation biofuels. We would be much less dependent on oil dictators who have drawn a bull’s-eye on our backs; our trade deficit would improve; the dollar would strengthen; and the air we breathe would be cleaner. In short, as a country, we would be stronger, more innovative and more energy independent.
But if we don’t prepare, and climate change turns out to be real, life on this planet could become a living hell.”