When we last wrote about AB 2145 it was after a trip to Sacramento to speak out against the bill at the Senate Energy Committee hearing on it. We told the bill’s author, Assemblyman Stephen Bradford that we wanted to bring Community Choice Power to the South Bay, especially cities like Inglewood and Gardena, where lowering electricity bills will have a big impact on homeowners and business owners. We went home that day happy that the bill’s opt in provision had been removed.
But as it turns out we shouldn’t have been so pleased because AB 2145 was still alive and in its revised form now had three different ways to kill the current Community Choice programs in Marin County and Sonoma County, and to make sure no new Community Choice Power programs, like our own embryonic South Bay Clean Power efforts, can possibly succeed.
How does it do that? Pretty simply –
South Bay Gets More Done In 3 Months Than SCE’s Former Flack Got Done in a Dozen As A City Councilman in Gardena
What a unique concept. First admit what a failure you were in your own personal efforts of launching a Community Choice power program where you live. Then ignore or lie about the progress made by so many outside your community. And finally, try to kill the Community Choice power program for anyone else with the skills and abilities to do what you are not capable of.
That’s been the strategy of SCE’s man-on-the inside of the California State Assembly, Steven Bradford, who says he “resents the implications” that he is carrying water for his former employers and current campaign contributors.
Mock outrage by bamboozlers and scoundrels upon getting called out for their attempts at the old Okey-Doke is a classic loser technique. Good old Foghorn Leghorn in the classic cartoons couldn’t have sounded any less convincing. Especially after being puppet mastered all hearing long by the dirty energy lobbyist who whispered in his ear to feed him talking points.
It was a sad display of how laws get made in Sacramento and a cynical confirmation of all your worst fears about corrupt, dishonest, egocentric politicians who mean us more harm than good.
Fortunately the people also had a chance to speak: Continue reading
My politically connected friends (who prefer to remain nameless) advise me to accept State Senator Ted Lieu as he is and be happy for his strong environmental record.
They tell me to stop wishing he was somebody else and that I’m dreaming if I think he’s ever going to change into the dynamo that I fantasize about.
And I get that. You go to climate battle with the Ted Lieu you have, not the Ted Lieu you wished you had.
Yet still… I couldn’t stop thinking about it Wednesday night at St. Rocke’s in Hermosa Beach where I had gone to get away from it all and rock out to Jimmy Vaughan and his band. Luckily that totally did the trick as I downed one quadruple The Reverend after another, locking into the groove.
That night I slept like Rip Van Winkle himself, dead to the world and dreaming the vivid-as-life dreams that The Reverend, and the music, and the moment made possible.
And it all suddenly became clear to me. Suddenly we were at The Crossroads as Ted Lieu runs for Henry Waxman’s seat in the United States Congress. Waxman has been our heroic climate champion for many years now and is retiring. New, fresh, young, energetic blood is needed from a new champion at this special spot on the climate timeline – and Ted Lieu has now seized his moment and become that champion.
Everything he’s done in life has led to this unique time and place. And I could see Ted, bigger than life, looking strong, and determined and unstoppable. He was downright dynamic.
And the issue that Ted grabbed and commanded and was using to transform himself into a climate legend was Community Choice Aggregation. It was a natural for Ted and he knew it.
And right before my eyes Ted was making it his own and becoming positively evangelical about it. Continue reading
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
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
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.