This Is Why You Don’t Take Money From Oil Companies For Your Schools

When Chevron, or Phillips 66, or ExxonMobil or E&B oil companies give schools and nonprofits funding money they do it for one reason only.

To pay them to shut up.

You can fool yourself if you want to, but you can’t fool your kids, because in the end they will know their school, or that nonprofit pretending to be teaching kids about the environment, sold them out. Sold them out to the very oil companies who are destroying their chance of having a decent future.

And they will damn sure remember who went along for the ride to get that oil company money. Continue reading

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Greenpeace Los Angeles Kicking Ass on Chemical Risks

While every elected official I know in the Los Angeles area has been silent and invisible on the issue of chemical plant security over the past year, our true heroes at Greenpeace Los Angeles have been kicking ass and taking names when it comes to keeping this issue on the front burner, informing the public and calling for the necessary action.  Chemical plants using poison gases and other lethal toxic compounds surround our highest population areas here in So. Cal and put us all at risk.  They could easily switch to safer alternatives but won’t do so unless they are forced by law.

My pal, Jenny Binstock, one of L.A.’s tireless environmental champions has been relentlessly pursuing this issue and was featured in a Greenpeace video from just two weeks ago talking to regular folks at the farmers market.  All she’s trying to do is prevent a toxic nightmare right here in our own backyard… Check it out:

If that doesn’t move you to take some action of your own, listen to what this nursing student has to say about how the local medical community would be able to handle a medical emergency in the L.A. area if we had a chemical disaster:

If you’re ready to take some action – and nothing will happen unless you do – we need you to tell your Senators to prevent a toxic nightmare in your community by co-sponsoring and voting for the the Secure Water Facilities Act (S. 3598) and the Secure Chemical Facilities Act (S. 3599).

It wouldn’t hurt if our local council members and mayors in the South Bay spoke out about this issue too, but don’t hold your breath… Or maybe you better.

Greetings from ToxicTown Torrance! Breathe Deep… That’s the Smell of Dirty Money

My pals at Greenpeace, spearheaded by my sister from another mother, Jenny Binstock, produced the video above to warn folks like me, who live in ToxicTown Torrance, that we’re not really safe from the danger that surrounds us all over the South Bay and throughout all of Los Angeles.  Luckily we have Greenpeace on the case to do the job that our own Mayor and City Council just aren’t courageous or visionary enough to do.

Mayor Frank Scotto and my friend, Councilman Cliff Numark, should be the ones informing us of this danger and they should be the ones inviting Retired LA fire captain Ed Shlegel to talk to our citizens about the importance of chemical security legislation and the ways we could all be made safer in our homes, in our schools and in our businesses.  They should be the ones urging you to contact US Senator Boxer to tell her to schedule a vote on the Secure Water Facilities Act before the August Recess.

But they’re not and they’re unlikely to ever show that kind of leadership.  They’ve never shown the willingness or the balls to take on for profit businesses who foul our skies, pollute our air and poison our lands.  They seem to think that short term financial gain and tax dollars are worth the long-term health and safety risks that come with these dirty businesses.  I’m afraid to report that their idea of sustainability applies only to their own terms in office.

So it’s up to Jenny Binstock and Greenpeace – and me and you to show the courage, the vision and the balls.  Click here to find out everything you need to know to take action

Here’s Boxer’s phone number:  202-224-3553.  Tell her you won’t vote for her in a few months unless she does the right thing right now.

Tell her that after her failure to get us a climate bill that you’ve lost faith in her ability to deliver on ANY of her promises and that you don’t care if she loses her job or not.  That’s what I told the staffer who answered her phone.