To those of you who know me best and have been reading Creative Greenius since we started publishing in October 2007 it seems pretty silly that any candidate for elected office would seek my endorsement or think that it would do more good than harm.
And you would think that would be especially true for anyone running to become our United States representative from this 33rd Congressional District – the person who will be following the great Henry Waxman in that position.
But in fact, both Wendy Greuel and Marianne Williamson have each reached out to me and I have taken their asks seriously and with more thoughtfulness than usual given the crossroads we find ourselves at climate wise. Without Henry Waxman as our Representative we lose a giant.
I’ve spent time talking with Marianne Williamson’s policy advisor over the last couple of weeks and just this Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting with Marianne one-on-one for about 90 minutes at my own spiritual sanctuary, our beloved South Coast Botanic Garden on a spectacular summer-like morning.
My California State Senator, Ted Lieu, doesn’t know who I am because I have never made a strong enough impression on him during the many times we have talked over the 21 years I’ve lived in Torrance. Because of that Ted cannot remember my name and always asks for my card when I shake his hand and say hello. It pains a sensitive soul like myself to know I have made myself so forgettable and non-noteworthy, but all of us must live in the shadows of those who loom so much larger than ourselves.
I understand that it’s hard for Ted because he has met so many thousands and thousands of far more vivid people than me in the thousands and thousands of campaign events and fundraisers Ted has spent his time at during his decades running for and holding different offices as he moves his way up the rungs of political office. It no doubt makes it harder still because I have never given Ted any money even though he has mailed me two decades worth of requests for campaign donations. And it was my fault for not having a card with me earlier this week when I was part of State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s press conference in Hermosa Beach.
So to help Ted out, I just received this big oversized card with my name on it that might help him remember me the next time we run into each other – but because I still won’t be sending Ted any money or voting for him in his run for the great Henry Waxman’s seat, I’m not counting on this either.
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.
Last 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It all started with the video. It was sent to me last Thursday via email. A YouTube link from someone calling themself Primrose Evergreen.
The email said “We made this video. We want 2 talk 2 U. If U want 2 talk w/us B sitting on the 9/11 bench @ Pier & Valley/Ardmore @ 11:15 PM. Thanksgiving. No phones. No cameras. No recording devices.“
Debra didn’t want me to go and I will admit I was tired from too much food and too much drink. I will admit that may have impaired my better judgment. I told her I was pretty sure it was just a prank and I’d be back within the hour.
So at 11:05 PM I parked my EV at Hermosa Beach City Hall, plugged it into the free charger and strolled over to the button-covered bench on the greenbelt.
At exactly at 11:15 on the nose, a Honda Odyssey minivan pulled to a stop in front of me – the side door opened and a young voice belonging to someone inside said, “Put this on, and get inside.” – a hand reached out of the backseat holding a Trader Joe’s shopping bag.
On this Veteran’s Day 2013 I honor my father-in-law, Bob Bushweit for his service starting at the age of 18 in World War II where he fought as a member of Patton’s Third Army across Africa and Europe and actually did preserve our freedom and our democracy as part of the greatest generation.
It is not hard to see these men and women as America’s true heroes – uprooted from their lives and sent to the European or Pacific theaters under harsh, brutal and primitive conditions without any of the technology, medical advances or modern conveniences that are an afterthought for today’s military. They didn’t know if they could win, many times were on the verge of losing and the fear and isolation they experienced never stopped them.
While we honor today the service, sacrifice and loss of all our military members, there was no threat to our homeland, our freedom or our democracy from the North Koreans, the North Vietnamese, the Cambodians, the Iraqis, or the Afghanistan people. Our men and women were put in harm’s way by politicians for different reasons, none of which have ever proven to be worth it. It’s not the men and women in uniform’s fault in any way and it does not diminish their personal service but it is not the same thing as putting your life on the line to protect and defend our American way of life.
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.
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.
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.