The 2010 focus for 350.org is “Get To Work” and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing here in Southern California even before the year began.
Personally I haven’t stopped working since I began organizing for 350.org in June of 2009, and I know myself well enough to understand that I’ve been keeping the throttle open to avoid thinking about the consequences of the global warming we’re already too late to stop.
I asked Bill about the issues of optimism and pessimism and whether he still felt as he did a year ago when he told an interviewer that he no longer thought in terms of optimism and pessimism, he just got up every morning and got to work.
He said that today he draws his energy and inspiration from the young people, mostly in their 20s, who he works with. They’re not discouraged or to bummed to carry on. They know they’re being given damaged goods by the generation handing off to them and they’re ready to deal with it. They understand that the most powerful, most monied interests are lined up against them with a vengeance and they never expected it to be any different. They’re not ready to give up. And so… neither am I.
I asked Bill about the work my friends at GRID Alternative are doing and his thoughts on the adoption of rooftop solar in this final segment of my video interview with him.
Renown environmental author and activist, Bill McKibben, is in Los Angeles today where we met him at the L.A. Times Festival of Books.
Bill is the founder of 350.org and we’ve only previously talked together on the radio, so it was a great joy for me to meet Bill in person and exchange hugs and fist bumps.
Bill’s newest book, Eaarth was the topic of of his wide ranging discussion with L.A. Times staff writer, Susan Salter Reynolds, well known for her book reviews and “Discoveries” column.
I got a chance to talk to Bill about a few of the things we’re working on here in the Los Angeles area and the first subject was our Carbon Neutral City efforts in Hermosa Beach.
It’s perfectly obvious that President Obama is attempting to reach out to the right and members of Congress who are owned by the oil industry with his move this week to make offshore drilling part of his energy mix. The Greenius understands full well this “Let’s Keep Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman Aboard the Climate Bill Bandwagon” approach, just as I can grok how ineffective and nonproductive that approach is. It’s not the first time the President has followed the same failed path of imaginary bipartisanship with people who only seek a return to the disastrous Katrina-style polices of the past – and it no doubt won’t be the last.
What did we expect? The dude is a politician, not problem solver. That’s MY job. I’m not running for nothing. I’m already the Greenius and there’s no term limits that come with this territory.
My pals at Surfrider Foundation aren’t running for anything either and they’re not about kissing ass to politicians who are nothing more than paid shills for big oil. That’s why they’re among the environmental organizations offering the public the truth and reality on the issue this week. With all due respect to the White House, all they offered was bullshit and spin this week. To see the difference for yourself, join us after the jump to read the four biggest Offshore Drilling Myths and Legends straight from the folks at Surfrider:
Your Greenius got great news from downtown Los Angeles on Friday when my pal, Todd Diapola called me from outside the Kenny Hahn Hall of Administration to report that he and the other representatives of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, of which I am a proud founding member, had just been told our SBBC was getting the big, fat $240,000 grant we had applied for.
Considering that our volunteer group had scrambled and worked our asses off at a whirling dervish pace to get all the paperwork and lobbying done by the deadline, it was especially sweet news for us.
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.
Your Greenius is sorry to report that there’s been nothing but more bad news on the climate action scene in the past couple of weeks.
Maybe you missed last week’s issue of China Daily with the headline:
“China has no intention of capping its greenhouse gas emissions even as authorities are committed to realizing the nation’s target to reduce carbon intensity through new policies and measures, the country’s top climate change negotiators said yesterday. The negotiators also warned that rich and developing countries have little hope of overcoming key disagreements over how to fight global warming.
China “could not and should not” set an upper limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the current phase, said Su Wei, the chief negotiator of China for climate change talks in Copenhagen, at a meeting in Beijing on China’s climate change policies in the post-Copenhagen era.
Just mosey on over to the Republic of Texas where two of America’s biggest polluting oil companies are ponying up millions of dollars to pay for an initiative on the California ballot that would suspend our state’s Global Warming Solutions act, AB 32.
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… Read more
For our children, and our childrens’ children. No decent and loving parent will settle for anything less.