What’s In It For Me?

carson ccI was in Carson California last month at their City Council meeting to speak on behalf of the resolution I asked them to pass to approve participating in a feasibility study on community choice aggregation (CCA). 

Carson was the sixth city to have our resolution on their agenda, the five others having already passed it. Like in each of the other cities, someone in Carson, this time the City Manager, had the same question for me, 

“I understand all the CCA program stuff you’re telling us about Joe, but what I don’t get is what’s in it for YOU?” 

That’s what someone always asks when I pitch them our South Bay Clean Power initiative, especially when they find out I’m doing this work full time.  They want to know who is paying me. 

When you work pro bono, turn down all job and consulting offers on the issue, and say “no,” to $18,000 a month gigs offered you by people in this growing field, people get real suspicious and uneasy.

I gave the Carson City Manager what has now become my standard reply.

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Bradford: Twelve Years A Failure – His Reason To Kill CCAs

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: Read more

The Curious Case of Buying A New State Senator From The South Bay

about-image-correctCandidate Ben Allen, running as a democrat, gets $300,000 from the right wing guy who wanted Henry Waxman out of office – Bill Bloomfield –  and then Ben tells me he feels “weird” about it.

But not weird enough to make a public statement about the money, where it came from and what Bill Bloomfield wants in return for his three hundred thousand bucks.  Ben would have to be a lot more weirded out than this is making him feel.

I’m guessing Bloomfield thinks he’s buying a Ben Allen who would NOT be Waxman-like on the issues. I’m guessing he feels like Ben Allen would be the best representative of folks who consider themselves Republicans.  

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Ben would protest that, but money talks and that $300k is speaking much louder than any of the weak rationalizations and justifications Ben is now making.  

You want to show what you’re really made of, Ben?  Publicly turn down that money and tell the guy trying to give it to you that you cannot be bought and you will not allow him to define you and that you know what he’s trying to pull – just like all the rest of us know.

Yes indeed, it is these moments in the spotlight that define character – if you ask the Greenius – and if there’s one thing this race has, it’s plenty of  characters.

Now I don’t know much about politics and I’ll be the first to admit that I think both political parties have failed us miserably and have outlived their time.  Are they the lessor of two evils or the evil of two lessors? Read more

Wendy Greuel Gains Green Ground in South Bay L.A. – Stands Up & Speaks Out To Keep Hermosa Hermosa

beach wendyYour friendly neighborhood Greenius has been waiting for awhile now to see which of the candidates for Henry Waxman’s 33rd District seat was going to step up environmentally.  Today that person turned out to be Wendy Greuel.

My good friend, Dency Nelson, tells me Ted Lieu was already that guy and that Ted’s strong record speaks for itself.  And it’s true that Ted has come out against fracking and is signing on to Holly Mitchell’s strong anti-fracking bill and reportedly has called “climate change” his number one priority.  And yet…

IMG_2204I’m just not feeling Ted Lieu.  I never have in the 21 years I’ve lived in Torrance, which is where Ted is from and started on his road to higher and higher office.  I’ve never personally witnessed any passion out of Ted or felt that he had the fire in his belly on the environment or was any kind of climate action hero.  

Maybe I’m wrong about Ted, like I was several years ago about then Manhattan Beach City Council Candidate, Wayne Powell, who I didn’t think was much of an environmentalist the first time I met him, but who has turned out to be the most reliable and thoughtful issue guy on the Manhattan Beach City Council. Read more

Light Up Your Future At The Manhattan Beach Pier 8pm Saturday March 29

MB2025 Pier flier FINAL hi rezSome 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. Read more

Thankful To Be Home — And ALIVE!

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.

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South Bay Parents Welcome Mexican Drug Cartel Funding For Local Schools’ DARE Program

We have to get the money from somewhere,” say parents.

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“And there were no strings attached.  Since we’re using the money for drug prevention we don’t think this is hypocritical at all.  We still tell our kids that drugs are bad and to stay off them. You tell us – if we don’t take the money from them where else are we going to get it?  The Cartel is making billions, at least the money they give us is going towards something good for our kids.”

One of the middle schoolers just shrugged when asked if he thought the drug cartel giving their school the money for the drug diversion program was helping or hurting.

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They must be helping since they’re paying for the DARE program and our summer skateboard camp too.  I don’t think our parents would bring them into our schools to help if they were the bad drug people or doing things that hurt us.”

A spokesperson from the Drug Cartel said they were proud to help the community, especially kids and their education.  

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We’ve been doing business  in these local South Bay cities for a very long time now and it’s our pleasure to give back.  Many of our top cartel executives and managers live and work here.  It’s our community too you know.  

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We have to thank our colleagues at Chevron and Exxon for setting the successful model for this kind of community support in the South Bay.  We knew if local parents would embrace the biggest polluter and destroyer of the climate as their respected and honored partners with the schools, they’d have no problem with us and what we do.  We’re very pleased to use our profits here this way. After all, we wouldn’t have had another recored year without the help of moms and dads from El Segundo to the Peninsula.”

I’ve Done The Math – Now I’m Doing Something About It

IMG_1859 copyWhy 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?

Biz card - Oct 18, 2013, 9-33 AMThe 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.

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Environmental Charter High School Gets Solar; Greenius Goes EcoMedia

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.

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