We Stand With The Small Island Nations! Candlelight Vigil for Survival in Hermosa Beach

Members of our South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group speak to our representatives and fellow activists in Copenhagen at Friday night’s Candlelight Vigil in downtown Hermosa Beach.  Unedited and unrehearsed, our straight from the heart messages.

And here’s some still photos from our event.  To see our Flickr photo slide show click here.

That’s our co-host and 350 supporter, the Mayor of Hermosa Beach, Michael DiVirgilio, behind the big number 5.

And here’s your Creative Greenius and 350.org Organizer for the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group.  That big smile on my face is because our community showed up and brought their compassion for our brothers and sisters across the Pacific who live on the small island nations, like Tuvalu.  If you’re a regular Creative Greenius reader you know how concerned I am about the plight of island states like Tonga, the Carteret Islands, the Maldives and Kirabati.  It breaks my heart to think of those people paying the price for the way we live our lives here in the USA but it gives me great hope for the future that my friends and neighbors now stand with me on their behalf.

Rejoice My Tongan Brothers and Sisters! You Will Soon Be Rid of Your Ridiculous Royal Family & You Can Now Save Yourselves

For months now I’ve tried to work with King George Topou V and the rest of the Royal Family of Tonga in an attempt to inform them about the risks their kingdom faces from climate change and to get them to act on behalf of their people.  It’s been a frustrating, nonproductive process full of long delays and zero sense of urgency on the part of the King, the Queen and assorted princesses and wanna-be princesses.

ABO_7139_MediumAlong the way, one thing has become blindingly obvious.  Neither the King, or any other member of the royal family, gives a shit about what happens to their people – whether it’s from climate change, the sinking of unseaworthy ferry boats owned by the government, or from earthquakes or tsunamis.

If it sounds like I don’t have enough respect for the royal family of Tonga, then you’ve got that right. I started out with plenty of respect but then I couldn’t sustain it based on their actions.  It wasn’t just that they didn’t want to work with me – they don’t want to work with anyone on this issue.  Hell, they don’t even want to work at all.

We Are ALL Tongan

tonga
The idyllic island kingdom of Tonga

My friend Elizabeth is from the South Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga, an exotic locale long fixed in my memory with images of Polynesian paradise.

Tonga has sadly been in the news lately after an inter-island ferry sank on August 5 drowning over 70 people. It’s a huge tragedy in such a small place and it has saddened all Tongans around the world.

Tonga on the map

When I first met Elizabeth I had no idea that there were so many Tongan Americans living in large communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Dallas and other cities across the USA.  Elizabeth is producing a documentary film on the history of Tongans immigrating to America and she knows a lot about the subject.

But surprisingly, a subject Elizabeth didn’t know a lot about is Tonga’s frontline role as a victim of the climate change crisis.

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