Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Laura Wells, Green Party Candidate, Arrested at Sham Debate

Ms. wells was arrested at the final debate between Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman. Ms. Wells had a valid ticket and had already gone through security.

The charge: Trespassing.

Democrat Jerry Brown has spent $10.3 million and has $22.5 million in cash, and has also received help from public employee unions, which have spent $13.8 million on his behalf.

Republican Meg Whitman has spent $140 million.

What are they afraid of?


Wanna speak Truth to Power? Check out:

Climate Change is a local issue

In my previous post today, I talked about what we should be doing beyond events like those of One of my local actions was to use climate change as the determining factor for deciding which local mayoral candidate deserved my vote. The full rationale is in the Green Talk column of the Morgan Hill Times.

What to do after 10-10-10

There was a lot of feel good about participating in events on 10-10-10, especially those identified by and Bill McKibben. So, now that this has passed, what should we be doing? And why were we not doing that before?

One of the blogs that I follow the Climate Progress site led by Joe Romm. In response to one of Romm's posts today, Jeff Huggins provided a disheartening assessment of the current situation comment #7).

Finally — and maybe this is just the mood I’m in presently, or maybe it’s an early sign — I am starting to deeply wonder whether my comments are doing any good whatsoever. Indeed, or also, I spent Sunday at three 10/10/10 events, and enjoyed them all, but I’m also starting to wonder whether my activities in those sorts of things are doing any good whatsoever. I do not get the feeling that the movement(s) are thinking creatively, nor do I feel that any of the movements are reaching out to me for ideas in any sincere and interested way. The only things I hear from the movements are requests to stick with it, requests for donations, requests to participate in national listen-in conference calls (after which I have no idea whether anyone even considered the ideas I submitted afterwards), and encouragement to attend events that occur once every year.

In short, I am beginning to “run on empty”, both with respect to the activities and (sometimes) with respect to my involvement here. And I think that’s a sign, potentially. People are motivated by actual progress, by belonging, by feeling that they are being listened to, and by feeling that their efforts are making a difference. And as I said, I’m feeling like I’m running on empty, which isn’t sustainable of course

As Greens we should have a well thought out legislative agenda, a clear policy statement as to exactly what we should be doing... but we don't. That various efforts that arose since the 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention have not provided any more than a discussion platform, read by few and with only a minority of those contributing.

In California, we have a major policy issue right now. That is the defeat of Prop 23. Nothing on any current agenda has more long reaching impact, such a potential to lead us down a path from which it might not be possible to recover. It is an obvious issue for Greens. The vote against Prop 23 at the last plenary was essentially unanimous. We just have to stop being afraid of the environmental label. We have allowed our opponents to define who we are and we have not stood up to say that "I am proud to be responsible for the environment."

Just ask yourself which "regulations" would Meg Whitman remove first should she become Governor.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Whose rights are being threatened?

I follow Joe Romm's Climate Progress blog pretty closely. In one of today's posts, Romm points to a situation in Kentucky where rural resident's house burned to the ground while the fire department watched and did nothing because the home owner had not paid his $75 annual assessment to secure such fire protection.

This situation presents two issues. One is that of the Republican agenda to cur or eliminate taxes… putting every thing on a fee for service basis. That is what the South Fulton government had done. However, in this case, the unchekced fire spread to the neighbor's house and he HAD PAID his assessment. Note: had the fire department fought the first fire, the second home would, in all likelihood, not have burned at all. Romm takes this on as a Progressive vs. Republican issue.

However, the 17th commenter, nom de blog of wag, expands the issue as a matter of whose rights are being affected... or as an Arkansan boss I once had, said "whose ox is being gored." I reposted wag's comments because it goes to the heart of all of the rhetoric on climate change and especially, here in CA, is just about the best argument that I have heard as to why defeating Prop 23 just might be the most important thing we can do in November... along with voting for Laura Wells.
wag says:
October 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Here’s the global warming lesson: It’s less to do with the firemen not putting out the fire, and more to do with the fact that the guy’s NEIGHBOR’s house caught on fire because he hadn’t paid his fire protection fee.

It’s a lesson on the limits of rugged individualism: you’re free to do whatever you want on your property, until the effects of whatever you’re doing spread onto my property (or into a commons like the atmosphere or ocean). And in today’s interconnected world, where we find ourselves increasingly at the mercy of actions taken by people we’ve never met, we’ve all got a bit more say in the risks others take, whether with fires, finance, or fossil fuels.

Like fires, pollution doesn’t stay put—and like a fire spreading from your house to mine, as soon as the pollution leaves your property, I have every right to tell you to stop.

If my neighbor’s house catches fire, it could spread to mine—meaning I have a right to make that neighbor to pay for fire protection. If an Arkansas farmer dumps his farm waste into the Mississippi River, it travels down to the Gulf where it fertilizes algae and starves fish of oxygen—meaning that those fishermen have a say in what the farmer does with his waste (or else they must be compensated). And if a utility decides to burn coal to save money, the CO2 gets into the atmosphere and wreaks havoc on the climate other people depend on—meaning that we have a say in the utility’s choice of fuel.

I’m basically a libertarian: do what you want, as long as you only hurt yourself. I would be fine with other people’s right to burn coal and drive Hummers if they were the only ones who had to live with the consequences of global warming. But that’s not the world we live in. No matter how energy conscious I am, no matter whether I live close to work and don’t drive, my responsible choices can’t protect me or my children from the pollution-intensive lifestyles of others.

Like it or not, we’re all in this together. As the Cranick family found out, we now live in such close connection to others that one person’s rugged individualism can set his neighbor’s house on fire, mortgage loans in California can bring down banks in New York, and Hummer-driving soccer moms in Kansas can affect monsoon seasons in Bangladesh. And as soon as the CO2 exits someone else’s tailpipe and enters my atmosphere, it absolutely becomes my business.