Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who is paying attention?

I noted that Green Change gave front page space to a September story about Greenpeace activists who won a court case in England by using Global Warming as their defense. It is nice to have an organization like Greenpeace behind you, hiring lawyers, etc.

However, the real guru of global warming is NASA's Dr. James Hansen and he has another take on this same story.

In his most recent newsletter, Hansen find it great that the British Press picked up the story and wonders why the US press ignored a similar situation here.
Why is it that the Kingsnorth case is on the front page and the 6 o’clock news in the UK, but the Wise County case is ignored by U.S. media? The damage in the U.S. case, both climate and mountaintop removal, exceeds that in the UK. A case with 20-year-olds standing up for their and future generations, against powerful interests, without support of Greenpeace-level organizations, would seem to warrant coverage. Is this a case of media, in a company-town, company-state, company-country situation, intentionally looking the other way? Or is it simply that these young people are not as media savvy as Greenpeace?
For a full understanding of the Wise County situation, it is necessary to read Hansen's previous newsletter that detailed that manner in which Dominion Coal runs a company state. I won't copy it here.. it is too long, too detailed.

At the of the commentary, Hansen asks and answers a very simple question.
When does it become appropriate for young people to become fed up with the lack of appropriate government action?

My recommendation has been that young people spend maximum effort now on the democratic
process, affecting upcoming elections on all levels, and then, after the election, demanding that those elected deliver on their promises. I have cooperated with the (nominally non-partisan) PowerVote, Virginia Powershift, ReEnergize Iowa,,, for example.

I have also drawn attention of youth to the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC).
Applications for training and participation in their programs can be found at (
Have we reached the time when civil disobedience and organized protest against coal are the only options that we have left? It would seem that even Al Gore has begun to think that way or so says the NY Times's Nicholas Kristoff.

When we go vote down Propositions 7 and 10 on Tuesday, we need to be thinking of the alternatives. It is going to take a lot more work to make something positive happen. It may eventually mean taking to the streets... on bikes or on foot, of course.

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