Fire, Oil, and a 91 Year Old Climate Rebel – This Week in Sustainability


Last week in This Week in Sustainability we led with the Trump impeachment announcement.

It was, to say the least: dominating the news. Suffocating in fact, but in a weird kind of good way.

But sadly, before the week was a day old, Axios reported that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management decided to open some 720,000 acres of land along California’s central coast to oil and gas lease sales.

The decision is heartbreaking as it “green-lights 14 drilling leases”, threatening irreplaceably valuable and stunningly beautiful ecologies fossil fuel companies have long wanted to exploit.

Exploit more oil and gas?

It was so hot this year, we could have fried an egg on the earth. It is incredible, how #BigOil only wants to drill more, not less. Criminal.

See the full Axios article here or a related article in the San Francisco Chronicler.

Footnote: Some say Trump doesn’t care about the environment. I don’t agree.  He doesn’t even think about it, let alone care (save maybe for the green on a golf course). No, to him the UBLM is just another political club to raise up for his base or to use for smacking at an opponent: in this case, the far smarter and far better looking than-the-president Gavin Newson governor of CA who is fighting Trump on many fronts, including the environment.

This is as naked and ugly a use of the environment for personal political gain as is extorting the Ukraine with military aid for dirt on former vice president Biden.

Peter Stefanovi of The Climate Rebel Hall of Fame

The #ExtinctionRebellion continues to shake the UK producing a Climate hero at the rate of about one a minute or so.

And they are raising up in rebellion heroes both young and young at heart. So I am bursting to thrilled to announce that joining Greta as the second inductee the in the Climate Rebel Hall of Fame is 91 year-old Peter Stefanovi.

Peter you inspire. May the gods bless you and rebels all.

The Japanese Grand Prix and P&G Energy Convincing the Unconvinced

For a lot of people, climate change ain’t real cause it ain’t personal.

That changed a bit, maybe, for lovers of motorsport and residents of Northern California this week.

Just today,  Mother Earth is bringing it home and making it real for a lot of folks who don’t normally identify with climate change. The Japanese Grand Prix’s entire Saturday programme, including qualifying, was cancelled by the unexpectedly “violent” Typhoon Hagibis.

That’s a first, or so I am told.

While it’s a long way from Japan to the US car race loving crowd, it’s instructive to point out that a lot of climate denying Trump supporters are race car fans. I hope they are paying attention that even their beloved sport is at risk to too much carbon in the atmosphere.

Now, few readers of The Sustainable Century may ‘get’ cars going round and round. But believe me, for all lot of folks it’s a big deal.

If you don’t get why, just listen to Eric Church’s Talladega. NASCAR, Formula One, Go Carts, Monster Trucks, Drag Racing:  all part of a cultural fabric , creating millions of life-moment memories for millions of Americans.

Go to Church and learn why.

You may not like motorsport, I don’t. But trying to understand differences just may help us reach out to others in this increasingly polarized world.

Besides, if nothing else, the song is awesome.

Also this week, intentional electricity blackouts were coming down in Northern California to avoid forest fires. Pacific Gas and Electric, the energy company responsible, has been shutting parts of its grid down due the fear that extreme winds may damage equipment and cause forest fires.

The blackouts, which will last an estimated five days, brought the climate crisis homes for over 600,000 residents and businesses.

The company has not turned eco. I wish. Its simply afraid of this #ClimateCrisis cost.

The utility, in fact, has already been found responsible for starting two dozen or so forest fires. Its potential liabilities could top $30 billion, causing it to file for bankruptcy last January.

The company will “deploy a fleet of helicopters and more than 6,000 technicians,” to make sure no fires are started.

If anyone tells you at the next cocktail party, BBQ, or church social that the cost of fixing the climate crisis is too much, you now can simply say: PG&E.

Said retired AirForce Vet in Galye Clark with the clipped, precision of a military vet: “This isn’t the end of this,” Mr. Clark said. “This is the beginning.”

Last Word

If you have farmed, as I have, both in a city in Mexico and in the Comox Valley in Canada, you know its a noble and very, very hard way to make a living.

It was mind blowing then, that the US’s very own Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue told reporters this week that small US farmers should just go out of business.

That is insanely insensitive and climatically suicidal.

Doesn’t Perdue read his own department’s reports? Not only have small farmers have been fundamental to the US economy for over two centuries,   according to the USDA, they still manage 90% of all farms in the US! If they go out of business, America starves.

They are also the future of climate safe food production.

Small farmers in the US and the world round, are leading agro-ecology movement restoring soils, sequestering carbon, and producing healthy local foods that nourish and delight!

Want to learn more about small farms and the exciting potential of #agroecology? Check out a Sustainable Century Podcast with Daniel Moss, Director of the AgroEcology Fund.

But no, no, no. The last word doesn’t go to Son of a Belch Perdue. Never! It goes to James Robinson/ @JRfromStrickley and Mrs. R and their Fantastic School small dairy farm visit!

NEW FEATURE…..Signs of Change

Millions are marching for climate and equality. Its inspiring. And so are their signs.

#ExtinctionRebellion protesting mainstream press and its ineffective coverage of the #ClimateCrisis

Signs of Change are myriad in their size and beauty, from colorful and playful, piercing and insightful, haunting and baleful, energizing and heartening they move us to act.

Signs of Change are everywhere.


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