I’ve lived in my house in Torrance, California for 23 years now. I’ve been in LA since I was 19 years old in 1976, back when then Gov. Brown was telling us that we were “living in an era of diminished expectations.” He always was so ahead of the curve …
Like I say, I live in Torrance, home of the exploding ExxonMobil refinery where our Air Quality Management District just gave the refinery operators exemptions to exceed pollution limits while they restart the aging climate wrecker back up.
I was at the meeting where they cut the deal and I had this to say about that:
Knowing that Exxon had been stonewalling subpoenas from the Chemical Safety Board and that an expose’ had recently been published about Exxon’s coverup of their own company’s climate science knowledge while they lied to their own shareholders and the public—we still couldn’t get any of our local elected leaders to come out and say it was time for Exxon to go and for Torrance to #BreakFree of their abusive relationship with the company now under investigation by 20 different Attorneys Generals.
To their great credit, our members of Congress, Representatives Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu, have been stronger than anyone on this issue, but even they aren’t saying the obvious—that we need to #breakfree from fossil fuels—and an exploding refinery owned by lying racketeers is as good a place to #breakfree as any. What the hell are we waiting for? Apparently more explosions, leaks, flaring and four year olds with asthma rocking their inhalers.
But the Exxon Mobil refinery is just one of six refineries within 12 miles of my home—and even though I live in a coastal community we have some of the shittiest air quality anywhere around—because it’s not just the refineries pumping greenhouse gasses and health wrecking pollution into the air we breathe, it’s also the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach and the Los Angeles International Airport also within that dozen mile circle.
I live 3.9 miles from the Exxon refinery but I’ve got brothers and sisters in communities including Carson, in Wilmington, in West Adams, in Inglewood, in San Pedro, in South LA, in Long Beach and throughout the LA basin who are right over the fence from the refinery or the port operations or the the urban oil extraction and toxic chemicals that go with it. Often right outside their bedroom windows and where their kids play.
None of these frontline and fence-line friends has to wait for the future impacts of climate change to reach their everyday lives, because they and their families have already been dealing with the consequences of living in what they knowingly call “the Sacrifice Zone” every day for a long long time now.
Nobody should live around an oil drilling site. Time to #BreakFreeLA https://t.co/eQiGA0Noxy https://t.co/XhwBhst83k— 350 dot org (@350 dot org)1461857110.0
And none of their local elected officials have stepped up as their champions. Not any City Council members, not enough state elected officials and not enough members of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board, the Coastal Commission or any other regulatory group tasked with protecting the people.
So we’re going to have to do it without the politicians. We will #BreakFreeLA and take to the streets ourselves.
In the absence of leadership, the people will lead. Moms like those who started South Bay Flare will lead and people like those who make up Stand LA will lead and the kids who make up our South Bay Los Angeles 350 Youth Leadership Teams and our friends at the high school environmental clubs.
Real leadership is coming from the Nurses Union and the Service Employees International Union and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Communications Workers of America—all of whom know we need to #BreakFreeLA without putting their fingers in the air to test the wind. Real leadership is coming from The Carson Coalition and Communities for a Better Environment and from all the Bernie Sanders for President supporters. All of them already know the air stinks and that we need to #breakfree from fossil fuels.
When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1960s, once a week we used to burn everyone’s garbage in incinerators that every apartment building had. White ash and god knows what else used to fall from the air like nuclear winter snow on a weekly basis. There were no restrictions on what you could throw into the incinerator or what got burned up. But by the early 70s we knew better, passed the Clean Air Act and stopped burning our garbage.
Today we know better about the fossil fuel garbage we burn in our homes and in our cars and at our factories—and we need to stop burning that garbage. The science tells us we need to stop burning all of it in the next 10 years or kill our climate. But the rogue and reckless fossil fuel industry keeps yelling, “Burn, baby, burn!”
Actual reality tells us we already have all the renewable energy and storage products ready to take their place right now, not in some Star Wars Death Star future. I’ve been working on the local 100 percent renewable energy solution nonstop for the last two years personally, so I know we can get all of LA County powered by renewables by 2026.
That’s why on Saturday, May 14, I’ll be in the streets of downtown Los Angeles demanding that we go 100 percent renewable powered over the next 10 years and #BreakFreeLA of the greed and sellouts who have kept us chained to fossil fuels for their own gain at the bidding of their monetized masters. Join the action here.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 7% of all the world's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. One such species, the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee, was recently rediscovered after spending nearly 100 years out of sight from humans.
Scientists have newly photographed three species of shark that can glow in the dark, according to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science last month.
- 10 Little-Known Shark Facts - EcoWatch ›
- 4 New Walking Shark Species Discovered - EcoWatch ›
- 5 Incredible Species That Glow in the Dark - EcoWatch ›
FedEx's entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet will become 100 percent electric by 2040, according to a statement released Wednesday. The ambitious plan includes checkpoints, such as aiming for 50 percent electric vehicles by 2025.
- Which Is Worse for the Planet: Beef or Cars? - EcoWatch ›
- Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit Record High Despite Lockdowns, UN ... ›
- 1.8 Billion Tons More Greenhouse Gases Will Be Released, Thanks ... ›