26 September 2010

80% of AMERICANS don't know what's going on, bobby... more than that....

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I think I would die and go to heaven if Bobby could pry himself loose from the Democratic-Fascist Party. I love the guy to itty bitty bits. He's like my father, with a sense of faithfulness about certain things that is unbreakable, even when the price is too dear, when his suffering has to be more than most of us think bearable.
SolFest XIV: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. brings his environmental message to Ukiah
26 September 2010

Listeners packed the seats under a massive shade by the main stage and stood in the hot sun to hear Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speak Saturday at the 14th annual SolFest, held at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah.

Kennedy is an attorney specializing in environmental law, and was named a "hero for the planet" by Time Magazine in 2005, for his success helping the New York-based Riverkeeper organization restore the Hudson River, and has written several books.

Punctuated by applause and approving cheers, Kennedy spent a little more than an hour challenging the idea he says is pushed by "corporate crony capitalism" that environmentally friendly business can't be prosperous.

"One of the things that they've said, and that they've kind of ingrained in the American consciousness, is this mantra that we have to choose between environmental protection on one hand and economic prosperity on the other, and that is a false choice; in 100 percent of the situations, good environmental policy is identical to good economic policy," he said.

Kennedy said continuing to use coal and other carbon-generating energy sources "is to treat the planet as if it were a business in liquidation," and could create "a few years of pollution-based prosperity," and generate "instantaneous cash flow, and the illusion of a prosperous economy, but our children are going to pay for our joy ride."

He continued, "Environmental injury is deficit spending; it's a way of loading the costs of our generation's prosperity onto the backs of our children."

Kennedy said as an environmental advocate he has spent 25 years combating the notion that "investment in our environment is a diminishment of our nation's wealth. It doesn't diminish our wealth; it's an investment in infrastructure."

He spoke at length about a "$200 million, 20-year propaganda campaign by the coal brothers and big oil and all that phony infrastructure, that has persuaded Americans that global warming doesn't exist, and abetted, incidentally, by a negligent and indolent press that we have in this country."

He went on to decry the idea that the "liberal media" exists, and said, "You can't have a democracy very long if you don't have an informed public."

He opined, "80 percent of Republicans are just Democrats who don't know what's going on."

Kennedy spent most of his time onstage talking about the "costs of carbon on our society," which he said is part of "our addiction to Saudi oil."

First, he talked about the harms of nuclear power, saying industry defenders cited no nuclear accidents since Chernobyl, a 1986 disaster involving nuclear fallout that spread from a series of explosions at the nuclear power plant in Ukraine, and is considered the worst nuclear accident in history.

The audience laughed at Kennedy's reference to the argument that there had been no nuclear accidents since, and Kennedy went on to say Russian scientists recently reported 965,000 people died as a result of that accident, as opposed to the few hundred reported initially.

The audience responded with sounds of astonishment and dismay.

"I always say, If you're safe, then get an insurance policy just like everybody else in this country.'"

Insurance companies are the "final arbiter of risk" in a capitalist society, he said, adding that an insurance policy for the nuclear industry would be "so high that (they) wouldn't be able to operate."

He cited the Price-Anderson Act as absolving the nuclear industry of responsibility for the costs of accidents at nuclear power plants.

"So they shifted all the costs to us - to you and me," telling listeners to check their homeowner's insurance policies, where he said they would find a clause that says the policy doesn't cover radiation from nuclear accidents.

"It's not a bunch of hippies in tie-dyed T-shirts from Mendocino with the hula-hoops saying you're (nuclear industry) not safe; it's guys in suits from AIG and Wall Street who are saying, We're not going to insure you,'" Kennedy said, over the audience's laughter and applause.

He went on to talk about the coal industry, first saying taxpayers fund the frequent and expensive maintenance of roads in West Virginia used by 90,000-pound coal trucks, to the tune of "millions" per inch of asphalt per mile of road.

"It's not the coal industry that's paying that cost, it's the people of the state and the people of our country - some of these are federal highways," he said.

Kennedy said part of the reason high-speed rail can't happen is "because coal gondolas are so heavy they've warped virtually every rail track in our country."

He continued, "That's part of the cost of coal they don't tell you about when they say it's 11 cents a kilowatt."

A five-year study issued by the National Academy of Science and the National Research Council showed every freshwater fish in the nation is contaminated with mercury, Kennedy said, adding that 80 percent of the mercury came from coal-burning power plants.

"We're living today, in our country, in a science fiction nightmare," he said.

A study on the Environmental Protection Agency's website says the healthcare costs from ozone particulates in the air is $156 billion - "from coal plants," Kennedy said.

"The big threat to our country ultimately is coming from corporate control turning us back into a feudal plutocracy, and this is exhibit one: they're privatizing all the public trust resources," he said, referring to fish and streams people have to pay to use.

More "costs of coal" Kennedy enumerated included the sterilization of one-fifth of the lakes in the Adirondacks by acid rain and destruction of the forests in the Appalachians from "Georgia to Northern Quebec."

"We are literally cutting down the Appalachian Mountains," he said, painting a verbal picture of 22-story machines that cut the tops off of the mountains to get at the coal seams and scrape the rubble into streams and orchards.

"If this happened in California people would be in jail," he said, referring to the flattening of 1.4 million acres and what he said the EPA called the burial of 2,000 miles of rivers and streams. "But because it's a poor, beaten state with virtually no democracy left, it just happens."

Kennedy said he and Riverkeeper sued the coal companies responsible and won, but not before the companies changed the law so that dumping debris in waterways requires only a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which he said can be easy to get.

"This is not just the destruction of the environment; it is the subversion of American democracy," he said. "If we had a true free-market economy in our country, where you couldn't get subsidies, nobody would be using anything but solar or wind, and coal would be a laughable joke, and nuke and all these others."

He said the wind in the Midwest could power the North American grid three times over, even if everyone owned an electric car.

Obstacles to rebuilding the grid, he said, include "putting a price on carbon," upgrading the transmission system to allow wind or solar energy generated to be distributed throughout the country and creating a "unified system" that would allow greater access to the grid.

Solar power, he said, would "democratize" the country's power system.

"The political system tends to mirror the economic system," he said. "If you have a marketplace where every American turns into an energy entrepreneur, every home into a power plant, and we can power this country based on American initiative and resourcefulness and intelligence rather than Saudi oil, it creates a resilient system," he said.

Solar, he said, "is free energy forever," and was applauded wildly.

Building the infrastructure needed to decarbonize the nation - at $3 billion per gigawatt - Kennedy said would cost $3 trillion, "less than the Iraq war."

He talked about competition with China, which is planning to increase its wind power deployment by 20,000 percent and solar power by 1,200 percent over five years.

Kennedy said America has spent the last 50 years "addicted to Saudi oil," and "they (China) want us in a position where we're going to spend the next 50 years addicted to Chinese wind turbines and solar panels."

In closing, Kennedy said people often asked him what is the most important environmental law.

"I always said, it's free market capitalism," he said. "The reason for that is that the marketplace inspires efficiency," defining pollution as waste.

"In a true free market, you can't make yourself rich without making your neighbors rich and without enriching your community."

Touted as the "greenest show on earth," SolFest features speakers, vendors, information booths, workshops and activities centered around environmentally friendly practices. It continues today.

On the main stage today are speakers Ed Begley Jr. on "Live simply so that others can live simply," at 10 a.m.; David Orr on "sunlight, sustainability, security - a necessary marriage," at noon; Kent Halliburton on "funding renewable energy and energy," at 1 p.m.; and Arianna Huffington on "Third-world America and community building," at 4 p.m.
In one minute, Ms. Groupthink her own self will be mounting the podium. I wish I were there to egg her.

love, 99


  1. When I first started building and maintaining roads and infrastructure for the civil government in my home town I had all kinds of run-ins with young whipper snapper engineering students. Telling me "that's not the way to do this and this isn't the way to do that"

    I would just look at them and say "Well, that may be true, but in this situation my way works, and you're way doesn't"

    Then they would say, wait for it now... "It doesn't matter, that's the way it's gotta be, it's in the book" LOL.

    That's when I realized that the divide between textbook theory and practical application is fuckin' enormous.

  2. 86 was a seat-of-his-pants, hotshot road builder too. He could pull off the impossible to save the environment, blew many minds with all the better mousetraps he came up with. Never went by the book, had NO patience for any books but the ones HE wanted to read. Before he decided to cave in to the booze, he was awe inspiring in everything he did. I used to exclaim that I'd never met ANYBODY whose laundry pile was as artfully heaped as his.

    Don't let ANYTHING keep you from making what you want happen, Mister North. The price is too high for all living things.

    I wish I had some solid wheels so I could go cast about for some young independent thinkers and give them the juice to perform without the self pity, without the fucking lethal mental conditioning. I just can't stop dreaming of getting that done.

    I'm not sexist, but there IS a vital-to-everything role for a man that is not the same kind of true for a woman... just naturally... aside from our fucking head trips and we GOTTA have men who can throw that shit down and MAKE things happen.

    REAL things. Not bullshit. Not ego. Not personality disorders. Not fucking money. REAL THINGS.

  3. You are about the eightieth person who has recommended those links to me today... so I guess I'll have to pay attention to it when I pull myself together from the race.

    New jockey, first time on the turf, first allowance race, FULL of steam, could EASILY have won, but something, and I can't figure it yet, had her plenty pissed off, and she was fucking BUCKING as she was running and still came in third. But, her perfect streak is now broken.

  4. Don't let ANYTHING keep you from making what you want happen, Mister North.

    Didn't then, won't now. :)

    When I was a kid I worked for my dad during the summer holidays in the warehouse of his company. Pack and unpack orders, cut the grass outside, sweep the floors, etc...

    One day, I was sweeping the floors with one of those big floppy mops. One of the salesman from the front office was sitting on some crates watching me. I knew him, he was one of my Dads friends. I asked him why he was watching me. He said that I was so methodical about it that I actually made it look interesting LOL

  5. My FATHER was so methodical he FOLDED tissues AFTER he'd blown his nose, drove everyone mad with impatience while carefully unwrapping gifts so as not to tear the paper....


    You KNOW I've gone mad if I have not realized I'm out of cigarettes before I have more! I don't smoke that much, but, holy shit, you DON'T want to see me when I'm OUT.


  6. BRILLIANT!!!!!! Why didn't I think of that? I'd be RICH! OMG! :o)

  7. Solar, he said, "is free energy forever," and was applauded wildly.

    He should use it. Then he wouldn't say such silly things.

  8. Being too poor to find out, I was hoping the technology had improved enough to take that as meaning just not-paying-plutocrats-for-it kind of free, but... in truth, I'm just about past caring for this stuff until we can pull ourselves out of this hateful polemicizing, supine sense of decency and disregard for living things. If we don't focus on that, nothing better than continuing to make things worse will ever happen.


  9. If folks want a better world they themselves are going to have to realize when they are talking out their own ass.

    There is only one thing you need to know about solar to put it in real down to earth terms.

    It takes more energy to make a solar panel than it ever produces, i.e. you can't make solar panels from solar panels. The second law of thermodynamics is cornhole'n ya. I'm pretty sure that goes for nano-solar as well, but that tech isn't even available.

    Hateful polemicizing is the whole entirety of group-think. This guy is standing on stage eating it up...and who's up next Imelda Marcos, with community building in third world America.


  10. Yep. I'm unhappy with him for this, and as I say, I wish to hell he'd get out of the Democratic-Fascist party, QUIT the polemics and get down to what really matters to him... which is the environment. I may be dreaming, but I think he could SEE and function like a star without the kneejerk liberal conditioning. That's asking a LOT of a KENNEDY though.

    Fuck. Is right.

  11. All the zero point energy stuff I've been learning about solves ALL our energy needs, and DON'T tell me we don't have the technology because WE HAVE WEAPONIZED IT. Even if you can't hang with Judy Wood's explanation for what happened on 9/11, there is still the Active Denial directed energy weapon that we have all seen, and THAT is from the same technology.

    We have it. It's dangerous as fuck, but it also performs all manner of miracles. It can save the planet and it can kill the planet. It needs to be gotten AWAY from killers.


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