October 15, 2018

Candidate Debate Tomorrow

The media does not report at all from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and the several other countries in which we are actively at war and in military occupation. Another thing they don’t report is that the Natchez fire in California, which started on July 15th, is not yet out.

Today they are reporting, in an inside-page kind of way, that PG&E, the California power company, has shut off the electricity to 120,000 residential and commercial customers in more than a dozen counties in Northern California because conditions there are so dry that a downed power line could spark another epic wildfire, as has happened several times already. Businesses are closed. Schools are closed. People’s food is going bad, along with the hard-earned money they paid to buy it.

What would our national discussion be like if this kind of disruption was being caused by a labor unions going on strike, or human rights organizations like Dr. King’s enacting blockades? What would be the scale of the public demand to forcibly end their activities, and imprison their leaders? How much teargas would be getting expended at this very moment, with widespread public support?

But it’s being caused by climate change, and the corporations that cause it, including the power company that’s shutting off the electricity, so the headline news story is the partisan pissing match over Liz Warren’s DNA test. THAT’S THE BIG NEWS!

We are not en route to becoming a third world country. We have arrived there. As you are reading this, California is choosing between having electricity, and burning to the ground. Fires that started three months ago are still burning. Scores of people are dead, including six firefighters, thousands of structures have been destroyed, businesses lost forever, billions of dollars lost in property, life, employment, insurance, and taxes. Just in California, just in 2018.


Delgado claims that just that limited act, only to transition our electrical power generation to renewables over the course of 17 years, is too rapid and therefore disruptive to people whose jobs are in fossil fuels. The IPCC says there are only 12 years left before major disruption becomes the norm, and 120,000 Californians are in the dark, with their food spoiling and their revenues closed down, right now, while fires that started 3 months ago still rage. But Antonio Delgado, who took a leave of absence from his $330,000 per year job with the world’s largest fossil fuel industry lobby, Akin, Gump, to move here to run for Congress as a Democrat, thinks 17 years is too disruptive a timeline for the fossil fuel industry.

I will be at the Walton Theater, Walton, New York, tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM, doors at 6, for a Congressional debate, and I am going to forcefully lay this equally at the feet of both Delgado and Faso. There is no difference. Both deny the science of climate change equally, because the science is not just the chemistry and physics, but the timeline as well. The idea that voting for Democrats is better for the environment than voting for Republicans has been created with smoke and mirrors. Both parties are equally adept at selling their denial to their respective voters.

But while they do that, 120,000 households and businesses are literally powerless. I hope you can attend. In closing, this is the worst possible time for anyone to tell me I can’t win, and that I am being a terrible person, helping Trump and Putin, by staying in the race and not endorsing Delgado. You get what you vote for. This one is on you, liberals. There’s no law that says you can’t vote as you wish and make Delgado the one who can’t win. If you vote for Delgado, you’re voting for continued fossil fuel abuse, the destruction of the Earth, the deaths of innocent people and emergency responders — and you’re doing it by choice, of your own free will.

I hope to see some of you at the Walton Theater tomorrow night. The debate begins at 6:30 — and while this part of it will end at 8, it will not end until America’s fossil fuel policies are drastically changed, or until continuing them ends any practical use for continuing the struggle. This is our collective Waterloo. There is no more road down which to kick the can. Pick a side.

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