Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tha Artivist Presents: An Environmentally Friendly Conversation

Tha Artivist Writes: The following conversation took place with me and some of my Beltway Friends last week...We were discussing the environment with an emphasis on seeking alternatives to oil and its environmentally unfriendly effects...I just wanted to share with the W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Faithful What Was Discussed...Please Feel Free To Extend The Dialogue By Making A Comment On This Article...

Beltway Friend 1 Writes:

So how happy are you guys that I am working again! Environmental news stories here I come! :-)

So, if we start a campaign, I think we could get enough people to write Bloomberg in for President. Or at least our economic and environmental adviser (or dictator... oops...I used the 'd' word).... here's his latest view on corn ethanol... which I hate to burst a lot of people's bubbles, is not the end all be all of the world's problems. But nice try U.S., it was a good first attempt.

And for those of you celebrating Valentine's Day, or not, but send flowers, etc., instead of calling 1-800 Flowers, try giving these places a call instead (who knew flowers of all things could be so damaging...).

Oh yeah, and Wal-Mart is leading the way on changing their packaging! WOOHOO!

I know you now have before you 3 environmental articles, but they're short. And you don't need to respond. Not much really to debate. Just read them at your leisure.

Beltway Friend 2 responds to Beltway Friend 1:

There's clearly an environmental bias from the people on this list, Beltway Friend 1 so I'm gonna step up and reply all to this article.
We already know that Beltway Friend 1 is cousins with Captain Planet and on a first name basis with Mother Nature ... thanks for this.

I don't know about Bloomberg for president, but I do think that we should be treading carefully on the biofuel craze. Check this other article here about the subject:

Consider this!!!
Why haven't we seen major government initiatives towards solar energy!
Cheap, will create jobs, effective for the most part though it might need a little more work, no where near as dangerous as nuclear!!!

Answer: They haven't found a way yet to harness and SELL the sun as a commodity. The obvious answer for humans to take on energy development is being stonewalled until they can find a way to control and profit off of sunlight.
Beltway Friend 1 might disagree with me ... she usually does

Beltway Friend 1 responds to Beltway Friend 2:
What's your position... I'm confused...
Do you like solar energy, hate it, kind of like it..... haha?

Sis. Crutch Writes in Response to Beltway Friends 1 & 2:

Yes, I agree that the government cares not about the environment, just about how to make a profit off of a new trend (biofuels)...notice, there's not much talk (outside of miserable CAFE standards) about how to make this country less reliant on cars (regardless of what type of fuel is used) and there's hardly any investment into mass transit systems. "Consumers" will have to become "Conservationists" and be the ones to lead this green movement (as they always have) and use grassroots campaigns to educate and empower individuals and to vote out the bums that won't get with the program. They should also get way more aggressive with car manufacturing companies, just like they get with big oil companies, protesting out in front of auto dealerships...when's the last time you saw THAT?

Hell, Congress/Next President won't end a war, so why in the world would it waste much time on this topic? "If it don't make dollars, it don't make sense." - DJ Quick

Beltway Friend 1 responds to both Beltway Friend 2 and Sis. Crutch:

So I'm going to separate business and the government for a second... and throw in the consumer while I'm at it... and attempt to respond to Beltway Friend 1 and Sis. Crutch's comments at the same time based on my experience and vantage point...

1. Agreed.... there needs to be a global discussion on how to decrease an individual's need to drive. In major urban areas, that has been addressed (whether or not it can be improved), yet for some reason, people still insist on driving. I'm not exactly sure what you do about changing that attitude (how high do toll prices need to become before people stop driving into Manhattan... beats me...).

2. Assuming people are going to continue to drive, which they are, there are two options for reducing oil consumption, improve efficiency (which has been dramatically improved... we just have been driving more and using that increased efficiency to make more powerful cars) or change fuels. The blame isn't all on the car companies. They will make whatever people buy. Fortunately people are starting to buy more efficient vehicles (i.e. toyota prius) and therefore they're making them. They're now even getting ready to import the smart car (although we really need to stop importing so much stuff... but that's another story). But it will take, I hate to say it, a dramatic increase in gas prices before Americans really start demanding big changes (it costs about $8-$9 a gallon in Switzerland to fill up). Good luck having those gas prices sit well with the American public (and for all of you that would kill the poor... you can insert whatever rebate program you'd like). The other option, biofuels. America isn't the only place where biofuels is the new craze. Actually, it's apparently not even knew. I'm writing this article (which all of you will be reading...haha) on biofuels and apparently the first cars were run on ethanol, until they found oil... which was cheaper (and much more abundant in 1900). And even scientists thought that biofuels were going to be our savior. But that's the beauty of science... you're always finding out cool new information, like biofuels aren't even the best way to go all the time. And another problem with the world in general, things are very compartmentalized. In part for good reason... these issues are complex in their own right, forget about the complexities of interdisciplinary approaches. But anyway, yeah now you have to deal with the impact on food prices or potential environmental degradation (I told you we have too many people on this planet!).

3. Hate to break it to ya, you have no development without making money. Businesses need to make money to first recoup costs, then to pay current costs, then to invest in the next wave of technology. Even our government has to make money in order to do anything. As do us individuals (and you know how we're encouraged to have a savings account... think of that as your profit, which it essentially is). The problem with solar power is not anyone's ability to make money, the problem is that oil is still heavily subsidized and renewable energies, even with the limited subsidies that they are given, still cost too much to be cost competitive. Although those prices are coming down. The key to isn't solar, wind, biofuels, oil, coal, etc. The key is figuring out how to diversify the energy sector in all of its forms which many businesses are figuring out.

4. As a side note, if anyone wants some interesting reading on energy, I highly recommend "Twilight from the Desert," and this new book by David Sandalow (forgot the name... so sad since I'm reading it now).

5. And yes, consumers do need to become conservationists. I don't see why they shouldn't. They should be regardless of what the government does. And believe it or not, all your least favorite companies have been leading the way in adopting "greener" policies. And yes to save money. But we all change things to save money. So for us to be able to without people hounding us about it, and then hounding companies for doing it, is ridiculous. But whatever...

Tha Artivist Responds To Beltway Friends 1 & 2 and also Sis. Crutch:

"We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted...So any nation which in its youth lives only for the day, reaps without sowing, and consumes without husbanding, must expect the penalty of the prodigal whose labor could with difficulty find him the bare means of life." ~Teddy Roosevelt

Beltway Friend 1, thanks for the articles and the knowledge…Tuesday I saw Charlie Rose and his guest was Business Tycoon Richard Branson…Branson was talking about how he was convinced by scientists and Al Gore that Global Warming was real…He actually created the Virgin Earth Challenge last September which will award 25 million dollars to whomever can come up with an environmentally friendly alternative to oil…Here’s the link to more info about the contest:

Beltway Friend 1, Branson echoed the same thing you stated about sugar based ethanol being used in early version of cars from 1902-1916…He also stated that the reason why automakers stop making cars that run on ethanol was because of American Prohibition…It was a fear that people will try to drink the ethanol due to the ban on alcohol therefore leading to a large number of deaths...WTF!!!

You see politrixs have always made things worse for people…Lol

Also I know for myself that global warming is real…Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita were able to happen because the Gulf of Mexico is becoming warmer…Hurricanes feed off the warm salty sea water…

Also look at the tornadoes from last week…Being in Tennessee I was able to see some of the damage first hand...Look at the snowstorms…Look at the Tsunami from 2004…

These things are not coincidences…

If you want to get people involved there’s a simple way to do that…

Bro. Malcolm used to say “make it plain”…In other words disseminate the info in a way that ordinary everyday people can understand…In stead of abstract graphs, surveys and studies show them how it directly and concretely impacts them in a very immediate fashion…We all know that human nature dictates that many of us don’t get involved in a cause until it directly affects us…

It is a known fact that people of color and poor communities are usually the collateral damage and first human victims of environmental poison and destruction…

I remember growing up in my grandparents’ neighborhood in South Memphis...Is it just me or is every older Black community in America located near the train tracks with factories near by???

Well there used to be a full operating U.S. Army Depot equipped with underground facilities…It is currently closed…Nobody in the neighborhood and outside the U.S. government knew what they kept there and what exactly they were doing in the first place…But years later it seems that many neighborhood people have been diagnosed with and are dying from cancer related illnesses…I know my maternal grandmother passed away from breast cancer 10 years ago and her husband, my grandfather, recently died of complications from cancer three years ago…Is there a connect to the Army Depot for the illnesses??? Maybe or maybe not…But planting that seed of doubt in people’s head will make them become more aware of their immediate environment and perhaps with time, more vigilant…

Another example is to look at the situation out in Richmond, Ca…There is a very high number of kids with asthma in that city as well as in the state of California for that matter…Richmond, Ca illustrates the point perfectly because there are a lot of poor minority communities near refining plants like Chevron…Being that asthma is a breathing disease and that the air in that city is so horribly polluted, one can easily draw the conclusion that there’s a connection without seeing any “scientific data”…However, I am definitely not dismissing the scientific data, but in our society sometimes seeing first is believing second…Lol…

Here are some links that go into further detail about what’s going on Richmond, Ca:

Opportunity For Protest: The Schlumberger 2 Case

To tie into what Sis. Crutch said about protesting…There are people protesting oil conglomerates as we speak…The work environment of some of these leading oil companies are horrible for people of color…Particularly for women of color…

I have a friend (Sis. Tawanna Thierry ) down in Houston that is currently fighting one of the largest oil companies in the world, Schlumberger…She and her colleague Dr. Candi Hudson have filed a lawsuit last year which details race and sex discrimination…They are currently on leave with pay pending the company investigation…Basically their careers in that field are over…

I created a name for these sisters: The Schlumberger 2

Bro. Marcus Jones (the father of Jena 6’s Mychal Bell and a good friend of mine) told me about these sisters on Saturday Jan. 19, 2008…I interviewed Sis. Tawanna Thierry along with Bro. Marcus Jones and Bro. Joe Lawrence of the National Action Network on my internet radio show last month…You can listen to the actual show (it’s the first hour) by clicking on the following link:

These are educated sisters but yet they had to deal with white men exposing themselves to them on the job and with racial slurs and other degrading words hurled at them on a daily basis…This is not a coincidence…The oil industry is notorious for these types of cases…Remember the Texaco incident from the 1990s where oil execs were caught on tape calling Black employees “Black Jelly Beans”:

They ended up paying the plaintiffs 476 million dollars, which is pocket money to Texaco anyway…

Schlumberger has a long history of job discrimination and sexual harassment not only in the U.S., but around the world...Here are some of their most recent offenses:

They also were forced to pay recently millions of dollars for environmental damages in the U.S.:

On February 29, 2008 there will be a huge protest of the company in Houston:

These sisters need all the help and media attention they can get…They don’t have legal representation because all the lawyers in the Houston area are in bed with Schlumberger…If you know anybody or any entity that can help these sisters please e-mail Sis. Tawanna Thierry at …She can also be reached by phone 832-694-7845

For more information about the Schlumberger 2 case please peruse the following links:

Change is definitely in the air and I am not talking about Barack…

However, I am a proud hope monger!!!

This is the new chapter of the World Civil Rights Movement…This is the unfinished business from the previous generation…I hope you join me in making this world a better place to live and breathe for our kids as well as for us…

I hope you are willing to fight for justice just as we are so willing to fight each other…

All Power To The People

Tha Artivist

Beltway Friend 1 responds to Tha Artivist:

Although there are any number of studies one can look at, there are also more "people friendly" resources to learn about the environment. The problem is, the "big" environmental problems have incredibly long lead times that are conceptually hard for people to grasp and therefore care about. And so long as people aren't farming, fishing, managing water resources (i.e. somehow water resource managers manage to keep water flowing through faucets), people don't feel the crunch. If I tell you in 50-100 years there may be no summer ice cover in the Arctic (which people have been showing pictures of changing Arctic ice for years now), are you going to go jump at the chance to reduce your energy consumption? The environmental community is still waiting... If I tell you that New Orleans continues to sink (which a new article just reported) are people going to reconsider rebuilding a massive city on it... I just sent out an article about the west's water crisis, yet development hasn't slowed down...

The environmental community shows pictures over time, they tell you lakes are drying up, they tell you agricultural production will fall, fisheries are being demolished, biodiversity may be out the door if we're not careful, glaciers no longer exist (i visit glacier national park about 10 years ago and was confused as to why it was called glacier national park), and yet people still are non-responsive (this is not just about government and industry before someone starts telling me about they should be doing), what else is supposed to happen....

People are more responsive to more local problems such as air pollution, hazardous waste sites, etc. And there has been a lot done in those areas, and more work is being done in those areas. But what about climate change which is much harder to see and experience, and water scarcity (which has been a problem all over the world for a very long time... see the Darfur conflict as an example), etc... are we just stuck on having things be more convenient until it smacks us in the face as we did with air quality and hazardous waste sites and water pollution (see US river that caught on fire in the 1970s).... unfortunately the environment, nor society, can wait for things to smack us in the face before doing something... and unfortunately that seems to be what it takes for us to actually get it together....

Tha Artivist Asks: What Do You Think???

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