|My dream is that California under Governor Jerry Brown's leadership will become a multi-cultural world-class economy powered entirely by renewable resources and energy conservation, and a model to which President Barack Obama can point during the critical global talks on climate change in December 2015. This vision is one in which the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The overarching goal of projecting California as a renewable model for the world should unite the many tangled strands of California environmentalism.
The challenge of climate change can be "The Great Unifier," in the words of a February 2014 state report.
California already leads in many ways. We are the most energy-efficient state in America. Since our renewable investments began with Jerry Brown and the no-nukes movement four decades ago, we have achieved 1.5 million clean energy jobs, $74 billion in consumer savings, and become the magnet for two-thirds of the clean energy venture capital investments in the country. We have rejected those myopic corporate voices that once warned that California needed 65 nuclear power plants built on our magnificent coastline. Today only one nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, stands in the way of California becoming a nuclear-free state.
There's much more. The governor campaigned on a promise of 500,000 new clean energy jobs over his two terms. He is going to increase the percentage of our electricity generated from renewables, now at 23 percent, to at least 33 percent by 2020. There will be 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2025. The plan is to cut in half emissions from passenger transportation. Brown seeks 75 percent recycling and composting by 2020. Under Title 24 of the state building code, "zero carbon buildings" will be sprouting, in which the annual energy consumption is no great than the renewable energy produced on site.
Brown knows that California is the leverage point for achieving a national transformation towards clean energy and climate protection, just as California standards in the 70s led to vast efficiencies in transportation, building, and appliance standards. The tailpipe emission standards ultimately adopted in California in 2003 became federal standards by 2010.
California is beginning to invest $120 billion in renewables and clean energy between this year and 2020. California is in the process of spending at least $20 billion per year fighting climate change through an alternative energy budget. It's no moonbeam fantasy to visualize California as a clean energy model for the US and the world. [...]
President Obama and Gov. Brown need each other more than ever. Obama does not receive enough notice for the unprecedented $71 billion for clean energy initiatives contained in his 2009 stimulus package. But there the "green New Deal" stalled, as coal-breathing Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2012. Now, however, the Obama administration is poised to sharply limit carbon pollution with new EPA rules. The conservative US Supreme Court recently ruled that the EPA can regulate pollution, which drifts from 28 mainly coal-based states to the East Coast. In June the EPA will issue Obama's most important regulation so far, a sweeping order to cut CO2 emissions which, if Obama succeeds, means a cut of 700 million tons of carbon pollution yearly by 2020, and will be a serious obstacle to present and future coal plants.
Assuming Rolling Stone is correct that the Obama administration will reject the Keystone XL pipeline, the president will be looking for serious partners outside the climate change-denying House of Representatives as he prepares for the December 2015 Paris talks on a global treaty to reduce the carbon plague.
Enter Jerry Brown. Obama's pending decisions will accelerate the need for a growing clean energy economy, which California is poised to deliver. [...]
Brown and California therefore are pivotal for the US, China, and the planet on climate change issues. None of this will be easy, but a common vision of "the great unifier" - the challenge of climate change - is critical to navigating the many divisions and stumbling blocks which stand in the way, and which often exhaust environmentalist energy.
The first challenge to this agenda is to prevent industrial fracking from going forward in California during Brown's next five years. Environmentalists are united in opposing expanded fracking. Labor and legislative Democrats are sharply divided over fracking in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits. The opposition to fracking is so intense among community groups and fracking-focused environmental groups that any attempts even to regulate the process are denounced as legitimizing an apocalypse.
The oil thought to lie in the Monterey Shale formation must "stay in the ground" if this scenario is to be avoided, “fracktivists” say. The very concept of regulation, they add, implies that fracking can be managed safely. The threat of methane emissions and water contamination during a historic drought, make fracking a leading environmental menace for this generation.
Brown's caution on fracking so far has drawn such vigorous environmental protests that it damages his credibility as a global leader on climate. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2002—"Security" at airports means empty guns:
|For months I have been telling anyone who listened that National Guard troops in airports were probably carrying unloaded weapons. I was right.
It's funny to me how the AP is breathlessly reporting this "scoop". Anyone with any kind of military service would know that the armed forces rarely trust their troops with loaded guns. I served in the US Army during the Gulf War. As my Germany-based unit didn't deploy, we were forced to do guard duty around our post. Yet, while we were on high alert for terrorist attacks, we never once received ammunition to properly defend ourselves.
Aside from that, the National Guard is a poor force to help guard airports. Their M-16 weapons are Vietnam-war era vintage. My rifle in 1989 was a newer model than those I saw in the airports. And, the M-16 is not design for close-quarters combat. It's a medium-range weapon. Airport security in countries outside the US usually carry short range submachine guns, such as Uzis. The M-16 is unwieldy and awkward when facing enemies just meters away.
Finally, regular Army units, and National Guard units, I presume, do not receive training in close-quarters combat. That has always been the domain of the Special Forces. Thus, we have had ill-trained, ill-prepared and unarmed civilian-'warriors' patrolling our airports. And not to increase security, but to "[calm] people down and [give] them the assurance that we were doing something." Too bad they really weren't "doing something".
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, back after a long weekend of rough news, Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss the #YesAllWomen global phenomenon, open carry blowback in TX, the VA issue narrative vs. reality & how Burr stepped in it. Even as the tide turns on marriage equality, we're reminded that some think they can turn it on a dime, because "tradition." And the oldest House Member ever looks to win his primary. Dark money at work in AR-SEN. Twitter's buzzing about corporate social media. Boston's "fusion center" tracked Occupy while missing the marathon bombing. Boing Boing notes Baquet spiked the biggest pre-Snowden NSA story. The prescience of Justice Brandeis.