I'm a little late with this. Didn't think to put it on the blog at the beginning of the week, then let it slip until after Earth Day. Sometimes life gets in the way.
Before we get to the major thrust of this entry, I'd like to share this bit of email I received today:
Dear DAVID BRUCE COLLINS,
Yippee! I'm pending! I'm in electoral purgatory until the filing fee lawsuit against the Secretary of State gets resolved!
XR Earth Week Activities
Extinction Rebellion is urging environmentally conscious folks to spread the word, hassle politicians, and express their grave disappointment with Big Capital. They recommend ten different actions that you can take, and each weekday of this Earth Week gets a different focus.
Planet of the Humans
Executive-produced by Michael Moore; written, directed, partly filmed, and narrated by Jeff Gibbs (who is new to me, I must confess). I can't 100% recommend this flick: Josh (Gasland) Fox took to Twitter after watching it on YouTube, where Moore dropped it on Earth Day, to gripe about how Gibbs cherry-picks the most confirmation-biased bits to prove his point that big renewable energy projects are a scam and not as environmentally friendly as they're painted.
All that said, I believe Gibbs's film makes some worthy points about how (a) biomass plants do not deserve the "green energy" designation and how Big Capital has co-opted environmental advocacy groups. He clearly has no love for Bill McKibben and less than none for Al Gore. But the way he paints McKibben as a villain uses the same tricks that Moore has used for 30 years. The portrayal doesn't pass the sniff test, even though McKibben is by no means perfect: He takes a lot of heat within Deep Ecology circles for his silence on the carbon footprint of animal agriculture.
As a longtime Green and Green New Deal supporter, experience tells me that we cannot magic our way out of our current mess and expect to maintain our current consumption habits. Thinking that we can is naïve at best. We need to start curbing our planetary appetite, the sooner the better, preferably immediately. The sooner we can, the less we'll have to rely on totalitarian measures that force an ever grimmer austerity on us all. Despite Gibbs's sincere environmentalism, he has edited his interview clips in such a way that it nakedly gives ammunition to anti-environmentalists, which to me is the film's most dangerous peccadillo.
Raise your hand if you survived Earth Day weekend with your mental health intact, or at least undiminished. In the Lone Star State, we just endured a three-day onslaught of unofficial holidays: Santa Maria Juana Day (4/20), San Jacinto Day (a school holiday in my childhood years, commemorating the decisive battle in the War for Texas Independence), and an Earth Day with a case of middle-age existential dread appropriate for a holiday soon to turn 50.
Yesterday's Earth Day celebration at Discovery Green was not fertile ground for a Green Party apparatchik chasing petition signatures. The overwhelming majority of attendees whom I approached told me that they had voted in one of the March primary elections; I didn't ask which primary, but it was a Democrat-heavy crowd, as you might imagine. This phenomenon doesn't occur exclusively because environmentally-minded voters mistake the Democratic Party for a bulwark against industrial pollution and global warming: Plenty of progressive voters voted to support progressive candidates, regardless of their chances of winning—which, as a longtime Green I can respect, whether or not I agree with it. The Sunday Streets event in Third Ward was no better.
With this week's lefty blog post roundup, the Texas Progressive Alliance won't be flying Southwest Airlines for awhile. Not even for five grand in cash and another G in flight vouchers, thanks.
In that *ahem* spirit, Socratic Gadfly looked at Southwest's fatal engine blowout and sees it as a continuation of past bad practices.
High Plains Public Radio reports—and links to more in the Houston Chronicle (paywall)--regarding the Texas gerrymandering lawsuit, with opening arguments before the Supreme Court this morning. The Texas Observer posits that disgraced former Congressman Blake Farenthold was one of the undeserved beneficiaries of those goofy, and possibly illegal, maps. And Alexa Ura of the TexTrib, at the SCOTUS today, has the explainer. (Three weeks ago she reminded us why this 7-year-old-saga has everybody angry.)
Peace-Mom Cindy Sheehan asked a bunch of us peacenik comrades to tweet some graphics and hashtags. I was only to happy to oblige. If you are capable of intersectional thinking, you know that Earth Day is not just about picking up trash and recycling. Even if every individual or family on earth recycled the majority of their waste and switched to all-electric vehicles run on renewable energy, we would only cut our worldwide energy consumption by about 30%. Businesses and governmental agencies would have to clean up their act as well in order to get the world on track to thwart climate change and its effects. Of those governmental agencies, the biggest consumers of energy by far are the world's military forces.
People, Peace, and Planet over profit.
Houston's March for Science did not completely suck. The turnout was sizable for a demonstration in Houston: I would estimate 3-5 thousand science fans of all ages. Those in attendance brought eye-catching, nerdily LOL signs and T-shirts: e.g., "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitant" and "Girls just want to have fun(ding for their research)." But the speeches from the steps of City Hall were mostly mediocre at best, missing the point entirely at worst.
The point, supposedly, is that government funding for the sciences is in jeopardy from a science-hostile administration and Congressional majority. With all the organizers' noble aims at a non-partisan event, the speakers missed multiple opportunities to point out the adversary and tell the assembled thousands what they might do to overcome that adversary.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.