Historic vote: California voters needed NOW to help raise fuel economy, curb global warming

Will California lead the way to curbing global warming and making the US less dependent on foreign oil? Or will we be held hostage by the dinosaurs in Detroit and Big Oil and Coal? A historic showdown is imminent in Congress. The time to make your voice heard is NOW.
For the first time in a decade, the U.S. Senate has voted to improve motor vehicle fuel economy, saving consumers at the pump and also reducing harmful pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. But the House is closely divided, with the auto, coal, and oil industries attempting to derail the momentum from the Senate victory. This is a critical moment for the environment, consumers, and the nation.
The burning question: Will enough lawmakers from California vote AYE for H.R. 1506, the Fuel Economy Reform Act of 2007, to offset the NO votes from members of states dominated by the auto, coal, and oil interests? H.R. 1506 will raise fuel economy 10 miles per gallon over the next 10 years, to 35 mpg, and 4% every year afterward. These gains in fuel economy are achievable and long overdue. Any added costs for the vehicles will be offset by savings at the pump. Oh, and did we mention that we also help save the planet?
While California has the most to gain from raising fuel economy standards, both in decreased pollution and in savings on fuel costs, some California lawmakers are wavering, thanks to a barrage of phone calls and faxes–not to mention campaign contributions— from auto, coal, and oil interests. Those lawmakers are seriously out of step with public opinion. Yet another poll, recently conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, shows overwhelming support among Californians for increasing fuel economy standards and addressing global warming. This should be a no-brainer, but some wavering lawmakers need to hear from more of us to realize they are going to be held accountable for this vote–by the public.
How can you make your voice heard at this critical time for California, our nation, and our planet?
Call wavering lawmakers and let them know you care about the planet. Urge them to vote for H.R. 1506 when Speaker Pelosi and the authors, Representatives Markey and Platts, bring the bill to the House floor.
Here’s who to call TODAY:
U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno)
DC office: 202-225-3341
Fresno office: 559-495-1620
U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield)
DC office: 202-225-2915
Bakersfield office: 661-327-3611
U.S. Rep. Jane Harman (D-El Segundo, Wilmington)
DC office: 202-225-8220
El Segundo office: 310-643-3636
U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (D-San Bernardino)
DC office: 202-225-6161
San Bernardino office: 909-885-2222
U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Solana Beach)
DC office: 202-225-0508
Solana Beach office: 858-350-1150
Mary Bono (R-Palm Springs)
DC office: 202-225-5330
Palm Springs office: 760-320-1076
Spread the word among your family and friends. The calls you make now will be among the most important you will ever make.
Thank you for speaking up, California!!

The Governor’s Birthday present–with love from his Party

Much has been made of the fact that today, July 30th is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 60th birthday and wouldn’t it be a great present if the Reps. would come together, sing Happy Birthday and Kumbaya and give the state a budget and move on with the other important business at hand.
Such thinking is sweet, but as far from reality as one can get in Sacramento, where reality is usually cast by political consultants and clever media-spinners. No, the Gov. can’t rely on his flock for support—or likely even a birthday card. So much for the much ballyhooed smoking tent, late night schnaps and heavily testosteroned bantering in the beautiful outdoors of the “horseshoe” in the Capitol. Must be pretty quiet these days as former Senate Democratic leader and first-buddy to the Gov.John Burton is long gone and any sense of Republican comraderie with the Gov. has taken a similar route.
Nope, there’s no fun today in Mudville for this Governor. Of course, he doesn’t much mind. After all, he’s had his mug all over national and international newspapers and magazines, been meeting with the heads of state, the UN leadership and NYC’s own number one honcho, possible presidential candidate Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He’s also been seen at the Capitol gym while budget negotiations have been taking place, photographed down in Miami raising over $1.5 Million last week on a jaunt to that city a couple thousand miles away from our shores. This and several other long-distance photo-ops have demonstrated a less than a total commitment to getting a budget passed here in the place Schwarzenegger is actually authorized to oversee and govern.

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While California Dreams- Weekly Update Vol.1 No. 8

A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento
For the week ending July 28, 2007

Key bills and issues we’ve been following during the past week and beyond
While the budget continues to be the hot topic of the week in Sacramento and certainly the number one issue for the state, a number of other battles are brewing, especially on the Initiative and Referendum side of the electoral process. With California consistently on the cutting edge of controversy and innovation, several measures have been added to the potential ballot for next year, and some California cities are calling for the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney:
Here’s the scoop on this past week:
The Budget — Week Four and counting. The impasse continues
Now that the Senate has had another week to posture and pontificate over the budget that the Assembly adopted the previous week (and then left town for a month), leaving the older and wiser Senators to duke it out, there seems little left to say. With that in mind, let’s look for the budget stalemate to be broken in the week ahead. Why the optimism?
Well, let’s see what the past week has wrought:
This debate exists on two levels. The first is the public/media debate where the Reps claim they must have a budget that balances this year. With a $145 billion budget, they insist there is a shortfall of an unacceptable $700 million.
The Dems say there is NO shortfall, and in fact, the bipartisan budget passed in the Assembly creates a $3.5 billion reserve. With a $4 billion surplus carrying over from 2006, that number is correct. The problem? The Reps don’t want to include the carry-over surplus in the calculations.
What they’ve proposed is to cut another $300 million in basic benefits to the poorest Californians, cut drug treatment programs, and delete even more from public transportation funds. It is, predictably, a heartless set of cuts that are consistent with their ideological views. For an excellent summary and commentary on the Republican counter-proposal presented this week, check out the LA Times here.
An additional and sinister demand has nothing to do with the budget, but everything to do with the environment and pandering, yet again, to their corporate sponsors. They are demanding modification of CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act. CEQA is one of the most important environmental laws in the state. The measure requires tough but appropriate protections for any development. The Reps (and their Big Developer financiers) hate the law and have been trying to do away with it for decades. This ploy won’t fly either.
But the subtext, or second level has to do with egos, politics and posturing.
The Reps wanted to express publicly their unhappiness with the Gov for not taking them more seriously. He didn’t want to play in their sandbox, so they’re feeling slighted (and properly so). Holding up the budget now becomes a mark on Schwarzenegger’s leadership, especially his inability to reign in his own party. Thus far, they’ve succeeded, and whatever few efforts Schwarzenegger has made have failed to dislodge the puny two votes he needs to get his party’s support. One, Abel Maldonado has already signaled he’s ready to vote “AYE” (by abstaining on the first go-rounds and not voting ” NO “). The question is: Who is the second vote? Are there any semi-“moderates” in the entire 15- MAN Republican Caucus? Apparently, the answer is, ” No “.
For an excellent article on the other games being played here, check out the The Roundup for July 26, 2007.
How will this all play out?
When the dust settles, the conventional wisdom is that the budget will pass and the Governor will use his “blue pencil” to line-item veto between $200 million (he’s already committed to that) and $500 million of the questionable $700 million the Reps claim is still out-of-whack. There will be some other little concessions to the Reps to save face, and the state will, yet again, have a foolish budget that doesn’t solve its fundamental problems.
With the Assembly in recess, there is little to report on the legislative front, but as we promised, much to be said in other areas.
The latest at the California Air Resources Board/Global warming.
New California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols came out swinging in her first week on the job. She announced that tough, new first-in-the-nation rules have now been adopted requiring construction companies to retrofit or replace their diesel-powered bulldozers, scrapers and other heavy construction equipment over the next 13 years. Finally, California is making a serious effort to reduce the particulate matter (soot) that scientists say is responsible for an estimated 1100 premature deaths, more than 1,000 hospitalizations and tens of thousands of asthma attacks in California each year.
Not only will public health be directly affected-and improved, but greenhouse gasses(which are a by-product of fuel burning) will also drop with the ban on idling equipment.
California Clamoring for Presidential Impeachment?
Well, maybe a bit premature, but nonetheless the drumbeat is growing louder here in California, with the City of West Hollywood being the first city in Southern California to support issuance of Articles of Impeachment for the President and Vice-President, joining other cities in California and around the nation.
For more on this story, check out West Hollywood Mayor John Duran’s blog entry.
Voting Machine Test Results finally in
When Debra Bowen ran for Secretary of State, she campaigned heavily on insuring the security of our voting process. After it was so clear that hacking and machine manipulations played heavily in the 2004 Presidential election, the integrity of our votes has become a critical issue in California and the nation itself.
The long-awaited test results were released this week by Secretary of State Bowen and to the surprise of few, the findings support the concerns about how vulnerable voting machines are to hackers and others wanting to manipulate the vote count. With national implications as well, the story is just unfolding. See the NY Times article here.
Initiatives to watch out for
Rejecting the Expanded the Indian Gaming Contracts:
There’s something about a Friday afternoon in mid-summer that brings out the more interesting “under the radar” news. But not this time. Today, four separate referendum measures were filed with the Attorney General’s Office by labor unions and the horse racing industry to invalidate the recently-signed tribal gaming pacts that would expand slot machines at four of the largest and richest tribal casinos in Southern California. It is expected that more than $20 million will be spent in support and opposition to EACH of these four measures. The LA Times has a story on this here. Stay tuned to this slugfest, as the predictions are that they could overshadow the Presidential candidates spending in February.
Term Limits/Expansion Initiative:
No matter what you call it, or whether you support it or not, the “term limits” or “term extension” initiative folks have submitted over 1.1 million signatures to qualify the measure on the February ballot. This is far more than required, so it’s a safe bet this issue will come before the voters again during the Presidential primary election campaign. Although the proponents in Sacramento have accumulated lots of cash for the effort, it’s still a long shot for passage. While the title and summary provided by AG Jerry Brown is favorable to those who are proposing the Initiative, there will be plenty of push-back from the opposition, assuring this will be a hotly- contested and ugly battle where both sides will be bashing government and politicians to prove their respective points!
The Rest of the Story
Our blogging offerings for the week

During the past week, we’ve posted the following stories:
On the budget:
GOP Budget For California Found in President Bush’s Colonoscopy
Budget Crunch Time- Who is Asking the Tough Questions?

On Impeachment:
West Hollywood Calls for Impeachment
To read and comment on these entries, just go to www.speakoutca.org/weblog
We’ll continue looking at these and other issues as the summer pushes on. Although the Assembly is in recess, there is still lots going on in our great state and we’ll make sure you stay on top of those key issues. We welcome your comments and suggestions and hope you will send this newsletter to your friends and other like-minded progressives. Urge them to sign up to Speak Out California and keep the progressive voice alive!
Until next week,
Hannah-Beth Jackson and the Speak Out California Team

GOP Budget for California Found In President Bush’s Colonoscopy

From The Courage Campaign

Over the weekend, California Republican Senators were given some homework – since they couldn’t stop voting “No” on a compromise budget plan approved by Democrats and Republicans in the Assembly, the Senate Republicans had to come up with their own budget plan.  In a lucky coincidence, President Bush had a colonoscopy on Monday, and doctors apparently found the Republican budget plan lodged somewhere in the First Colon.

How else can we explain where this GOP budget came from?  The Republican proposal would leave tens of thousands of poor people to die, would end several environmental protection laws (??), and would close down several University of California institutes.  And that’s just what they made public.  Apparently there’s even more draconian and unnecessary spending cuts they’re holding back for some reason.  Maybe the rest of the spending cuts are still stuck up Bush’s… colon.

OK, all kidding aside — I don’t want to be accused of just slinging mud, so let’s take a closer look at the main parts of the GOP budget proposal.

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Budget Crunch Time-Who is asking the tough questions?

All eyes will be on the California Senate Wednesday as they are back from a few days hiatus while the Republicans have been challenged to put up a budget of their own. With a put-up-or-shut-up challenge by President Pro Tem of the Senate, Don Perata, the Reps were sent back to the drawing board to propose their own budget after they refused, en masse, to approve the deal the Assembly had passed with bipartisan support, and lobbed over to the Senior Chamber last week.
So what can we expect will happen? The deal that was struck by both sides in the Assembly has been narrowed down as follows: (For other Speak Out California stories on this, scroll down to the Budget section under “Archives” part-way down on the left-hand side of the page)

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West Hollywood Calls for Impeachment

As more and more Americans are becoming concerned and even outraged over the behavior of President Bush and VIce-President Cheney’s blatant disregard for the limits on their power, cries for Impeachment are growing. Among them are the City of West Hollywood which just became the first jurisdiction in Southern California to call for the impeachment of the President and Vice President. As this drum starts beating stronger and stronger with each and every new and additional unconstitutional attempt by the Bush Administration to expand its executive powers, the people of this country are becoming more and more angered and activated.
West Hollywood Mayor, and newest Speak Out California board member, John Duran, explains why he and the City of West Hollywood have taken the unprecedented step to call for the ouster of this George who would be King, were we to sit back and watch him and Dick Cheney ignore and destroy the Constitution of this great country.
It is our hope that at least the discussion of impeachment will begin in the classrooms, boardrooms and water coolers as well as the Council Chambers of this state and country as we ask ourselves whether we are willing to relinquish the Democracy so many have fought and died for in this great country, or are we going to hold-the-line and say that enough is enough; that George Bush is not King, that our Constitution cannot be dismantled and ignored and no one is above the law?
Here’s what Mayor John Duran has to say on this critically important issue:

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While California Dreams- Weekly Update Vol.1 No. 7

A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento
For the week ending July 21, 2007
Key bills and issues we’ve been following during the past week and beyond
The Budget — week three but with an end in sight???
This is the week that the budget discussions heated up to the boiling point and the Assembly, for the first time in recent memory, beat the Senate to the punch by passing a budget and closing up shop for its annual Summer recess. Usually it’s the Senate that passes the budget first and heads out-of-town, leaving the Assembly holding the bag. Not so this time!
Unfortunately, as we send this out to you, the Senate has ungraciously failed to finalize its vote so we’re simply not able to give you much more than where the budget is now. But the Legislature has never been appreciative of press/blog deadlines — even for this former colleague who’s trying to give our readers the story on how California plans to spend $140 billion during the next fiscal year.
What we do know is this:
The Assembly passed a budget at 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning by a vote of 56 to 23. If you are wondering how in the world anyone can be clear-headed at that hour, I can tell you from experience that most members haven’t much focus on what they’re voting on at that hour. They certainly don’t know what is included in the last minute “trailer” bills. They’re actually limited to relying on the work of the Legislative Counsel’s Office to draft what they think the deal is that must be reflected in the budget bills that are passed.
The Budget bill itself gave the Republicans about $1.4 billion of the $2 billion in cuts they were demanding in order to vote for the budget. They succeeded by removing over $1.2 billion in public transit funding. If this feels like we’re moving backwards on the global warming and smog issues we have in this state, you’re right.
Additional “savings” are coming in the form of delaying cost-of-living adjustments for the aged, blind and disabled. This means that the weakest and neediest among us won’t see any increases in their measly support until May of 2008, rather than starting in January. This should make the Republican leadership very proud.
Another proud accomplishment for the Reps must be the reduction of funding for Proposition 36 — the drug rehabilitation programs that the voters of California overwhelmingly supported as a way to reduce the incarceration (and thus cost) of putting non-violent drug offenders in prison for their addictions. The voters, with much better vision and common sense, passed an initiative to try treatment and rehabilitation first before incarceration, a policy not only more humane, but likely to create enormous savings. Unfortunately, this program has never been properly funded, so the Reps want us to fund it even less. Not smart and not even good politics.
On the bragging rights portion of this budget, the deficit was reduced down to $700 million for the upcoming year and a $3.4 billion reserve was established, purportedly making this the largest reserve in several decades. The Assembly also added $2.5 billion in early bond repayments, over $1 billion more than the Governor had requested.
To the education community, K-12 will be fully funded. Unless the Senate comes through, however, the Governor will have succeeded in adding back the truly absurd standardized testing of seven-year-olds If you haven’t already sent a letter to members of the State Senate to demand they remove this requirement from the budget, click here and sign our action alert. Since the Senate is still debating the issue, there is still time to tell them it is wrong to force seven year olds to take this test. For more on this issue, see Jackie Goldberg’s blog
No Second Grade Testing for our Children!.
So educational funding has been protected and it is always good to pay down the debt and save for a rainy day. However, this year it was done at the expense of the poorest and neediest. But none of this matches the outrageous and shameful effort to provide tax credits to some of the wealthiest businesses and industries. This last minute and previously unmentioned Republican-generated boondoggle came as a surprise to many legislators and political observers, as it had never even been discussed before it showed up in the budget’s trailer bills. It seems that a separate “trailer” bill came out of the clear blue providing a package of five tax credits to out-of-state corporations doing business in California.
The movie industry was also included as part of this “sweetener” to get Republican support for the budget — it will change the way the tax obligations of many national corporations are computed. Estimated cost to the state and savings to the big business interests from out-of-state: $600 million a year! Will we ever learn that corporations have to pay taxes, just like the rest of us — or are we going to turn our heads while the rich get even more gluttonous and greedy? To make this even worse, these tax breaks were acceptable while the Reps successfully insisted again on sacrificing again $185 million in teacher tax credits.
The good news is that the Senate leadership announced these $600 Million per year of goodies as going nowhere. Senate President Don Perata said they wouldn’t even put this idea up for a vote. However, the main budget bill has now been voted on in the Senate — with all Dems going up on it and no Reps. Thus, the stalemate at the moment is that no Republicans will support the budget as passed by the Assembly, and therefore the 2/3 requirement needs two votes to pass.
As we send this week’s version of “While California Dreams”, the Senate has announced its intention to work through the weekend until it passes the budget. At this moment, all the Dems have voted “aye” without a single Rep vote, so it’s looking like an impasse since Senator Perata says he’s through negotiating and it’s time for the Reps to put up their votes.
With all efforts focused on the budget, and with proposed legislation having had its deadline last week, there is little to report in the way of legislative activity; instread, we’ll take a look at a few other key highlights on the political front that we’ve been following.

Global Warming and implementation of AB 32.

This was the week of the Senate’s confirmation hearings for Mary Nichols, nominated by the Governor to serve as head of the California Air Resources Board. The key issue for the Dems is whether she’ll implement AB 32 as written, or try to inject the Governor’s will that ignores the requirement that strong and effective regulations be proposed and adopted before we start playing cutesie with the free marketeers love affair with “cap and trade”. That fancy phrase allows big polluters to continue polluting by buying pollution credits from companies that have reduced their polluting below their allowed amounts. It’s actually a zero sum game, and we’re not going to put a serious dent in the global warming problem as long as we seek this approach first.
Many of us who have watched this Governor and don’t trust him to keep his word were concerned that he would renege on his commitment to honor the tough regulatory approach. He confirmed our fears when he fired the former, very highly respected Chair of the CARB. Predictably, highly-respected Ms. Nichols assuaged the concerns of Democratic leaders in the Senate when she reaffirmed CARB’s commitment to set new regulations as its top priority. Now it’s up to her to deliver as promised. We’ll be watching to see if she’s allowed to do her job or the Governor will interfere yet again with this important work. For more on this story, see the San Francisco Chronicle article here.
The Judiciary
Another interesting item on this front comes from the Legislature’s minority caucuses which were trying to delete funding for new judges from the budget. Their reason for this rather hostile move? It seems that the governor has a pretty poor record on appointing judges reflective of the state’s diverse population.
Recent appointments followed a similar pattern that the Governor has established during his tenure. With 260 judicial appointments, he’s appointed 8.5% Latinos, 4.6% Asian Americans and 5.8% African Americans. Since the population of the state is comprised of 44% whites, 35% Latinos, 12% Asians and 6.7% African American (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), the minority caucuses argue there is a strong need to make the judiciary more reflective of that diversity.
The problems? According to the Judicial Councel, more than 70% of the state’s judiciary is white and close to 73% is men. While the Governor has acknowledged a paltry record on reaching parity, he cites the fact that almost 85% of California attorneys are white and and almost 67% are male. Another source of the Governor’s problems is that he, like his predecessors, prefers to appoint prosecutors to the bench. Of his recent 26 appointments, 17 were former prosecutors.
Although the debate is unlikely to hold up the budget now that it’s in the Senate, it is a subject that has been closely watched by women’s organizations and the communities of color. This debate will continue long after the budget discussions to determine whether the Governor will try to make the face of the justice system look more like the face of California.

Initiatives to watch out for

We’ve been following possible initiatives for next year, another sneaky and dishonest possibility emerges from the bowels of Big Businesses’ dislike of accountability. This one is being explored by the mis-named Civil Justice groups, a real front for the oil and tobacco industries, the car manufacturers, drug companies and other self-serving behemoths who don’t want the little guy to have the ability to sue them for producing dangerous products, violating environmental, labor or other workplace protections. This one deserves to be tanked before it’s qualified for the ballot, but with the billions of dollars these companies have raked in from their sleazy business practices, they’ll likely get this on the ballot for June 2008–you know, the election where the people won’t be paying attention as they seek a breather from the February Presidential primary and the November Presidential election. For more on this Big Business effort to beat up some more on the little guy, go to our blogpost of July 20th by clicking here
The Rest of the Story
Our blogging offerings for the week
During the past week, we’ve posted the following stories:
No Second Grade Testing for Children– plea by former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg to stop the inhuman practice of requiring standardized testing of 7 year olds
The Big Corporate Bullies are at it Again— The effort by Corporate Fat-cats to reduce their accountability for their bad behavior.
Lightblueline: Sending out an SOS— One community’s creative response to the Global Warming challenge in Al Gore’s terrific An Inconvenient Truth
To read and comment on these entries, just go to: www.speakoutca.org/weblog/
We’ll continue looking at these and other issues as the legislature finalizes the budget that will direct California’s priorities for the coming year. We welcome your comments and suggestions and hope you will send this newsletter to your friends and other like-minded progressives. Urge them to sign up to Speak Out California and keep the progressive voice alive!
Until next week,
Hannah-Beth Jackson and the Speak Out California Team

No Second Grade Testing for our Children!

NO 2nd Grade Testing!
A couple of years back, while I was Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, we made a deal with the Governor. And now, he wants to back out of it! I guess that should come as no surprise, since he seems to only make deals for a short term gain, and chooses not to follow through with the parts he doesn’t like.
The deal was that the budget would pass and with it would be a commitment that California would end testing seven year olds with high stakes, standardized tests.
Why did the legislative majority require California to get out of the business of ” testing” seven year olds? Was it because we don’t want them to learn? Is it because we don’t think they can learn? Or is it that we just don’t want to hold teachers and schools ” accountable” ?
Well, actually, it is not for any of those alleged reasons. We, as a legislative body, decided that labeling very young children as ” failures” was probably not going to help them love learning, and was indeed cruel and unusual punishment.

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The Big Corporate Bullies Are At It Again

The Big Corporate Bullies are at it again! Just when we thought they’d be embarassed and hiding from their latest shenanigans—pawning off bad medicine (think VIOXX) or seeing their Chinese competitors getting caught trying to sneak tainted pet food, toothpaste and fish into the U.S., they’re back themselves trying to slam the courthouse doors shut so they can’t be prosecuted for their own often dangerous antics.
What is it now? It’s a new initiative they’ve just filed with the California Attorney General’s office which will allow them to avoid accountability when they get caught doing things like discriminating against their employees on the basis of race, gender, age or disability. If this initiative makes it to the ballot and passes, they’ll be able to get away with refusing to pay their workers for their earned pay, be passing off known damaged and dangerous products, illegally pollute our air and water with inpugnity. The list goes on and on.
How are these profiteers planning their next attack on protecting the public? They’re staking out an initiative which will all but end class action lawsuits in the state of California by making them so hard and expensive for the little guy to bring to court, that they’ll all but vanish. Using Bush-like double-speak to hide their true identity, these greedy CEO’s and corporate polluters go by the totally misleading title of ” Civil Justice Association ” otherwise known as C-JAC. Like Bush’s cronies, they’re anything but seeking justice—it’s just more and more about their profits and the public be damned.

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Lightblueline: Sending Out An SOS

From The Courage Campaign
Santa Barbara, the beachside villa I am fortunate enough to call home, has just become one of the first cities to show, definitively, just how real the climate crisis is. The City Council approved a plan to paint a light blue line on the streets. Officially called an “art exhibit,” the line will run through the city, showing where the new shoreline will be if we don’t stop global warming from melting Greenland and the ice caps.
You may have seen how this works in An Inconvenient Truth: as global temperatures rise, more and more of the ice on Greenland, Antarctica, and in the Arctic is melting, meaning that there’s more liquid water in the oceans. This will cause widespread, permanent flooding across the world, including in lovely places like Santa Barbara. Parts of Santa Barbara (and Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and New York…) will be underwater if we don’t work to slow down our carbon emissions – pollution which increases the greenhouse effect and warms the planet.
As much as I’d like to see the beach move even closer to my house, it’s pretty clear that if flooding on the scale predicted by top scientists happens, we’ll have millions and millions of people displaced, and acres of land will be washed away.
So, I’m going to listen to the message sent by Al Gore and his rock star friends. They’ve sent out an SOS, sounding the alarm so that this light blue line in Santa Barbara remains just a work of art and not a prediction.