This Thursday evening, Sept. 13th, I’ll be moderating a local Candidate’s Forum on the most important issue of our time, the climate crisis, sponsored by San Diego’s North County Climate Change Alliance. Join us from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm for an informative and eye-opening look, with Q & A to follow. Vista Library, 700 Eucalyptus Ave, Vista, CA This event is free and open to the public. Details here.
“Don’t let anyone take away your hope.” Back in 2012 Al Gore enshrined that phrase onto the hearts of one thousand of us from 68 countries gathered in San Francisco to become Climate Reality Corp. Leaders. Now, six years and countless presentations later, in 2018, they’ll be over two thousand of us from over 100 countries gathering in Los Angeles for a massive training and conference where I’ll be honored to serve as a Mentor.
Much has changed since my last Climate Reality Project conference and much has stayed the same. Mother Nature is a powerful lobbyist and many more are waking up to these “Inconvenient Truths”. The world has witnessed that turning a blind eye to the increasing climate crisis hasn’t lessened the devastation. A hurricane, or wildfire, or drought, or famine, or storm surge, or mudslide, or heatwave, or flood, or endangered species, doesn’t care about one’s political party affiliation, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, it just leaves a path of devastation. Though it’s true that those with the largest carbon footprint are often the most resilient to the effects of climate change, which of course deepens the social injustice.
One thing that hasn’t changed for me is my commitment to keep working to engage, educate, and inspire as many people as possible to do what we can to make a positive difference in our world. So yes Al, I’ll never let anyone take away my hope. How about you? We’re all indigenous to Mother Earth. It’s our home, shouldn’t we try?
According to Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the ocean water at Scripps pier at the beginning of August 2018 has reached a record-breaking 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In 102 years of record-keeping at the site, the ocean has never been this warm. Simply put, the ocean is so hot – because CO2 holds heat and the oceans absorb 90% of our atmospheric heat. By continuing to burn fossil fuels instead of using clean energy, we’re blasting CO2 pollution into our atmosphere on a massive and unprecedented scale. Warmer air = warmer oceans. It’s simple physics and simply genocide.
Join me this morning at San Diego’s Botanical Gardens, 230 Quail Gardens Dr. in Encinitas, CA, where I’ll be speaking on “Plants, Pollution, Policies, and Possibilities”. You can gain free entrance to the Gardens, by telling them at the entrance, that you’re coming to hear my talk. All are welcome. Arrive around 10:45 am. The talk will be held in the Paul Ecke building and run from 11 am until noon.
My Mama always said, “It’s better to face your problems than to ignore them. Not facing them is just scary and depressing. Facing your problems empowers you to solve them.” She was right then and now. From California to Florida, Japan to Greece and beyond, the climate crisis is here and it’s not going away. Let’s face it proactively and compassionately. Here’s my statement to anyone who has yet to grasp this situation and to those with the courage and wisdom to face it.
“Forced atmospheric warming due to humankind’s massive carbon emissions has been unequivocally established. Our time will be better spent on facing the consequences of those actions, fostering the pragmatic solutions to this existential threat, and caring for each other and nature with kindness, respect, and appreciation. Each of us can brighten the world – no matter what.” Eve Simmons
My Op Ed first appeared in The Coast News, July 13, 2018 by Eve Simmons
Worried about seeing oil rigs off our coast? Concerned about what an oil spill might do to our beaches? How about the potential damage to our property values, our local economy, tourism, fishing industry, and public health? Contemplating toxic fracking water being dumped into our local seas? Vexed about how oil drilling could interfere with military operations? Bothered by the thought of harm to marine life? Upset about our continued reliance on dirty energy which exacerbates pollution, ocean acidification, and climate change? When it comes to the many ways we continue to abuse our magnificent coastal waters, if the Pacific Ocean could talk it might say, “#MeToo”.
We Southern Californians can and should speak up to prevent further unnecessary damage to our Big Blue. As citizens, we should prevail upon our elected officials to DO ALL THEY CAN to keep our coastlines beautiful, clean and unspoiled. I urge readers to flex their civic voices in support of vibrant, healthy, and sustainable ocean policies. To that end, I’m submitting an open letter to Congressman Darrell Issa acknowledging the positive action he has taken so far and asking him to amplify his message on our behalf to the federal government.
Dear Congressman Issa,
I commend you for championing our great Pacific Ocean with your website statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s proposed offshore oil drilling plan as follows:
“It’s not the time to reopen California’s shoreline to new drilling. Secretary Zinke has said that the ‘states and local communities’ will have a voice, but Californians have made themselves clear: they do not want new drilling off our coasts. I will work to ensure that voice is heard and that California’s coastal areas are taken out of consideration.” Congressman Darrell Issa
Thank you for speaking up Mr. Issa. To ensure that our voices are heard, please go on official record, by sending a letter directly to the Department of Interior’s Secretary Zinke respectfully demanding that he take Southern California’s waters off the table for proposed expanded offshore drilling.
As your long Congressional tenure winds down, one of the most important and lasting legacies you could bequeath our state would be to preserve and protect our ocean from increased offshore drilling.
This proposal ignores the clearly documented, massive costs and punishing effects of burning fossil fuels, namely: carbon pollution, ocean acidification, warming seas, sea level rise, increased extreme weather, punishing storm surges, increased heatwaves, droughts, and larger, more destructive wildfires due to climate change. It doesn’t consider the potential damage to marine life through seismic air gun blasting techniques used in exploration for fossil fuels. Nor does it mention the expanded tanker traffic needed for additional transport pipelines. It doesn’t include the long-term monetary and environmental risks of offshore oil spills. Neither does it address the deleterious effects on public health, or the untreated toxic wastewater which is routinely dumped directly into our oceans from the fracking of offshore wells. As the great oceanographer, Dr. Silvia Earle says, “No blue, no green. No oceans, no us”.
Expanded offshore drilling would interfere with Navy and Marine training and testing areas, thus jeopardizing local jobs, a huge influx of military spending in our region, and our nation’s national security. According to the Department of Defense, military spending is projected to yield over $51 billion of San Diego County’s GRP in 2018, while generating 343,000 jobs. Let’s not make their job even harder. Please write directly to the decisionmakers Congressman Issa, in the loudest and strongest terms possible.
With gratitude, from all of us who cherish our coastal way of life.
Eve Simmons is a Southern California based, decades-long environmental advocate, lecturer, blogger, volunteer lobbyist, Congressional liaison on climate, a former San Diego Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commissioner and a resident of Cardiff by the Sea, CA. Her website is TheGreenFlash.org
In response to a comment from someone who assumed that one of the groups I work with, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, was a strictly Conservative, Libertarianesque organization. Oh my! I want to set the record straight for anyone else who may think that – especially Progressives. I’m a left of left liberal and I’ve been involved with Citizens’ Climate Lobby since 2012 (when I first trained with Al Gore). It was the scientists that brought me in. There are LOTS OF LIBERALS/PROGRESSIVES in this organization – actually the majority of CCLers are Progressive. We’re trying to bring in more Conservatives so that we can work together on climate despite other potential differences. Collectively, we cherish the EPA and mourn the demise of so many essential environmental policies the EPA has championed in the past. I personally got a huge bear hug from former EPA Director Gina McCarthy last year when I was in D.C. precisely because of my work with Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Most of us march and rally and organize for things like Community Choice Energy, Divestment of fossil fuel holdings, banning oil pipelines, plastic pollution, etc. Many of us are speakers and activists, and some of us engage in the occasional well-placed act of civil disobedience. It’s the effectiveness of PRICING CARBON and the SOCIAL JUSTICE of sharing the dividend with everyone and the CIVILITY of respectful discourse that brings so many from different walks of life and different political parties together. What’s amazing about charging the oil companies for their pollution and giving that money to the public (a.k.a. Pricing Carbon) is that it DROPS EMISSIONS LIKE A STONE and those that can least afford an increase in fossil fuel-based products can afford to segue to cleaner energy. THE VAST CONSENSUS OF ECONOMISTS WORLDWIDE SUPPORT CARBON PRICING AS THE QUICKEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO SLOW GLOBAL WARMING!! So does Bill McKibben, Al Gore, Elon Musk, Jeremy Rifkin, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, etc. CCL’s proposal is pure, gorgeous, and much stronger than the Paris Climate Accord calls for (btw nobody in CCL wanted the U.S. to abandon COP21). It’s what various politicians may want to add to CCL’s proposal that can be of concern. What it boils down to is how badly do we want to solve/slow global warming and what will actually pass in Congress, and how little time we have to act in a big way? When it comes to uniting people to make significant progress on the climate crisis, which is an issue we ALL need to tackle, Citizens’ Climate Lobby is one of the best friends you’ve got.