The Green Flash

With Eve Simmons


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Defending Our Irreplaceable Real Estate

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


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Uniting on Climate

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.


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No Blue, No Green, No Oceans, No Us.

That quote from the great oceanographer Dr. Silvia Earle says it all. If the world’s oceans could talk they might say… #MeToo

Please join us on Thursday, July 5th, from 12:30 to 1:50 pm. for my talk on “The State of Our Oceans” in 2154 Humanities and Social Sciences Building (HSS) on UCSD campus. Take this mindblowing trip under the seas to grasp the magnitude and scope of the problems we face, and explore how we may begin to heal our Big Blue. This lecture is free and open to the public. Come early if you need visitor parking and join us for lunch afterward.


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THIS is What Democracy Looks Like!

Last Tuesday, June 12, 2018, a contingent of dedicated, informed, intrepid volunteers from all over the U.S. and numerous other countries lobbied Congress for a price on carbon. We had over 500 meetings in the Capitol. I personally had 5 meetings with offices ranging from far left, to far right, to middle-of-the-road, on the political spectrum. We ARE moving the needle and we ARE seeing progress. I was also extremely fortunate to be among a small handful of people who were personally escorted to the Senate Chambers by environmental champion Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) to hear his weekly address on climate change. I am honored and moved to be a part of this noble effort.


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Who You Gonna Call?

Here’s a big, scary, dangerous, terrible, no good, thing that’s happening to California’s drinking and irrigation water… AND… here’s a way to help solve it! Watch this NBC news story then contact your representatives (I’ve made that easy, see below:) Toxic Wastewater From Oil Fields Endangers California’s Water Supply, Scientists Tell NBC Bay Area

Call Monday through Friday and/or email anytime, and respectfully ask these CA leaders to work to ban/stop/halt toxic fracked water from being re-injected, reused or released into or onto California’s crops, groundwater, etc…

Gov. Jerry Brown   1-916-445-2841     https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom   1-916-445-8994     ltg.ca.gov

Senator Kamala Harris   1-224-3553 or 1-619-239-3884  https://www.harris.senate.gov/contact/email

Senator Diane Feinstein  1-202-224-3841  or  1-619-231-9712  https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

CA Central Water Board Enforcement  1-916-341-5272     https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/about_us/contact_us/index.html

CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra   1-916-210-6276

State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez   1-916-3192076     https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD76&width=600px&height=700px&iframe=true

CA State Senator Patricia Bates   1-916-651-4036

Feel free to enter these contacts into your phone which makes it much easier to connect with our leaders on future topics of interest or concern.

Please watch and share this TheGreenFlash.org  story, so that the contact links are included.

Gratefully,
Eve Simmons